Monday, September 2, 2013

Thank you, whoever you are!

We went to our last summer playgroup this weekend!
It was so much fun getting together, chatting and seeing all the kids!

While we were there a friend gave me some really good advice!
She said if you go to the state fair take a picture of your children.
That way if any of them get lost you can show the picture to security and you will know what they are wearing and they will know what your child looks like!

I thought that was a great tip and decided to snap a pic before we headed into the Fairgrounds!
There is no way I can remember what everyone is wearing each and every day!
At the same time we had NO intention of losing anybody!

It didn't seem to crowded when we first walked in BUT as we got near the center of the fair and near the multiple food venues it became a 
sea of people.
Hundreds of thousands of people...

Both hubby and had regrets of bringing everyone. It was a last minute idea, so we didn't even have the children dressed alike.
 We decided to make the best of it and slowly make our way through the

Just before leaving we went to the kiddie land and the children went on one ride each.
Then we headed in the direction to our exit gate and car.

I counted 11! 
Good we have everyone.
It was getting dark fast.

As we arrived at the gate I counted again...
There were 10 children, not 11...

Someone is missing I quickly called out.
Melissa? Where is Melissa?

Shear panic came over us. 
It was now dark outside.
The children said over and over again- 
Where's Melissa, where's Melissa?
Security was at the gate so we immediately notified them and showed them this picture.

Hubby went back and retraced our steps. 
The policeman looked at the picture-
It's the little girl second from the left.
Purple skirt, glasses, fuzzy jacket with peace signs.
Asian, 7 yrs old, 45 lbs, 3ft 11 inches tall and answers to the name of Melissa.
He radioed this information to the other officers in the area and then went to look for her.

We were instructed to stay put- which we did.

We waited...
We prayed together...
We talked to hubby on the phone- no sign of her.
We waited...
We prayed...

And then
 an officer came up to us and said they had found her...

Someone had found her and brought her to the information booth. 
Thank you whoever you are, THANK YOU!

We must have been separated as we were leaving kiddie land. 
I must have counted wrong...

The officer picked her up and brought her back to us. 
I called hubby and shared the good news.

She was in tears and scared.
We hugged her tight, she didn't hug back.
She looked so hopeless.
It was so sad.

We have been giving her lots and lots of love and TLC.
She is eating it up and loving every minute of it!
She is once again loving her Mommy and Daddy.
She slept with us last night...
 and I got the feet.

No problem honey, 
kick me all you want!

We are so thankful she is just fine and where she belongs!

After all-



Shelia Jacoby said...

No doubt one of the worse feelings in the world. So grateful and thankful she is safe and sound. Poor baby, I know she was so scared.

Wright Family said...

oh Jean, BTDT when I used to have to count to nine. Ours was still at the grocery store across Orlando when we arrived at our hotel. ( wouldn't you think one of the kids might have mentioned that he was missing?).....He was eating ice cream sitting on the manager's desk, smiling. I have no memories of that Disney vacation except the terror of racing across town, trying to remember when we had last seen him.

Chris said...

So glad you had that picture to show the officer-such wonderful advice to remember for any mama, no matter how many kids we have-at times like that, who could remember what they were wearing???
LOVE happy endings:)

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

Good thing you did take the picture! We lost one of our children a few years ago at Six flaggs and my heart was beating out of our chest. However, we had a discussion of what to do if you ever get lost and he had gone to the security quard and was taken to the information center. Longest hour in my life. I can only imagine it being even more scary for melissa given her history.

Meredith said...

Dear Jean,

I've been reading your blog for a while and just now feel compelled to comment. You and I are really different - I am around the same age as your son Billy, and I have no children - but I just love reading about your family! Your blog never fails to make me smile. It is so refreshing that your family seems to genuinely LIKE being with each other, and your home seems so pleasant and cozy.

Both of my parents were adopted (my dad is from Korea) and I would love to be able to do what you and your family have done when I "grow up". I also have family in Minnesota (I grew up in the area) so it's fun to see all the familiar places in your photographs.

I don't have a blog, but I hope I can be your "bloggy friend" anyway. :)


Stina~Bee said...

once upon a time I lost a child in the Chicago O'Hare airport.

SHe was TWO!

Thank the Lord I had dressed all my girls in hot pink dresses that day. As I raced through the airport practically BLIND with fear I was guided by the concerned travelers giving me directions to where they had seen her go.... they knew by the terror on my face... and the fact that they had seen a toddler wandering off on her own (more like speeding off in the opposite direction of her family!) in a hot pink dress just like the girls I was dragging along behind me.

Glad you found her.

Eileen said...

We lost our daughter Madeline at the fair/rodeo when she was about 7 years old. Sadly, we hadn't even realized it! We were sitting at the rodeo (with another family who had many children) when the announcer said with his cowboy drawl, "We have a little lady by the name of Madeline who seems to have lost her family...." I looked over at my kids to see Madeline's reaction to hearing her name. "Madeline? Madeline?! Has anyone seen Madeline?!" At this point, the cowboy announcer said, "Madeline, can you say hi to your family." Then I heard our little Madeline's squeaky voice over the loudspeaker...."Hi, Mom and Dad." I ran down to the booth to get her as fast as I could, feeling like the world's worst mother.

However, she did NOT have your Melissa's reaction. After we were reunited, she said (dreamily), "I was lost and getting scared, and then this cowboy got off his horse (I swear she sighed) and let me help him walk his horse over to where the announcer was and then I got to say hi to everyone over the loudspeaker and now I'm almost famous." She was walking on air and felt it was the best moment of her young life.

Ten years later she still remembers it fondly!

acceptance with joy said...

oh whoops!!

Stina-Bee was the child that went missing. I didn't make sure I was signed in.


Holly said...

Oh my goodness, Jean. My heart stopped just reading that post! Precious sweetie. I'm so glad you spoiled her good after that!

The Heald Family said...

SOOO scary!!!
We lost Anders in Boston when he was little, and I was so thankful to the college girl who stayed with him until we found him. I still remember the helpless panic:((
She was lost but now she is found!

Jennifer P said...

I fear that this is a "When" not "If" situation. What a blessing that you had a picture. Great idea.

Karen said...

I can relate to your feeling of panic. We've "misplaced" a couple of children over the years, and given thanks to God that we too had happy endings. It is a parent's worse nightmare and the moments are intense for everyone involved. My older sons still love to tease us about "loosing" them years ago! So happy Melissa is safe with her family!!

Lori said...

Gasp! How scary for all of you! Praise the Lord she was found quickly. And what a good lesson to teach all the children about staying together...AND what to do if someone does get lost. But hopefully that will never happen again!

GREAT idea about taking a pic beforehand!

Shauna said...

Praise God all ended well!! Great idea about the picture!

Sherri said...

Oh my word, HOW SCAREY it must have been. What a great idea in taken photos of them, I love it and I will do that next time...but I have just two of them. Thank GOD for her return.