I’ve heard a couple of fellow prospective adoptive parents talk about the strange dreams they’ve had related to their adoptions. Up until this point, though, I’ve managed to avoid adoption-related dreams. I am not a good sleeper, but when I am sleeping, I tend to have some pretty vibrant dreams, and I often end up scratching my head in the morning, wondering what the heck a particular dream was all about. I do tend to believe that dreams are a manifestation of some sort of feelings we’re having, even if we’re not fully aware of those feelings in a conscious state.
So, last night I finally had an anxiety-based dream about our adoption. It was one of those that made me wake up with a startle, with my heart beating quickly and tears in my eyes. A deep dream, so to speak.
In my dream, we had traveled to Ethiopia and brought our baby home. We went straight to my mom’s house (which for some reason was our previous house in Baltimore), where several people I didn’t know had gathered. I was upset that people were not sufficiently oohing and ahhing over the baby, but I do have to say that I was good in explaining how we might be limiting who holds or feeds the baby because we were working on attachment. (So good for me for that part.)
At some point in the dream I realized that I was a terrible mother and that I was thoroughly unprepared for the baby, because we did not have any diapers, bottles, food, toys, bibs, clothes, blankets, or anything. But nobody (including Craig) thought that was bizarre. I got upset at myself for being so unprepared.
And then I realized why nobody thought it was weird that we didn’t even have any diapers or bottles. It’s because the “baby” I was holding in my arms was not a baby. It was a doll with a plastic head and stuffed arms and legs and goofy painted-on facial features. (I should also note that the doll was Asian, definitely not Ethiopian.) In the dream, I realized that everyone was just placating me and playing along, like they knew that I was totally nuts and that this “baby” was all I was ever going to have, even after going through the lengthy and arduous adoption process and traveling to Ethiopia. And that’s where I woke up.
I do have thoughts from time to time wondering if this adoption is really going to happen. I guess I’m trying to mentally prepare myself in case something goes wrong. But honestly, it’s not something that consumes me or that causes me a lot of anxiety. I have reached a point where I know, deep down, that it will all work out in the end. (Or at least I thought I had reached that point!) But it seems like this dream was a manifestation of some of those worries and anxieties – that all I’m going to end up with in the end is a doll and a much-needed trip to a mental health facility.
I imagine this won’t be the only adoption-related dream I have. We have lots of waiting time ahead of us, still, and I fear now that the floodgates have been opened. I guess time will tell.