Our Ali prepared her momma well for this Navy adventure, that is as well as a mom can ever be prepared for such things. For Ali, thoughts of the military took root while studying in Peru in the summer of 2011... routine, security, travel, benefits, education. After several months of research and prayer for God's guidance, the first of numerous appointments was scheduled with her recruiter.
The whole preparation proved a lesson for both of us. As the mom I had already been exposed to weeks of not hearing her voice and months of not getting to see her smiling face. The Peru experience had deepened my reliance and trust in God and significantly expanded my prayer life.
Then there was the issue of "letting go" or turning over the reigns. Ali determined to be self-sufficient. It came natural during her junior and senior years as she chose a post-secondary education, graduating high school in the spring and with her associate degree by fall of the same year. I knew then that our third born wouldn't be hanging around home much longer.
Sure enough, within a few weeks visions of Peru were on the horizon. By March, her backpacks and camera bags were packed. With passport in hand she was off!