Monday, January 21, 2013

Helping Haylee

We have a little girl who moved into our neighborhood a few months ago. She is eight years old and absolutely adorable. She's quiet and keeps to herself but we often find her waiting on our front lawn when we pull into the driveway or riding her bike with her little dog Emma. Our family has befriended her and, over time, we have learned how much she has been through in her short life. Her grandparents, Irene and Ray, are our next Perchable People.

Haylee was born to a teenaged mother and her father (Irene and Ray's son) struggled with alcoholism and addiction. Her mother disappeared and, at the age of two, Haylee's grandparents stepped in. "Her mother was born to a teenage mother who left her. Her mother left her. I will not let Haylee repeat that cycle," Irene shared with me with over a glass of wine. "I want her to feel loved. I want her to know she matters." And she does. You would know it if you could see the way she looks at her grandfather and the way her little smile lights up a room. Her grandparents, who planned to retire in Florida and spend their days golfing and laying poolside are now shuttling her to and from horseback riding lessons and after school activities. It wasn't their plan, but they do not regret their choice.

Today, as she curled up on a bean bag to read my oldest his bedtime story, I was so touched by all that they are doing for this sweet little girl. I only hope my family can wrap her in love as well so that she always knows that she's loved and that she matters.

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