When you marry a man who has a daughter, you aren’t marrying just the man, but rather the family that he really is. That is what Dustie did when she married my nephew, Rob. He came as a package, with his daughter, Christina. It is hard to step into a situation where you are expected to help with a step-child, but you have to be careful not to step on the child’s mother. It was a challenge for sure, but Dustie has done a good job, and she and Christina have a good relationship now. Yes, there are the occasional arguments, but for the most part they get along well. Many step-relationships are never good, so that is an amazing feat. I think the ability to blend and then add to a family unit is a skill that is learned, but you have to be willing to compromise and to open your heart to this child.

Dustie has opened her heart to Rob’s daughter, and she has also made her place in our entire family. She helps out with anything we ask her to do. I can’t count the number of times she has gone for groceries so her mother-in-law, my sister Cheryl could take care of the things she needs to at my mom’s house. There were many times that Dustie saved the day, just by taking that one thing off of our hands. When you are a caregiver, you need lots of help in many areas, and Dustie was always willing to provide that help.

Dustie is a wonderful girl, with a sweet spirit. She is a good step-mom to Christina, and a good mom to her own three children with Rob, Raelynn, Matthew, and Anna. They are all very blessed to have her in their lives, as are we, the entire family. Today is Dustie’s birthday. Happy birthday Dustie!! We all love you and hope your day is as beautiful as you are.

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