That time I met an internet bestie at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Nothing made our trip to Walt Disney World more fantastic than meeting kindred spirits we couldn’t wait to meet! So I have this thing where I am socially awkward in real life. I have this other thing where I collect friends on the internet. Some of my favorite people in the world are people I met through a little group that I started on Facebook called “Affording International Adoption” about a year after we brought our son home. While there may be a group called that now, it isn’t mine – I shut ours down years ago because I just couldn’t handle the spammers. It was a cool group while it lasted though, I got to watch people come in because they wanted to adopt but they thought the paperwork and travel cost would keep them from it coming to fruition. One by one I watched friends adopt, I watched some foster, I watched a few have surprise babies the old fashioned way. Some families came together quickly without bumps, but those were few and far between. Adoption tends to be a roller coaster, and often times a longer ride than you expected when first got in line.
Adoptive mamas have a sisterhood and kindred spiritness that is unlike anything else. I feel some of these people understand me better than very very good life long friends and family. That isn’t to discount or minimize family and in life friends, but adoptive mamas are my tribe. And if you know me even a little bit, you know I also belong to a Disney nerd tribe too.
So you know what kind of friend is just too good to be true? Adoptive mamas who nerd out on Disney. None of those people live in my hometown, but the internet brought us together.
A stranger named J from a State far from my own joined our little affording international adoption group. While I wouldn’t ‘friend’ every single person that came into that group, J and I were meant to be friends. She had two biological kids and they hoped to adopt a little girl, their hearts were set on Ukraine. We wanted to adopt again too, we weren’t sure from where but we also hoped for a girl, both of us were open to some special needs. Anyway, we had a lot to talk about so we became Facebook friends. We shared our dreams of adoption and our frustrations as both of us had several bumps in the road.
Over the years we watched one another take trips with our family’s to Disney Parks – we always went to Disneyland – she was always at Walt Disney World.
It took us both longer than we thought it would, but we both were eventually matched with the most perfect little girls our families ever could have dreamed of. In the time that we have known one another we have been a virtual shoulder to cry on when adoptions fell through, we were a listening ear, we were there to pray for one another when we both felt our original direction was maybe not where we were supposed to go. Both of our families ending up adopting from a country other than the one we started in; the country we were sure we were called to. All that to say, we’ve been through a lot together. Our common experiences were difficult and unique and while some may find the internet to be impersonal, I found it to be the opposite.
Well wouldn’t you know it, one day we both went to Walt Disney World on the SAME DAY! When we spent a week at Walt Disney World in May we wanted to visit each park for at least one day. We only had one day at Hollywood Studios.
We found out about a week before we went that it just happened to be the same day J and her whole family was going! ARE YOU KIDDING?! So lucky! They had a big family to entertain and we had our big family to entertain but we had to meet up if only for a couple pictures. We all had fast passes for different rides so it didn’t make sense to do much more than a quick meet and greet, but we had to!
Our family had pre-screened Inside Out as part of our conference that morning and we rushed over to Hollywood Studios right after. We ate PB & J as we rode the bus (I think technically you aren’t supposed to eat on the buses so it isn’t an endorsement of such practices) and hurried in the gates. Our friends had stopped for lunch at a restaurant and we basically just crashed their family time for an hour or so.
It was neat to see the little girls we had prayed for. I fought the urge to scoop up Little Miss H (I assume J fought the same urge with Little Miss C) and squeeze her tight! I wanted to say “I love you! You are so cute and I love your pictures and I love your family and I am so happy you are home!”, but that would be crazy…. H has only been home a few months and she doesn’t have Facebook so she has no idea who I am. I got down on my knees and just said “Nice to meet you Sweet Pea, it sure is hot today huh?” and J said similar non crazy things to Little Miss C.
We went on for a few minutes about how weird it is to see one another in person, we enthusiastically hugged one another’s husbands (who literally could not have picked either of us out in a line up, but we knew them because of course – Facebook) and then we kinda just talked like old friends who are meeting up for a short visit do.
J’s family had been to Hollywood Studios before, but this was our first time. We talked about some of the similarities between Hollywood Studios and Disney’s California Adventure Park and we urged them to come and see that for themselves. The kids talked about school stuff and the souvenirs they had bought.
We found a quiet corner (which was no easy task because it was BUSY that day!) and took some photos together. I don’t want to brag (yes I do), but I mean…. that is a whole lotta cute on one bench!
Shameless plug for my friend because she let me use her family in a story…. if you are in Tennessee you should hire her to be your family photographer. She’s in Chattanooga and you should go to her. No, she did not take these pictures, I did. She is way better – make sure to check out her site.
Disclaimer : I am not suggesting you friend strangers on the internet – this could have ended badly. J could have been an axe murderer, luckily for my whole family she was not. Luckily for her family we are not. Don’t meet strangers on the internet kids. #basescovered
Oh, and here are some pictures from Hollywood Studios – we did NOT spend enough time there! We hope to be back someday!
It was a HOT day when we visited, but sitting under a big canopy and watching an awesome show was so much fun! We highly recommend Disney’s Hollywood Studios!