It was early on a Wednesday morning in April, 2013 when I awoke to screaming.
Well, not in the sense you might expect. The screaming was in my head. I’d been shaken out of slumber by a “Double-D Dream”. I call it that because two instructions were rattling my brain and they both started with the letter “D”:
“Do it now,” and “Don’t ask why.”
I’ll never know what thoughts had danced through my mind as I fell asleep the night before, but I can tell you what I was thinking when my eyes popped open.
“WOAH! That was fricken’ crazy!”
For the first time in over forty years, my mysterious birth family had visited me in my sleep!
The Double-D Dream. Oh My! What It Revealed!
I couldn’t have known it at the time, but the people I saw in my dream were, in fact, my long-lost relatives.
Like many kids who create imaginary friends, I was no different. In fact, I had several.
My imaginary pals were my biological parents and my unknown siblings. I wasn’t very creative. I envisioned them all looking exactly like me. We were a family of brunettes with thick, curly hair, olive skin and hazel eyes. The women were exactly my size and I pictured the men being tall and bulky. We all had terrible vision, crooked teeth and each of us were missing our adult canines.
After my children were born, I modified the part about the eye color and allowed my birth mother to have blue eyes, realizing that somebody in my biological family must have passed that gene down since it didn’t come from their dad or me.
That notion was confirmed when, during one of my many search episodes, my adoptive mother recalled that a woman at the adoption agency had mentioned something about my birth mother having “beautiful eyes.”
But that Double-D Dream shot the pictures of my long-lost family to pieces (with the exception of the blue-eyed mother). Most of the characters who visited my slumber were shorter than me and my sister had blond hair!
Obviously, I’d watched something on T.V. and my mind had woven the actors into images of my birth family.
Okay … so they looked different, but it sure felt good to be around them!
Despite the obvious mix-up in their appearance, I couldn’t shake the feeling of their presence. When I awoke, I was covered in an emotional warmth I’ve never experienced.
I felt … complete.
I mean, I’d always thought I was a fairly comprehensive gal, emotionally, but after the dream, I realized I’d been walking around with some lose internal wires and it felt magnificent when they finally connected!!!
By lunchtime, I was about to burst! I had to tell somebody!
As always, Susie listened intently and, in typical Susie-style, she was excited for me (I think she may have even shed a tear.)
“Do you think you’ll look for them again?” she asked.
The Double-D’s pounded in my head, “Do it now. Don’t ask why.” But, I shooed them away.
“No,” I answered. “I’ve tried. It’s impossible to find them.” I simply didn’t have any information to go on, nor did I know how to circumvent those ridiculous closed-adoption laws in Arizona.
But the memory of the dream continued to shower me with those wonderful, unfamiliar gushes of comfort and security. And that marvelous … completeness.
I couldn’t deny that this was unlike any dream I’d ever had, so …
Surrendering to the Obvious
After two days of skipping around in the tulips (enjoying the emotional comfort brought by the dream) and slapping away an invisible drill sergeant (ignoring the Double-Ds), I finally talked to Ed about it.
“It’s a sign,” he said, confirming what I had been trying to avoid.
I’d always been afraid of finding my birth family. It was risky, stepping into a secret world surrounded by unknowns.
“I need to try again,” I admitted. “If there’s even a remote chance I can feel the way I did in that dream, I have to take it.”
Saying those words, I knew I needed to prepare for anything. Unlike the dream, the reality of searching again could be devastating. Maybe we wouldn’t find them at all, or worse, the reunion would be disastrous. But, I had to take the chance.
“Will you help me?” I asked and, of course, Ed jumped onboard.
He’d already tried to surprise me in the past, making efforts to commence a search but, after speaking to several “professionals”, he came to realize that the only way to find my elusive relatives would be to drain our bank accounts, fake a terminal illness and deceive our way through the system. Even then, success was unlikely.
But this time it was different. It was as though God had sent the dream to me and He wasn’t going to lift it from my thoughts until I surrendered to His will and searched again.
My Dream – God’s Vision
Four days after the dream and two days after Ed and I decided to start a new investigation, God placed a row of stepping stones in my path, guiding me directly to the answers I sought. I’d attempted some of these roads before but they’d always led me into walls. This time, they opened up as though somebody was going before me, shoveling away the bricks so I could get through.
Within a month, I learned the basics of my origin. My mother was 20 years old and came from a huge family. My father was 21. My maternal grandfather was a bank president and my grandmother was a college-educated mother of ten.
Realizing these minor aspects of my heritage was like discovering a mountain of gold!
If you’ve grown up knowing your parent’s first names, it may seem funny to you. But, I grew up wondering what the first letter might be. Hearing her actual name was like listening to a song from God, being whispered in my ear.
When I finally got to speak to my mother, I told her about my dream. I shared every detail with her – how I felt, how we interacted, and how she, my sister, and my father looked.
“That wasn’t a dream, honey,” she said. “That was a vision.”
She told me that the man I described (short in stature, dark hair and walking with a cane) was my father. He was about my height and walked on a cane when they met.
Likewise, the sister I saw in the dream matched the description of her other daughter. Amazing!
The dream was from God. There was no other explanation.
I also told my mother about a question I’d asked her in the dream.
“Does my father know I exist?”
“No,” she’d answered.
I was stunned by her reply. It had never occurred to me that my biological father may not have been aware of me.
Speaking to my mother for the first time, she acknowledged that the answer I received in my dream was, in fact, reality. She’d never told my father about me. She was scared and ashamed. They had broken up. She didn’t know what else to do.
Although surprised, I wasn’t upset. I couldn’t imagine what she must have gone through, being pregnant, alone, and having to sign away her rights in hopes of giving me a better life.
“Do you still want to find him?” she asked.
I confirmed that I did.
She offered to help in any way she could, but admitted that it wouldn’t be easy. She’d only known him by his nickname and since he wasn’t aware of me, we both speculated on how I would make my presence known.
Maybe I was being selfish, but I needed to know the other side of my history.
… And I felt like God wanted me to continue searching.
So, God Led Me Further
Five months after meeting my amazing birth mom, I found my father. That was another God-driven moment.
Joyce, the confidential intermediary who’d blessed me with the discovery of my mother, had run out of options. She emailed me the week before, informing me that there was nothing more she could do. I thanked her for her efforts and released her of further search efforts.
The morning I found my father, I’d arose at 4 a.m. and begun working in my home office. After an hour, something told me to Google my father’s name again. I’d already done so at least 50 times and received useless results. But, the “voice” that told me to do it was exactly the same as what I’d heard after my dream. It wasn’t from me. It was from God.
So I typed his name into the search engine.
I exited the search engine, but that “voice” was persistent and told me to add an extra letter to the end of his name.
“Why would anybody spell this name with two D’s?” I wondered.
But I typed it anyway, with “DD” on the end.
Wait. What was this?
There it was. The first option at the top of the screen; my father’s nickname, spelled with two “D’s”. Beside it was a list of places he’d lived in the past. Leavenworth, KS.
What were the chances that this man with the unusual nickname had lived in the same place my parents had met?
I slipped on my detective cap and went to work, eventually finding a picture of this man on Facebook via another family member (he didn’t have his own FB page).
It was like staring at an older, male version of … myself!
I knew I’d found my father.
God’s Perfect Plan. God’s Perfect Timing.
Thankfully, my father handled the news of his 43-year old surprise with opened arms. I think he even sent out some birth announcements to some close friends and family.
When I expressed surprise at how readily he’d received me, he told me that God had prepared his heart years before.
It was as if my father was waiting to be found.
I never imagined that God would use two “D’s” to lead me to both my birth mother and birth father. But He did.
It didn’t happen on my terms or in my timing. It happened in His perfect way.
In hindsight, I understand why God let me wait. I wasn’t ready to find them when I started looking at age 20. Chances are, they weren’t ready to be found. They were still raising their other children and I was having children of my own.
But, God knew when we would all be ready and then He spoke. When He did, the term “Double D” took on a whole new meaning for me!
Now I have a lovely blue-eyed birth mother, a beautiful blond sister, and a treasured father who has been known to walk with a cane. God showed them to me before I knew what was happening, and now I know the prequel to my life story!
The family I saw in my dream not only welcomed me, but gifted me with another sister, two brothers, aunts, uncles, and step-parents.
Unanswered, But Not Forgotten
Do you have a dream that’s gone unanswered for decades?
Pray about it, step aside, and give it to God. He hasn’t forgotten you. In His perfect time, He’ll guide you to it.
Maybe you’ll hear “Do it now. Don’t ask questions,” or maybe the voice will instruct you to add two “D’s” to the end of a casual nickname.
But chances are, the message He’ll send will be completely different. Either way, it will be personal and you’ll know it’s from Him.
God waits for the stars to align and everybody to be in their perfect place. Sometimes this never happens. Maybe it’s because we aren’t listening to His promptings. Maybe it’s somebody else who isn’t listening.
But when it strikes, it’s marvelous!
Keep your heart open and pray for others to do the same. Listen closely. He is waiting to bless your dreams and place stepping stones before you.
Trust Him. He’s a pretty smart guy.