You are in our dreams.

We co-slept with Lola for three years.  Maybe, for us, a good 2.5 years too long. (eh, kind of kidding) It wasn't something we planned but it was just plain easier.  We tried more times than we could count to transition her to her own beautiful, iron crib.  By the age of 1, the pretty but hated crib came down and she had a toddler bed. Finally at almost 3 years old, she was sleeping in her own bed, now a twin.  We put a second twin mattress on her floor and Clay and I switched off every other night for two months sleeping in her room.  Finally- success!!  Then a month later, Oliver was born.  Co-sleeping wasn't his thing.  And neither was ours at this point.  After a few weeks, he slept wherever he wouldn't cry, which typically meant in a bouncy seat with weighted blankets or pillows on him and frequent bouncing at all hours of the night.  Co-sleeping started to sound much easier again.  But it never worked out and that was more than okay. 

So here's the deal.  I guess I created a snuggling snob of Lola. I normally don't like the word snob, but think of this as an affectionate term in this instance.  Lola loves to snuggle with me.  So it isn't unusual for her to still make her way to our room here and there.  Last night was one of those nights.  

Around 1 a.m. she crawls into bed with me. I lift the sheets enough for her to get settled in and as always, wraps her arm around me and goes right to sleep.  A couple hours later I wake up to find her staring at me with wide eyes and even a wider smile.  Creepy?  It would have been, but she was glowing.  I could tell she had something she was very excited about.  She didn't leave me anytime to wonder what it was… 

Lola: {With more excitement than anyone could handle} Do you know what I just dreamed about? 

Me: No, what? {curiosity had the best of me, although I was prepared for her to say something about a beach trip or cake with just icing}

Lola: Mei. {My heart perks up!} She was in my dreams.  She slept with me and then we woke up and I fixed her a cereal bar. 

Me: That's so sweet Lola. {In my sweetest voice, which we call our Jesus voice around here}

And we both smiled at each other, more connected than the hours before we went to sleep, and dozed back off. 

She woke up talking more about it and then at nap time, while I worked on the last of my dolls, typed this out.  (also want to note she printed a dozen copies and cut them, so she could give them out to family)    

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This is a long post based off one dream Lola had… but it's so much more.  It's about our family evolving.  About God being intertwined into all the details, even while we sleep. 

 A seed was deeply planted in my heart for Mei when Oliver was itty bitty and very unhappy.  As I worked endlessly to get him settled, happy and healthy with only enough room to make sure my marriage and daughter stayed cared for in the process, I had a deep yearning for Mei.  I knew God was preparing my heart and soul for our third child.  Oliver has taught me so much about life, children, parenting, and change.  He's taught Clay and I how to be a better team.  He's taught me to trust God and enjoy all the moments. He taught me how to advocate. He showed us what an incredible big sister Lola is. Oliver plays a very important role in our family. And he should.  Like me, he is now a middle child.  He's the creme in the Oreo.  He will hold us all together in a unique way.

Fast forward three years- this planted seed has grown and grown in all of our hearts.  God used lots of baby tears and turned them into a sea of love. Last month, we got the sweetest picture.  And a very short description of a little one who had been in an orphanage for over two years.  Our hearts were broken, but bonded.  

Our kids also soaked in that moment. Their hearts were softened, and curious, and ready to bring Mei home.  Both kids talk about her often.  Lola is adamant on sharing a room with her and Oliver carriers her picture around. Clay and I have the sweetest, most intimate conversations about the love we have for all THREE of our children now.

So to have my six year old Lola wake up to tell me she saw her sister in her dreams makes me cry.  It makes me cry because Mei is ours and all of our hearts are fully open to her.  It makes me cry because God shows up in unique ways to prepare us and show us love.  It makes me cry because the seed keeps growing. It makes me cry because I wonder if we are in Mei's dreams.  She is in ours, but even more, she is in our hearts, our minds, and our soul.  She is loved unconditionally and we haven't even held her yet.

Sweet Mei, I hope God places us in your dreams and hearts.  Sending you lots of love, my girl, as I impatiently wait to hold you.