Joanna Gaines Prepares for ‘Heartbreaking’ Family Change

Chip and Joanna Gaines

Getty Chip & Joanna Gaines at the Warner Bros. Discovery Upfront 2022.

Former HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines are preparing for their oldest son to leave the nest, she revealed in an essay for the fall issue of Magnolia Journal.

“Soon, our oldest son, Drake, will be leaving home for college,” the 44-year-old wrote. “In the grand scheme of heartbreaking things, this one comes with a lot of gratitude and excitement. But still, my first child is moving away, and our family dynamic will change because of it, and that can feel like a loss of its own. I catch glimpses now of what that life will look like and wonder if—or how many times—that might bring me to the floor.”

According to his Virtual Combine profile, the 17-year-old is set to graduate in 2023.

The former “Fixer Upper” stars are also parents to Ella Rose, 15, Duke, 14, Emmie Kay, 12, and Crew, 4. They rose to fame when “Fixer Upper” premiered in 2014, with its success eventually leading to the launch of their own Magnolia Network.

Chip & Joanna Gaines Faced ‘a Little Bit of All of It’ Throughout Their Marriage

River Jordan/Magnolia JournalThe Fall issue of Magnolia Journal, available on newsstands and online starting August 12.

This is just the latest heartbreak the couple has faced in their decades-long marriage.

Joanna wrote in the essay, “In our 20 years of marriage, Chip and I have experienced a little bit of all of it. Losing a loved one. Shifts in friendships. Bills we couldn’t pay. Moments where our hearts were broken. Times when all hope felt lost and circumstances were out of our control. When all I could think to do was lay facedown on the floor in surrender.”

She continued to reflect on life’s lessons.

“What we learn is that life is not about holding out only for the days of brightest possibility,” she added. “It’s not only about finding ourselves a crisp new page. Sometimes, in order to move forward, we have to surrender ourselves to the promise of growth that follows the fall. Easier said than done, yes—one thousand times yes.”

Joanna ‘Was Just Devastated’ When Drake Earned His Driver’s License

Drake’s milestones have proven emotional for the “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home” stars.

In 2021, Chip opened up to People about his son earning his driver’s license. “I was so excited leading up to it, and Jo was too, kind of,” he told the outlet. “Then we get this kid his license, and the first morning he goes to drive, Jo bawls her eyes out. She was just devastated and wanted no part. She wants to hire him a chauffeur!”

Joanna took to Instagram when Drake earned his driver’s permit in 2020, writing on Instagram, “all of a sudden he is all grown up.” However, that same morning she was helping Crew learn to climb the stairs.

“The gap between these two circumstances with my boys is wide but the feeling on both is somehow the same. So many hard and beautiful moments of beginnings and ends,” she continued. “Parenthood is all about training these babies up to eventually let them go. May we savor all the big and quiet moments along the way.”

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