I wish I had the words to explain to you the amazing creature that is my daughter. She is 12, going on 39. She has experienced so much, has traveled so extensively, has lived more life than most people with senior discounts. She has in the past suffered extreme hurt and yet also knows God’s perfect love.
She also loves orange socks and hot pink earrings and Coach purses and can’t stand Miley Cirus since she started dressing like a “hootchie mama.”
She LOVES God. She loves God and learning about God. She’ll come to me, Bible open, excited about something she’s read. She’ll talk in depth about a concept she’s learned in church. Missing anything related to her youth group breaks her heart, and I’ve never met anymore more eager to serve.
When we moved from Kentucky to Florida, we told her that if she wanted to live for a school year with her father, she’d need to do it her 7th grade year. It’s right in the middle of middle school, and not the year before or any year of high school. It would be the least intrusive year as far as high school goes. She decided not to spend the year with her dad for a host of reasons.
As her youth group started making plans for a big missions trip this summer, she went to her dad to make plans to travel back to Kentucky in the end of June to be part of this trip. He told her, in no uncertain terms, that she could not go. He wasn’t willing to give up a week of his summer time with her.
Between Gregg, Kaylee, and me, we figured out that if she spent the rest of the school year with her dad, she would have the summer with us and would be able to go on the missions trip. The more we talked about it, the more excited we got about having her for the summer, about what we would be able to do as a family, about the time she would get for the next 6 months with her dad…God placed a mantle of peace over our family and provided us with such encouragement.
So, today, I will drive her to my good friend’s house, who will continue her on the journey to take her to her dad. She said goodbye to all of her friends, we boosted her cell phone minutes up, and slipped that $20 in the hiding spot in her wallet just in case she needs it. And we’ve covered her in prayer. I’ve placed hands on her and prayed for her safety, for her security, for her peace of mind, and for her to have wisdom beyond her years while she goes on this new adventure.
She’ll be starting a new school, making new friends, living with her other two younger brothers, and her dad’s girlfriend and her two sons. They eat white bread, fake butter, and pork chops — just a tiny slice of the way things will be different for her now.
But Gregg and I know that this is God’s plan, His way of opening this door for Kaylee. And we know it’s not our position to close a door He’s opened. All we can do is thank Him for speaking so clearly to us, pray for her, and start a countdown from now to six months from now. I’ll miss her 13th birthday and her 13th Easter, and I’ll miss her on my 13th Mother’s Day. And we’ll get through it. And the celebration we’ll have when she gets home will rival any 13th birthday party I can throw her.
I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
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What amazing parents you guys are. I am sure that your daughter will always remember this time with her dad. And she will always remember the mission trip. I know you will miss her like crazy but what an experience for sure. She sounds like a lovely young lady :)
What a wonderful, unselfish gift you are giving her allowing her to have this choice. You are so strong and although I know you will miss her more than words can ever express, your faith in Kaylee and the exceptional woman she is becoming and your faith in God will carry you through the next 6 months. Hallee, you are one of the strongest women I know and just like with every other challenge that had crossed your path, you will meet this one with the courage and grace that defines the beautiful person that you are. You will all be in my prayers. XXXOOO.
Wow…what loving and unselfish parents you are..I have to go get a tissue. Thank you for such a great post. I came to your site to look for your balck-eyed pea recipe and I came away with so much more.
Welcome to the site, Heather. Thank you so very much. (I’ll be posting black eyed peas recipe in the morning.)
You are a beautiful friend. Thank you for your comment and more especially, thank you for your prayers.
She is truly a beautiful person. Thank you, Julie.
Kaylee seems to be such a wonderful young woman. She was such a sweetie the one time I have met her. I will be praying for her in this new adventure and knowing that she will come through it an even more mature gal. Good for you and Gregg to allow her this choice. I don’t know that I would have had the strength to do it.
What a beautiful post, Hallee. Kaylee sounds like an amazing young lady. I can understand why you are so proud of her. I admire your strength and faith as you support her on her decision to serve. From the perspective of a mom, I know it can’t be easy. Your family will be in my prayers as you go through this transition.
Thank you so much, Karyn. That means a lot to me.
Thank you for your prayers, Steph. They mean a lot to us.
I love you and your family, Hallee! I just wanted to tell you that today!
I hope my girls are half as wonderful as you’ve raised Kaylee to be. You’ll have to give me some pointers. :) How wonderful you all are!
I feel honored to be a part of her journey. You guys are amazing parents and I admire your strength and unfaultering faith.
We love you and I appreciate you. Thank you.
This blog’ll be full of pointers and lessons learned -lol. :-)
Thank you so much, Kelli. I love you, too! Have a wonderful new year!