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Unfortunately, Max is not alone. His story is among many; children with step-parents who do not feel the parental love they shared with their natural parent. Many of the newcomers do not feel this love in their heart nor to they feel it necessary to work on developing. During the interview with Max he did talk about how his Dad's wife, at times, tried to make an effort. Hopefully she'll continue to work on their relationship. Acknowledging a need for improvement is a great start.
I can only imagine what Max went through; first losing his mother and then trying to find a way to embrace someone else who is very different from his mom. Through all of his heartache he is still holding on to his faith and leaning on a support circle that includes his work with Willow House and his religion. Max has found a healthy way to cope and hopefully someday as he matures into an adult he'll find a way to relate better with his step-mom and she'll be able to view him as the remarkable person he is and will continue to be!