Sometimes I wish that I could write what I'm really feeling. I can never seem to pull it together to give the true picture. But there are some things that I just have to put down on "paper."
We spent the last week in Disney World, celebrating Christmas (and, alternately, arguing with an over-tired 4 year old to just shut up and listen already!!). On the way there, we spent a lot of time drilling the lowercase on his home phone number, which we had conveniently forwarded to our cell phones. We talked about how, should he be unable to find us at any point, he should find someone working there and tell them his name and our phone number.
On our second day there, the lowercase and I were watching Princess Tiana singing on a riverboat while Mr. W was standing in line to buy a hat. At some point, he called us to come and join him at the counter. A "little" boy of about 12 had gotten lost and, crying, went to the woman at the counter to help find his parents. They were located quickly and without major catastrophe. The lowercase talked to the woman at the counter who showed him her name tag so he would know what the tags of people working for Disney looked like. She explained that he should find the first employee he could but should NEVER leave the area he last saw us in. She told us that all employees wear an earpiece and the instant a child is found or parents come to an employee to say their child is missing, they broadcast it parkwide and everyone is on the lookout for someone frantic for a child or a child by himself.
On our last day, we were sitting near town hall on Main Street USA when a small hispanic boy - maybe about 5 years old -- walked up to a bench near us with two Disney employees. The boy was crying so much that he couldn't speak. He couldn't give them the information that they needed and a 3rd employee (this time uniformed security) came to talk to him. We sat on the bench for 15 or 20 minutes while the boy cried. I can't even begin to explain the heartbreak that I felt. I cried along with him, feeling the fear and loss that he felt. And I cried even more when I pictured his parents, frantic and more scared than they had probably ever been in their lives. And after those 15 or 20 minutes, I saw a man trembling as he walked across the square with a Disney cast member. He stopped just in front of us to look at the boy on the bench, to see if it was his son before moving closer. The boy looked up and cried even harder and the man ran to his son in tears. As he swooped him up into his arms, I was crying too. And the people on benches near me were crying -- as were the college-age employees who had sat with the boy throughout it all.
As we were walking away, Mr. W said "Did you expect a man who looked like that to be his dad?" And, in truth, I didn't. We had both expected to see a hispanic family and not a fair-skinned blond man. Maybe it's just me projecting, but I saw the many different paths to parenthood after infertility there. The families through international adoption. The much-older parents with young children (and while this could have been their choice to have children later in life, my eyes saw years of trying). I felt for those families. I wanted to tell them "me too! I understand!" Instead, I just smiled a bit more.
And I felt the pain of those still trying. A friend from college lives in the area and was going to meet us for a while during our stay. On our last day, I got a message from her on facebook apologizing for not meeting us. She said that she was sorry that it didn't work out but that her life was ruled by doctor appointments as they tried to grow their family. She had never directly said anything about wanting children -- her facebook said that she is a former teacher and had no children. I never asked because I thought there was a chance that it wasn't by choice and I know how much I hated being asked. I hate that my projecting my own feelings was, this time, right. (I, too, quit teaching. I don't know her reasons for quitting, but I did it because it was just too hard to be around what I wanted, dealing with parents who didn't always deserve what they had..) I want to tell her that some way, some how, it will work out for her. When I responded, I told her that I completely understood that... that within a few months, our lives will be at the mercy of those doctors as we begin our surrogacy journey.
My hope is that by the early 2011, if we make the Disney trip, we'll be able to meet my friend, each of us with babies in our arms.