Last night I had a dream the likes of which I haven't experienced in a long while. Before I conceived Garrett I had these vivid dreams where I had a child of my very own. I held the baby, snuggled the baby, stared at the baby and then I woke up. Inevitably I would feel a sense of intense sorrow that the child was merely imagined. When I was pregnant with Garrett I had a large number of dreams about him but he was always a girl-child despite the fact that even though I first suspected him to be a girl, by the last trimester I just knew that he was decidedly male. We didn't actually know because we chose not to find out. In the two years since his birth I have had a few dreams where I find out I'm pregnant but nothing actually involving an actual baby. Until last night.
It must have had something to do with the fact that we had our home visit yesterday. (P.S. I think it went well but we have to wait about three weeks to find out for sure.) I had the most intense dream about our future child. It was the first time I've ever dreamt about adoption. I woke up several times during the course of the night and, surprisingly, each time that I fell back asleep I fell right back into the dream. When I woke up this morning and it was light out I wanted to sleep the day away, just for the chance to stay in that dream.
I was in a room much like the Department of Motor Vehicles. I was waiting. And waiting. Couples around me were called, in no particular order, and a baby was handed to them. I don't remember the dream beginning, just that I had always been waiting. At first Troy was with me but we determined that I might be there for months--we actually had a conversation about that--and so he left to take care of our son. I kept waiting. Finally they brought me this baby. It was wrapped in a yellow blanket with a yellow hat on. In the dream I could feel my heart swelling and thumping crazily. I didn't know if it was a boy or a girl and it was really bothering me. I had to fill out paperwork and, after signing all the documents I considered my options. I could either take the baby out to the car and strip it of all its clothing to determine the gender or I could simply ask.
Me: Um, excuse me, just one last thing...
DMV Worker: Yes?
Me: Is this a girl or a boy?
DMV Worker: (Without looking up. As though it was a menial detail.) Girl.
Me: Thank you.
And then I looked at her and of course she was a girl. She was beautiful. She looked nothing like us but she was gorgeous. Her eyes were crystal blue and it gave me pause. I've always wanted a brown eyed daughter. But they were the most fantastic shade of blue I have ever seen and I gasped at how wonderful they were. I loved her entirely in that one glance.
Then I went crazy. I drove to work--my old job at Fast Radiator. I haven't worked there since before Garrett was born. I left her in the car and I started entering numbers into my computer. I knew I couldn't breast feed her but I didn't know what to do instead. This makes no sense because Garrett took bottles whenever I was teaching. Very few of them were pumped breast milk so I know how to do the formula thing. My mom came in and I asked her if she would go figure out what to feed the baby. I kept entering numbers. At the end of the day she came back. "Did you feed her?" I asked. "Not yet," my mom replied. I knew that she needed to be fed but there wasn't a sense of urgency. "I should probably feed her," I told my mom. "Maybe," my mom answered*.
I think I woke up at this point and had some kind of conversation with my dream self about how I'd better go back to sleep and feed that baby because I remember taking care of business after that. I'll spare all the details but my family was so cute. I somehow knew that it wasn't real. I knew I'd wake up and I wouldn't have her. And so I didn't want to wake up. I wanted her. When I finally woke up, my heart was heavy.
I don't know if we'll adopt a Caucasian female or an African-American male or an Asian baby. I don't know if it will be a boy or a girl or if it will have blue eyes or brown eyes or green eyes. But if my dream can be relied on for anything, I know that I will love that child immensely. It'll be strange to bottle feed exclusively. It will be different not to look for signs of my own self in his or her nose or mouth or ears. I think I will miss seeing the resemblance but, perhaps, not as much as he or she will. Things will be different. But things will be the same. Snuggle time will be just as sweet. Nights will be just as sleepless--probably more so given the fact that Garrett was Angel Sleeper. Baths will be just as fun, milestones just as monumental, diapers just as stinky. I will be just as much in love. My dream showed me that.
Now we wait. And I've never been very good at waiting.
*My mom is also quite smart when it comes to babies. She's not a total moron. It makes no sense that the two of us together could not figure out how to feed a small child.