I was at the San Diego Zoo walking around this huge Zoo and saw a little girl standing all alone and in a state of want. I approached her with my wife and she was eager to share but could not. Why? First of all, she was Chinese and I suspected did not speak English. Secondly, she was a little girl about 3 who could not share her feelings at this stage
FATHERHOOD AND MOTHERHOOD
The parent in my wife and I came out. By assuring her with smile, gentle words and specifically reducing myself to her level (on my knees), we were both able to give her immediate relief from her trauma but not 100% as we are not her parents. But it was a step in the right direction. I offered her food for comfort
My wife lovingly took her hand and we both agreed to walk around with her in the immediate area in plain sight hoping that the parent (s) would see us and respond. Much time went by and no responses came forth. I could not help but wonder what the parents were thinking all this time
I flagged down a Zoo employee in a little golf cart and he used his walk-talkie to make this problem go park-wide. The little girl would not let go of my wife's hand nor would we let her either. We knew as long as we had her she was guaranteed safe and sound until we could get her to her parents.
Meanwhile another cart makes itself known from a distance with four people on it. I knew it was the little girls parents getting park-service to our location. The mother got out and was so happy to see her daughter as the daughter was relieved to see mom. You can see that the two belonged together. Chinese was spoken
The mother before leaving bowed and we bowed back and in the spirit of Universal language thanked and respected each other parent to parent and human being to human being
I worked at Disneyland and on the way back from break I noticed a lost little girl. She was standing there, not moving with her hand on her lip. Body language shouting out for help in her silence and facial expressions. I went to knee level and she started crying. The pent-up feelings came forth
I was in uniform so it did present a safety and surety as I was part of the happiest place on earth and in her little world could be trusted. Disneyland policy requires I stay with her and am excused from my assigned station. Once she calmed down, I took her hand and that gave her peace. Of course I called it in and support staff arrived all friendly and helpful.
We are instructed to stay in the area where the child was found as the parent would start there to search for the child. We would even parade around hoping to meet-up and speed-up the connection. It just has to happen we know. No one came forth after a few rounds so we proceed to the next step
The child is taken to a play room full of toys under watchful supervision while the park goes on parent search. Meanwhile, of course the parent has noticed the child missing, has looked around, panicked and then finally gets park officials involved
No sooner than the parent tries to explain her situation than she is interrupted and told we have your child and she is just fine. Come with me and she does. They are united and the child thinks this is all part of the Disneyland adventure as she was busy playing when mom showed up. That's a "happy" ending to be sure
My four year old decides to go to the candy store around the corner on a urge and doesn't tell anyone. She has been there before with me. I notice her gone and we conduct a search. My wife and I literally had the life drained out of us. I started searching outside the property and even went into a block search mode
I started toward the candy store across the street. As I approached it my little girl is walking out with a bag full of candy. I went into the store and they explained she entered in, browsed the candy department, picked out four pieces, put it on the counter and they bagged it and gave it to her. Her innocence demanded this
Of course I paid for the candy and we left holding hands. My life was back and I quickly remembered my poor wife in a frantic state so I headed home quickly to put her out of her misery. Her response was a mix of joy-unspeakable and anger for our little one doing this. I had to calm her down. Lessons learned
This last story has a mystical flavor to it. I got a knock on my door from a neighbor who was frantic asking me to help her find her lost child. Trying to get information from a distraught mother so help can commence is challenging. After a while, I pieced together enough to start a neighborhood search
At some point someone told to me that they saw her with another little girl & gave a description along with the family who lived in a camper. After searching low and high and finding nothing someone said that these people usually park the camper 5 miles away in an open field next to REI camping supply store. We headed there
I cannot tell you how excited and encouraged I was when I saw the camper from afar as we approached. I parked and went up to the fence and yelled the little girls name saying are you in there? NO answer. I couldn't believe we got this far to give-up so I yelled authoritatively for her to com-out now! NOW!
The door opened and a man stepped out along with another little girl AND THE GIRL THAT WAS LOST! I told her to come to me and that her mother wants her right now. She said she wanted to go home. I took her and brought her back to her mother who was crying and upset. She couldn't thank me enough through tears and barely talking. I marvled at how this all came about and gave thanks myself. Providence at work
I have had other episodes throughout my life. They all manage to engage my inner most butterflies in the stomach area. This type of pain cannot be measured but instead must be dealt with. Over the years when I hear of someones child missing I still get signals of concern. I hope for the best times ten for resolution