Sunday, February 12, 2012

Little Girl Lost

I lost my daughter today for approximately 5 minutes.  5 of the worst minutes of my life.  We're all fine, but I hope it never happens again.

This weekend, to escape the dull drums of winter, my mother and I decided to get two hotel rooms down in Port Huron (the nearest big city) at a hotel with a pool.  Tatiana is such a fish and obviously here in the north our swimming opportunities during the winter months are slim to none.  Alex isn't much of a pool fan still, but everything was going well.  

Tatiana and I snuck out on Saturday afternoon to see Beauty and the Beast in 3D.  We had dinner at Red Lobster (Tatiana and my mom's favorite) and generally relaxed during the first snowy weekend of the year.  

After breakfast in the lobby this morning, Alex, Tatiana and I started heading back to my room.  It's important to note that our rooms were on the first floor, 2 rooms off the lobby - so not far.  I asked Tatiana to go back and help Gramma (my mom) who has a fused ankle from a fall years ago and will probably permanently be on crutches.  After a couple of minutes I heard my mom's crutches near my room and so I opened the door to let Tatiana in.  But, she wasn't there with my mom.  

I asked my mom where T was -- and she said, "I don't know, she left".  So while I was annoyed that my mom didn't know where she was, I headed back to the small lobby where breakfast was.   But, she wasn't there.  The people in the lobby said she had been there, but had left.  This is a SMALL hotel.  There's not many places for a child to go.  But yet, she was gone.  

I started yelling her name.  Nothing.  I yelled at my mom.  It didn't help -- she was still missing.  I ran back to my room, had she snuck in without me seeing?  Not possible, but logic wasn't exactly my strong suit at this point.  Full on panic was setting in.  As suspected, she wasn't in my room.  By this time some of the staff had heard my panicked yelling and had come out to help.  I checked the pool area which is just off the lobby and thankfully she wasn't there.  Or not thankfully, as it meant she was still missing.  I think the hyperventilation started about now.  

A staff member went to check another floor and nothing.   I think it was this point that I threw the books I was carrying on the floor and yelled for someone to call 9-11.  All I could think was the someone took her.  She was gone.  I felt like I was living my worst nightmare.  Another guest was telling me that the best thing was to remain calm.  Which surely was the best advice, however, in my full on panic, I could NOT see this.  

I am not sure what prompted her, but my mom went into her room - which I will note she had NOT opened with a key at this point.  And there was Tatiana.  My mom's room door didn't lock properly and could be opened without her key.  Apparently Tatiana when helping my mom ran ahead into Gramma's room and was able to get in because of the key issue.  

I may have squeezed that girl harder than ever before.  Scariest 5 minutes of my life - that felt like 5 hours.  

In other weekend news, the media is reporting that the Foreign Ministry in Russia is again calling for a ban on US Adoptions of Russian children.  I truly hope this is just political posturing for their upcoming March elections and not something that is headed our way.  I would hate for the thousands of future Russian adoptive families and kids to never know the love that caused me such panic and pain this morning.  


Jeanette said...

Thank goodness she is ok!!! The person who told you not to panic annoyed me]. You needed people looking for her, not telling you to calm down. Any parent would panic. I've lost my boys before for probably a minute and the panic set in. Where you can't even focus as you look around.

Reading about the possible suspensions again makes me sick to my stomach. We went through all this right before court 2 years ago. I feel for all those families that are so close to being done with the process. Too much stress!!!!

Yvonne said...

How scarey! UGH!!!!

Jill said...

I hate that kind of thing. I lost Anna for 5 minutes at a water park. I broke down bawling when I found her by the wave pool. Scariest thing EVER! And yes, I hope the whole American's not being able to adopt from Russia is just a publicity stunt, especially if it could affect our current adoption! Yikes!

Becky and Keith said...

I had something similiar happen but it was only about 2 minutes and still nearly lost my mind. I'm SO glad you found her and all was okay.

I saw the Russian news as well and just really, really hope that it's a delay tactic. Someone from my agency had their court date in St. Pete's cancelled just 2 weeks before they were supposed to go. So sad and disappointing!

Barb said...

So glad she was ok - I can totally relate to the panic feelings;)

Stacy, Pat and Aidan said...

Oh my gosh!!!!! Totally understand. . .I lost Aidan once, for about a minute--that felt like a thousand years! NEVER want to go through that again. So glad everything was okay for you all.

Joy said...

I am so happy that you found her!


Anonymous said...

Russia shutting diwn adoptions looks legit -- Duma hasn't done it yet, but at least one region in Russia has unilaterally imposed an indefinite ban in adoptions by US parents. This is a GOOD thing -- Russia taking steps to protect it's littlest and most vulnerable citizens!!

PAPs undergo spool much scrutiny -- a homestudy, refer reference letters, multiple background checks, etc -- and these marvelously screened folks stioll somehow manage to kill and abuse their kids adopted from Russia. Then the UAs govt charmingly 1) fails to report these incidents to the government of Russia, as promised and 2) said APs somehow get off with no or minimal jail time, eg mr harrisson who accidentally forgot he left beautiful 18 mos old chase harrison in his car ALL DAY in the summer and tge kid died a HORRIBLE agonizing death got off with NO JAIL TIME!!