This is about celebrations.
We all have dates and events in our lives that inspire celebration. Birthdays, anniversaries, job promotions…and in our case, an impending adoption.
Little B came into our lives when he was just about 3 years old. My younger and equally favorite daughter and her husband heeded that quiet but persistent voice in their hearts to go through foster care training after a stint working in a homeless shelter in their town (my daughter launched her writing career with a piece titled, “How My Public Education Landed Me in a Homeless Shelter”).
Shortly thereafter, escorted by a harried social worker, barely three-year-old “B” appeared at their door with all his earthly possessions in a trash bag, his little cowboy boots on the wrong feet, to join our family and capture our hearts. And my wife and I became instant foster grandparents.
Because of privacy concerns on social media, we began referring to him as simply “Little B.”
If you look at the image above, you’ll see my (maybe not so) subtle reference to our celebration event. Even though I’m not a family t-shirt guy, I made shirts with that image for all of us. We wore them as a family only once, to get our picture taken with Mickey Mouse.
Our trip included my wife and me, our two daughters, their husbands, and B. There were seven in all.
We converged on Walt Disney World at different times throughout the day, and our first night started our week of memorable moments – dinner at Whispering Canyon Cafe in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge where we were staying (my hands-down favorite restaurant in my hands-down favorite of all the Disney resorts).
I’m going to pause right now to confess something. I get bored easily. Or maybe it’s an attention thing. Sports games (this includes our daughters’ swim meets <shame>), shows, plays, concerts…it doesn’t take long for my mind to wander toward where we parked, traffic getting out, my day tomorrow, what I’ll have for breakfast…
But sitting around the table at Whispering Canyon I wanted it to last forever. I was surrounded by those I love most in the world. I even schemed with the cast member to bring a piece of cake to my daughter celebrating her birthday soon, and initiate the restaurant-wide communal singing of “Happy Birthday” to her. The evening was filled with plenty of raucous cast members, daddy rodeos and ketchup bottles.
Whispering Canyon is the kind of place where you can find indiscreet cast members trying to introduce two mortified teenagers from different tables to go on a “date.”
I tend to remember things that make me laugh so hard I cry.
But alas, time passes and plates empty and it was time to give up our table to another family.
We spent the next day at EPCOT, then three days on a Disney cruise (where we got our picture with Mickey Mouse). Upon returning, our as yet childless couple departed for home while the rest of us headed to Caribbean Beach Resort followed by a day at Magic Kingdom. B probably doesn’t remember much about that trip, but it was a celebration we’ll never forget.
Celebrations are about adding meaning to specific events that enhance our lives. They’re about honoring a significant event or milestone – to revel in and relish that moment when our lives were changed for the better.
Cast members even join in the celebration by providing buttons (at check-in or various locations in the parks) and, along with alert guests, publicly acknowledge your special event when they spot your button.
Adoptions, especially those through the foster care system, may result from very dire circumstances and/or troubling environments that have an impact on the child. Adopting a child in need can bring about new beginnings. B was given a new life and a new path and a new destiny, and that’s the best reason to celebrate.
So as momentous events grace your lives and you want to find some way to honor the occasion, consider a Disney trip to elevate your celebration to the next level. Like us, it’s something you’ll never forget.