by: Allie Goolrick, WSBTV.com Updated:
COLUMBUS, Ga. - A blended family in Columbus, Georgia, is going viral after a stepmom shared a sweet picture of two co-parenting couples supporting her stepdaughter at her soccer game.
Emilee Plaayer posted the photo on Facebook earlier this week of four adults surrounding her 4-year-old stepdaughter, Maelyn, all decked out in custom-made jerseys. The blue shirts read "step mom," "daddy," "mommy" and "step dad" across the back.
"Because of us, I will never believe co-parenting can't work!" Plaayer captioned the post. "I KNOW through experience it CAN WORK! Choose to do what's best for your child and everything will just fall into place."
The post has since been shared nearly 80,000 times and racked up thousands of positive comments about co-parenting in blended families.
WSB-TV caught up with Maelyn's mother, Clara Cazeau, and Plaayer on Tuesday night – guess where – at Maelyn's soccer game! They explained that the amicable relationship between the two couples isn't anything new: They share custody and have been co-parenting Maelyn for the last three years. They had no idea that the photo would touch such a deep chord for people and go viral.
"We always take family pictures like that every holiday," Cazeau said. "I had just gotten these shirts made. Emilee posted the picture and made it public, but we had no idea it would go that far."
On both families’ Facebook feeds are similar photos of the four smiling "co-parents" and their two daughters. When asked how they manage their relationship, they say it's all about being mature and putting aside insecurities.
"You really have each person 100 percent in it," Cazeau said. "You have to put your differences aside for the good of your child."
Maelyn may have no idea that her family's story has gone viral – but her stepmom says that even at just 4 years old, she does know a lot about what it means to be accepting.
"She's very sweet, very loving," Plaayer says. "She's not standoffish; she's accepting of everybody. And I think that's because she's been taught to accept everybody by the people who love her."
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