I awoke several years ago from no ordinary dream. Have you ever had one of those. . . a dream you knew was important somehow? I’ve held onto it for several years and have understood in part what it meant. Over the last few weeks, I’ve come to understand it in its fullness.
There was a pickup truck in my backyard driving erratically. To my shock and dismay there was a teenage girl in the back hanging onto the top of the cab. I became sick with worry as I watched the driver spin and turn, putting the girl at great risk. Suddenly he hit a tree and the girl went flying and hit the ground. She got up and began stumbling straight towards me as I watched from my sliding glass door. She swayed and stumbled and had a far off, detached, “not there” look in her eyes. I opened the door as she neared and she literally fell into my arms.
I laid her on my kitchen floor and called 911. The paramedics immediately arrived, but this very odd thing happened that puzzled me in the dream and in reality. They said, “Ma’am we cannot treat her in your house, we have to take her outside to help her.” EMS set up the stretcher outside and carried her out and placed her on it and began treating her in the yard. At that, the dream ended and I awoke.
I’ve had a number of “hardest days ever” and most involve my daughter Jessica. For six months I had to watch her leave my home over and over for days at a time. She would glaze over when I told her they were coming to pick her up. Her eyes would change, she would detach and become catatonic. It was a mother’s hell. I couldn’t imagine what was happening to her and there was nothing I could do to stop it, short of kidnapping. The day we packed up all her things and watched the truck back in to load up her bed, toys and clothes was a painful, indescribable loss. Foster care is something I believe in with all my heart, but nothing has caused me as much pain. Jessica had been with us since birth and suddenly at two-and-a-half-years-old she was gone.
Yes we got her back, and now all of this would just be a sad memory, full of relief over the outcome, if it weren’t for the PTSD and attachment problems that this kind of trauma has caused Jessica long term. I’ve had well meaning people ask, “shouldn’t she be over that.” We have learned there is much to early childhood trauma and its effect on brain development.
All of this leads up to my most recent “hardest day ever”, the day we placed Jessica at House of Hope, a Christian group home for troubled teen girls. It felt like all the prayers for Jessica over the years culminated and came to fruition in one day. Like this was it. . . the answer, lots of answers and miracles big and small throughout the day. We prayed our way through every step of the way that day. And now I’m thinking, “Did all of this start the night of that dream? Was that the beginning? And since the dream, was every day and every prayer leading up to the one day when we would find the help she needed. . . the help that we couldn’t give her, the help OUTSIDE our home, just like the dream promised?”
House of Hope does feel like a dream come true. I thank God for leading us there.