I dream of her often, hurt and well. Within these dreams, I'm often times on the brink of waking, but fighting to stay.
During the adoption process, we were allowed to send four care packages. Everything had to fit within a one gallon sized ziploc bag. I wish you could have seen ours (and I imagine every adoptive family sending one of these). Dave has a reputation of maximizing every millimeter of space within a storage unit or U-haul, but in my eyes, this would be his actual greatest feat.
We'd go shopping for our girl, pick the sweetest and most adorable, and then I'd cycle through the arduous task of narrowing and laying out the most precious of all for him. I'd then beg, "Honey, please make them fit." With a plastic bag and a cozy litter of tiny onesies, a super soft blanket, plush animal shaped rattle toys, and a never to forget disposable camera, he'd sit in front of the game and let the folding and unfolding begin. I'd come and go, sometimes catching glimpses of a big poof with an odd rattle out. I'd be somewhere in the house and around the corner he'd come with the "thank God for a good zip on that bag" and nothing in hand. I'd laugh and cheer as if it were the happiest day. And it was, because this one-gallon plastic bag was our only tangible connection, the only real way for us to share all our love for a girl who felt a zillion miles away.
So in my dream this morning, we were at the airport, filling out forms with our puff of a care package. The man took out a list of cities in Guatemala. He asked where we were traveling? In unison and without looking at the paper, we answered, "Guastatoya."
We arrived in the town where Aviana was from; her foster family is in the home. Her foster mother, Gladys, tells us she's in the back room.
By this time, in my dream and in real life I could hear Dave getting ready in the bathroom. This has happened many times before, so I try and stay calm, but beg...Please let me stay. I need to see her.
Dave and I both have all the knowledge of everything that's happened to her, to us. We give one last look to each other and open the door. Aviana is lying on the bed. She's healthy, happy, and smiling. We run to her side. We hug and smother her in kisses. We both tell her how much we love her. We can't stop looking at her, touching her hair, and feeling her soft skin.
The clanking from the bathroom is demanding. It's pulling me from her. I try desperately to stay, to keep holding her, but I can't. I have no choice. I give in and open my eyes.
All ready for work, Dave walks out from the bathroom. He's used to my dreams. Although I'm sure he should be going, you wouldn't know it. I begin to tell him, once I get to a certain part, I break. He comes and sits on the edge of the bed. He rubs my legs, and listens. We sit in silence for a little, letting it all soak in.
He says, "If only we could have one more day." I admit that I don't think I'd want one. He asks, "Isn't that what your dream was about? Just having one more?" I'm unsure, but say one would never be enough. It would be a tease. I'd only want more.
We talk some more about Aviana and then he asks if I'm okay. I know it must not be easy for him to leave after I wake from these dreams, but I'm happy to have them. I'd rather feel her, than nothing at all.
I tell him I'm okay, and it's true. I am.