Positively Paula

A Shared Vision: The Stepfamily Summit

Monday, August 02, 2010

Today I had the sincere pleasure of speaking again with Christy Borgeld, the
founder of National Stepfamily Day. I have gotten to know Christy, a wonderfully caring and dedicated woman who has worked tirelessly at a grass roots level to support stepfamilies throughout the nation for the last 14 years, through the wonderful virtual world of Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail.  While we have never met personally, we hit it off immediately, and speaking with her always sparks ideas. You see, we share a common passion; namely, to support stepfamilies; and, we both want to provide great resources and information to blended families and stepfamilies. And, we know we aren't the only ones with this passion for this topic.

We are very familiar with the dismal statistic that out of the nearly 1300 stepfamilies that are forming daily, approximately 65% end in divorce. And, we aren't the only ones who want to help make stepfamilies successful. We agree that there are many people, starting with stepmoms, stepdads, stepfamily coaches, counselors,  family law attorneys, psychologists, social workers, academic researchers, educators, government officials, and whole non-profit organizations who are working long days (and many into the night) to help stepfamilies thrive.

Christy and I shared a vision today; i.e., a national Stepfamily Summit, so to speak, comprised of great and passionate thinkers, problem solvers, master minds, advocates, etc. in the stepfamily realm. Our goal: to raise awareness about stepfamily-related issues, brainstorm problems, and identify solutions.

For years there has been a lot of talk about stovepiped organizations in the Intelligence Community, and that this situation possibly leads to intelligence failures which ultimately harm our national security. Collaboration is key. As is money. Few would disagree. You may be asking yourself: how on earth can the success of stepfamilies be as important as national security?

I daresay that there are probably more than a few people, whose marriage and stepfamily are literally falling apart right now, that emotionally feel their situation is just as important as world peace. Losing a marriage can be one of the most horrible experiences in a person's life and the effects on our nation's children is another great concern. For those of you who aren't in a stepfamily, did you know that in 2003, divorce cost the nation approximately $33.3 billion? (See "On ReMarriage: Marriage Training a Good Investment," The Washington Times, June 14, 2009) I, myself, was shocked when I learned about the effects on taxpayers.

As Christy and I ended our call, we once again commented that's it great to have ideas, but even better to execute them. So, today I'm taking the first step and throwing out a vision to the world. Contact me if you'd like to become part of a Stepfamily Summit. It may take years, but I'd like to see everyone with a passion for enabling successful stepfamilies collaborate like never before.



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