I dreamt about our daughter last night.
We’d brought her home, except for some reason, my dad went to Africa to get her instead of me. When he got back, all the family was gathered into my parents’ house to welcome her home.
Except, it wasn’t my parents’ house in the dream — it was some huge mansion — and there was no grand entrance or fanfare when they arrived. They just walked in, Dad sat down on the sofa next to me, and Pearl started up the stairs to go play with the other kids that were there.
She was wearing her purple school dress, and her hair had grown out a bit, twisted into tiny braids around her head. She was very thin and barefoot, but sweet and peaceful. She paused a moment on the stairs to say, “I want to go home now.” And I remember feeling confused, wondering if she meant back to Uganda or to our house.
I told her it was OK, that she would be home soon.
And then she vanished around the corner. I immediately started feeling antsy as the relatives bombarded me with questions. I just wanted to go upstairs and sit with her and get to know her. When I said I was going to go check on Pearl, several of the people around me rolled their eyes, as if that was a totally dumb thing to do.
I went up, and found her, playing on the floor with dolls in one of the bedrooms, with three or four other kids playing different things around her. She smiled at me and said a few words, but seemed content to stay there, playing. I went back to the stair case, but as I descended, the steps became narrower and narrower, until only the back edge of my heel could fit on each step and I was gripping the rails so tightly to keep from slipping off and crashing to the bottom.
And then I woke up.
It was one of those odd dreams where the emotions felt SO real. The pull that I had to be with her was so strong; the protectiveness I felt over her was just like what I feel in real life for my biological children. And though I’m scared of heights and ladders, I wasn’t really scared of that vanishing staircase. It just ticked me off that it was getting harder to navigate, but I dug in and made it to the bottom without falling.
When I woke up, I felt so sad to realize it was just a dream and she wasn’t really here.
Funny how much you can miss someone that you’ve never met….