i've got something else on my mind. last week, i shared a laundry list of "things i'm doing" these days. i left a few things off my list. things like:
rehearsing mozart's "requiem",
planning a murder mystery fundraiser for my organization, where we live,
preparing recreation activities for vacation bible school.
but there's something else.
i'd like to introduce you to taylor.
taylor is matty's 16 year-old daughter. she is a beautiful, intelligent, outspoken, well-mannered, young woman. she has lived an unbelievable life in her 16 short years on this earth.
due to an ugly divorce and an even uglier custody battle, matty has had little to no contact with taylor since she was 6 years old. she has spent most of her life living with her maternal grandmother in florida. one year ago, she put herself on a greyhound bus and ran away to her mother in georgia. as far as we can tell, it was pretty much "out of the frying pan, into the fire" for her. the time spent with her mother was apparantly more stressful than being with her grandmother.
in the 10 years that i have known & loved matty, he has tried to share with me the horror of this family. having grown up in a very "cookie cutter" family myself (is it possible to be too normal?), i have a very hard time believing the stories he has told me. i have been known to refer to them as the "jerry springer family."
on tuesday, may 29th (2 days after her 16th birthday), we received an early morning phone call from georgia. "can taylor come stay with you for a few weeks?"
of course! matty has dreamed of spending time with his daughter for the past 10 years. we had even extended an invitation for her to spend her summer with us back in march, but were never taken up on it.
matty picked up taylor that friday. within a week, her mother called and asked us to keep her for the summer. two weeks later, her mother called to tell us that she didn't want taylor to come back at all.
all of you women out there were 16 once. there's plenty to be worried about when you are 16. being rejected by your mother again and again should never be one of those things.
i have spent the better part of this past month getting to know this young woman who has entered our home. she is amazingly resilient, considering the emotional turmoil she has been through. she will stay with us for her junior and senior years of high school.
she is incredible with jack, and he absolutely adores her. she and her father share the same quirky sense of humor, and they keep me in stitches. matty has found a new calm in his life, now that taylor is under his roof.
even as i type this, i think maybe it hasn't even sunk in with me yet. i know this is a blessing that we are able to help her settle down, enjoy & excel in her final years of high school. this is a journey that i did not expect to take this year. i hope i am prepared for it.