Celebrity Families

Sam Wood's bond with stepdaughter Eve proves family love isn't limited to blood relatives

''We get closer all the time.''

By Alana Mazzoni
When Sam Wood fell in love with Snezana Markoski on the third season of The Bachelor back in 2015, there was another girl about to enter his life - her daughter Eve.
Eve was just nine when she warmed the nation's hearts while meeting Sam during hometown dates, where famously grilled her stepdad to-be on his favourite things about her mother.
"I never call myself Eve's 'step-dad'. I am Eve's dad. That's how I feel." (Image: Instagram)
"She's so pretty, she's funny and I just love being around her," Sam sweetly confessed, adding that he'd give Snez 9.4 marks out of 10.
"I thought his answers were good but he could improve," Eve joked in the episode, which has since become a sweet home video for the family.
Sam and Eve's rock-solid relationship has only grown since then - proving a father's love doesn't have to be biological.
In fact, if you ask Sam about being a "great step-dad" to Eve (who is Snez's daughter from a previous relationship), he is quick to clarify that not being related by blood has no impact on his close relationship with the now 16-year-old.
"She's definitely my daughter, but we're also friends." (Image: Instagram)
"I never call myself Eve's 'step-dad'. I am Eve's dad. That's how I feel. That's how I act," Sam previously revealed.
As fans will remember, Snez and Eve relocated from their hometown of Perth to move in with Sam following their whirlwind Bachelor journey.
"It was this crazy world which they [Snez and Eve] uprooted everything and came to Melbourne to live with me, but now we're this family," he told Now To Love at the time.
Prior to their move, Sam even bought Eve her own phone so he could build his own unique bond with her while doing long-distance with Snez.
Sam and Eve, now 16, always carve out one-on-one time together. (Image: Instagram)
When Sam and Snez welcomed their first daughter, Willow, back in October 2017, Sam praised Eve - who was 12 at the time - for how well she adapted to their growing brood.
"It's a new stage for her life because she's 12 going on 21, and for Snez and I we're learning how to parent a teenager and how to parent a four-month-old at the same time. But we just laugh about it and have fun," he said at the time.
"I know Evie had always wanted to be a big sister and just seeing her when Willow was born … it was kind of like a fresh beginning as a new family."
Sam gushed over his relationship with Eve, saying their dynamic is equal parts friends and father/daughter.
Sam has praised Eve for how well she takes care of her little sisters Charlie and Willow. (Image: Instagram)
"She's definitely my daughter, but we're also friends. I've known Eve now for nearly three years, and we get closer all the time," he said in 2018.
"It's quite an interesting challenge because she's an opinionated, curious, beautiful teenager who started high school two weeks ago."
Sam also got candid on how he and Snez have chosen raise Eve during her teen years - a time which any parent knows can be a struggle.
"Snez has obviously been a single parent for a long time, and the bond that she has with Eve is so close but Eve has probably been a little bit spoilt being a single child and it's always a challenge for me to know if I should be a little bit stricter," he admitted in 2018.
"So we're in pretty open dialogue, and we're also very considerate to Eve who has been amazing a difficult time. She packed up everything, moved to another state and did it all in her stride with a really positive attitude.
"I'm a massive believer that we're not doing her any favours by not being tough on her... I absolutely adore her and we're great friends. We get on fabulously. But at the same time, I'm definitely tougher on her than her mum is."
The 41-year-old hasn't shied away from navigating the trickier parts of step-parenting, especially when it comes to teaching Eve the value of a dollar.
Sam has admitted he's stricter on Eve than Snez is. (Image: Instagram)
"I remember she had a phone and a banking app that was connected to Snez's bank account and in the loveliest way possible, she would shout her friends' breakfast and would be like, 'Mum, I needed this thing and I so bought it online' and I'm like, 'Snez, she will not understand the value of money if we just let her do that'," he told Bounty Parents in 2021.
"Now she has her own account and she has to do chores around the house to get pocket money. If that money runs out, it's not this bottomless pit.
"It's amazing, she makes her lunch more now and she thinks about whether she needs something. She's actually quite good with her money but I think it becomes a slippery slope if there's no consequences or if they don't feel like that money's going to run out."
Where it all started! Sam instantly adored Eve after meeting her on Snez's hometown Bachelor date. (Image: Ten)
While Snez and Sam are busier than ever with Willow, three, Charlie, two, and another girl on the way, the personal trainer always makes time for Eve.
The pair regularly go to AFL games together and enjoy their one-on-one time when Snez is busy with little Charlie and Willow.
Just one look at their Instagram accounts shows how much love Sam and Eve share.
"My first daughter all grown up. Feels like yesterday that your Mum introduced you to me in the park. Happy 16th @eve.vict," Sam captioned a photo of Eve on her birthday in 2021.