Building the bonds of a blended family is no easy task, but Gabrielle Union is tackling the challenge in stride and even sharing her own personal advice.

The 49-year-old is a stepmother of three children from husband Dwayne Wade’s previous relationships (Zaire Wade, Zaya Wade and Xavier Wade), as well as the mother of the couple’s shared daughter, Kaavia James Union Wade.

In a recent interview with People, the actress opened up about how she has been able to develop the relationship with each of her stepchildren – with a special emphasis on her and Zaya Wade’s bond.  

“I think as a stepmom, it’s not my job to push myself into her life or force anything,” she shared. “So time has allowed our bond to grow organically and naturally. Being consistent with each other and being trustworthy with each other also.”

According to Glamour, Zaya Wade “came out as transgender in 2020 with the support of her father and stepmom.” 


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And Union explained how Zaya taking that step played a huge role in further developing their relationship. 

“Zaya coming into [her] truest self did help because I am able to bond with who she actually is versus the representative that was speaking for her for years,” she said. “Now, she is completely herself so I know her, not her representative.”

And 14-year-old Zaya is in agreement with her stepmother. 

“Me discovering who I am has definitely deepened our bond and also other people’s bonds,” she told People. “I can be truthful and honest with myself and therefore, truthful and honest with other people. That helps better everyone’s connections and relationships with each other. Our relationship has grown so much from the first day I met her to now. It is because time has allowed us to grow together and progressively.”

What a great family dynamic to have developed!