Time flies as you get older and it seems like just the other day when I had the privilege to give my “daughter” an opportunity to take a flight in a small plane. Let me back up a bit first. I’ve worked with teens in different churches since I was a teen myself. Sometimes it’s rewarding and other times there are a lot of challenges. On one particular bad day about 4 years ago, I was debating why I was even trying to help these kids, when Hailey, who I’d known for many years, came up to me and asked me if I could be her “Dad.”

She didn’t have a present Dad, and knew she needed one, and I was asked to fill that roll. 10 minutes before this conversation, I was asking myself if I actually made any difference. God showed me that indeed I do, and Hailey was the answer to that cry for help – as well as my wish for the past 15 years that I could have a daughter. I’ve got two great sons, but didn’t have a daughter until that day.

Fast forward a couple years and along comes her birthday. I have a friend in our town that owns a small plane and I reached out to ask him if he was willing to take us up for a spin around the area. I expected a quick 20 minute flight, but Captain Pat took us up for over an hour – about half of which Hailey flew the plane, landed it and gave us a tour of the area! I was incredible to be part of this day – her birthday – her life and to see her take control and get things done.