Vacation wish comes true for little girl and her 4 co-parents

Her “jaw dropped” when she realized all her parents were there.

May 5, 2017, 12:28 PM

— -- A little girl's Disney dreams came true, but not because of the characters, princesses or rides.

Her dream became reality when the four adults who love her most were able to put their differences aside and take the vacation to Orlando together.

Joe Hawkey told ABC News it was a long road to get to the place where he, his ex-wife Tiffany, and their spouses were in a good enough place to make the shared vacation happen for Joe and Tiffany's daughter Maddie, who is 7.

"It was a really hard time for a few years trying to get along with each other. There was so much tension, it wasn't good for our daughter to see us arguing like this," Hawkey said.

Before the trip, the foursome tried a dinner together, which Maddie loved.

When Hawkey, a photographer, was scheduled to go to Disney to shoot an event, Maddie's mom, Tiffany, suggested she and her husband Luke go too.

They decided to make Tiffany and Luke's arrival in Orlando a surprise for Maddie. "Her jaw dropped," when she saw them, Tiffany Bankert told ABC News.

Bankert said that a year ago she "never would have pictured us all doing something together, let alone taking a vacation. It was a really emotional trip."

Hawkey of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, said he and Bankert have joint custody of their little girl and have learned to put differences aside for her sake.

"Maddie has so much fun when we're all together and she is surrounded by so much love," he said.

Hawkey's wife, Brianna Hawkey, designed T-shirts for the trip that on the front read: Mommy, Daddy, Step Mommy and Step Daddy. And on the back, each says the same thing: #Co-parenting. Maddie's T-shirt reads #BestDayEver.

"There are new challenges that will always come up," Bankert said. "But as long as we keep communicating and keep Madeline as our top priority, I think we can rock this co-parenting stuff."

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