The day was going well until later in the afternoon, the unthinkable happened.
We had just ridden the Pirates of the Carribean, me, DS, DD1,DD3 & Baby. I was carrying the baby. DD3 was holding on to my shirt. DS and DD1 were walking in front of me. If you're familiar with Disneyland, you will probably have a sense of what I am talking about. If you're not, just bear with me.
We had come out of the alley where the Pirates ride exit is. I remember stopping for a bit at the junction where the River of America is in front of you, the bridge to Tarzan's Treehouse is to your right and the path to Haunted Mansion is to your left. We were all together at this point. I stopped for a bit to get my bearings and remember where we left the stroller. We went straight ahead towards Rivers of America. It was just several paces forward when I realized that DD3 was not with us. DS and I heard a loud "Mommy!" I quickly turned around and went back to where we were standing. She was nowhere to be seen. I walked toward the bridge and saw BIL and DD2 there. I asked if they had seen DD3. They had not. I walked back toward the exit of the ride, hoping that she had gone back to look for us there. No sight of her. My heart was starting to race but I knew I could not panic. BIL and DD2 went the other way towards Haunted Mansion to look for her. I went back to the junction where I was certain we were last together. I spotted a custodian and asked for his help.
"I'm missing my daughter. She's 5. Her name is A. She's wearing a pink shirt, pink skirt with black leggings."
He asked me where I last saw her, etc. then went on to look for security. He came back with another custodian to check on me. She was still missing. They started to look for her as well. Another custodian came. He had a walkie-talkie. He contacted security.
"We have a missing 5-year old. Her name is A. She's wearing a pink shirt, pink skirt and black leggings," he said over the radio.
"We have her!" the voice over the radio answered. The voice said something else but I did not understand any of it anymore. I just kept muttering a prayer of thanks to God. They have her.
The custodian led the way. We just followed. We were almost at Main Street and there she was, standing with several park employees. I ran to her and hugged her tightly, allowing myself now to cry. It was a cry of relief and fear and joy.
She apparently made a right and walked towards the bridge instead of forward with us. She kept walking as she was looking for us. When she realized she was lost, she started to cry and approached a "stranger" to tell her that she was lost. I am thankful that she knew to come up to a park employee to ask for help. The park employees told me that she was very brave and articulate. She knew her name and age. She knew Mommy's name. She told them that we just got out of the Pirates ride when she got lost. She told them about our family. She seemed to have introduced every member of our family that when we got there, the employees recognized us.
"You must be the big brother who's 11 years old," they remarked to DS.
"And this must be baby E. You are cute as your sister says,"they cooed to Baby.
It was a happy ending to what could have been traumatic or even tragic. I don't even dare to think of the what could have been's. God and his angels were watching over my little girl that day. I am sure that her guardian angel shielded her and led her to the right person to ask for help.
Thank you Lord for protecting my daughter. Thank you dear guardian angel for guarding her.