Last night I had a dream. I was holding a wonderfully heavy, fat baby, with white, white skin. She was small enough to cradle in my arms, but long enough that her legs hung past my body. She was one, or maybe two years old.
In my dream we were caring for her temporarily, and then, in holding her, I realized "we can love her forever, she might not be the description we checked off on the form, but we love her."
I had forgotten the deeply satisfying feeling of calming a fretting child, seeking the perfect position and tone and motion to soothe them, until they slump against you in surrender and calm. I like soothing children. My dream reminded me.
Today I helped a friend plant apple trees. A novice gardener, she asked many questions, completely unsure of how to proceed. We dug our holes, we assessed the trees' positions, we back filled and watered. At the finish, two fine trees stood handsome, upright and perfect.
I know things about nurture that are hard to pin to one profession or describe on a resume. "I can calm a crying child", listed as one of my strengths, or "I can plant a tree properly", as one of my skills.
These are the two things I want right now - to find the child who is the missing puzzle piece in our family, and to help my own garden, and the gardens of others flourish.
Maybe I'll see that baby again tonight in my dreams, or maybe I'll dream of apple trees.