There were a lot of good things that happened to me that first year. I explained to a lot of people, family, friends, etc., what went on, and they were gracious enough to accept my explanation without too many questions, unsolicited advice, or probing. My life was what it was. They took me at face value.
People invited my kids and me to many events, parties, bbq's and the like. We were included like a normal family. There was no strangeness. People took to my kids, treated them as their own. We were not made to feel different.
I remember thinking "I can do this."
Of course, it wasn't all easy. There were a lot of times when I would be pressed. There were times when I would face the problems of dual lives. Holidays had to be arranged. The kids still had to adapt to the idea of having two family lives, and that would mean doing things without their Mom. Or doing things with her that didn't include me.
That first year or so went fairly well. I was learning to be a Dad all over again.