While we awaited our first character encounter at Chef Mickey’s Thursday night, we started making kids plates at the buffet and generally trying to manage the chaos. As we tucked into our dinner, both Donald Duck and Pluto arrived. The hilarity began and the kids hardly touched their food as they hugged characters and posed for pictures.
After Pluto and Donald headed into the next room, there were a few minutes before our next encounters. The couple at the table next to us approached us and asked if we could take their picture with the next character so that they could be in the shot together. They were visiting Disneyworld for their 20th wedding anniversary. The wife started sharing with me that they were thoroughly enjoying watching our kids wide-eyed and in wonder. She said they had tried for years to have children, but never were able to conceive. They had fostered some but had no children of their own. They enjoyed coming to Disney because of the children.
It was all I could do to keep from bursting into tears. I know that struggle. I felt her heartache. Our outcome was just different.
We took their picture with Mickey, and they took ours. When their anniversary cupcake came, the wife invited the little lady over to blow the candles out with them. Toward the end of the evening she came over to the table and gave me a pack of “fairy dust” (Mickey confetti) that she was given in the gift store but told us the children would enjoy it so much more.
We all wished them happy anniversary as we left and I shared their story with Bray.
I had spent so much time being exasperated over the madness and mechanics, I had forgotten the miracle. The three miracles to be exact. We could have been that couple in a few years. We could have felt the aching absences as we spent time with children that weren’t ours. We could have, and did for a time, experience heart break watching families run around knowing it would always just be the two of us.
It was, and is, a miracle that we were at Disney with two sons and a daughter. Not even ONE child, but three children. Kids that we could love on and kiss goodnight and send off to their first day of school and raise into a family that loves God and loves each other. I had missed the miracle.
Friday was not without chaos. Friday at Disney was still hard as triplets melted down and stubbornly argued with us. But Friday was also filled with gratitude. A heart full knowing that God, beyond reason or deserving, had blessed us with three healthy, funny, active, loving babies, toddlers, children. Friday celebrating our family of five.