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Common Denominator

Nate Riggs
Nate Riggs / August 21, 2011

As parents, making a blended family can be filled with challenges.

For instance, learning to develop a relationship with the child that's not biologically yours takes time, steady patience and a willingness to put up thick skin. It's best when as a parent, you finally learn to let go and accept that the relationship with your biological children will always be different from the relationship you have with your adopted children.

That's okay, too. Different does not mean your love for that child is any less intense. It's just different.

His, Hers and Ours

As we were in the hospital last week with Max, one of the nurses said something that I'll always keep in mind from now on. She was a bit confused, because our last names were different and asked:

"Are you the father?"

"Yes, he's mine. I know, it's a little confusing because we're a blended family." I replied, trying to hide my hesitance and discomfort with having to provide an explanation.

"Oh! I see! You guys are a his, hers and ours family. How Wonderful!" she said as a smile crossed her face.

Common Denominator


The thought of that makes me smile every time I recall it.

It's been amazing to watch what's happened to our blended family in the last week. As I write this, I'm watching Sarah feed Max on the couch. He's so small and helpless as all newborns are. He'll be that way for a while, much like all newborns tend to be.

And yet, this little boy has no idea just how important he is, and will continue to be, to our blended family.

For the first time since we decided to choose our family, we share a common denominator. Max is the thread that truly strengthens the fabric of our family without question or any explanation needed.

For the boys, he gives the gift of the opportunity to share the experience of being big brothers together. Jacob and Kaden will care for, and protect him as he grows, becoming more united with this common purpose. For Sarah and I, he gives the gift of being able to look at a life that we've created together and see tiny pieces of ourselves, as well as each of our independent children.

Max has no idea how important of a role he will play as we all grow together.


I believe that every family has a common denominator. It could be a shared experience or special time together. Maybe it's a shared struggle or passion. Maybe you're like us and it's a new addition to your family.

So what's yours? What is the common denominator that strengthens the fabric of your family?