Family picture

Family picture

Monday, March 15, 2010

Not gonna lie - it has been rough

Wow! The honeymoon faded with Elijah, and then came the tantrums.

Tantrums if we weren't holding his hand just right or if we had turned the wrong way while sleeping with him.

Tantrums if we didn't feed him just the right food at the right time.

Tantrums if we even walked a couple of paces this way or that!

It's been rough.

Rough on Elijah.

Rough on us.

Nothing we tried worked to help him feel more secure. In fact, the harder we tried to help him, the angrier he became.

Finally with the blessing of his cardiologist, pediatrician, and my brother (who is a counsler who has worked with a fair amount of people experiencing attachment disorder) and our gut feeling, we tried a little tough love. It seemed that our little Elijah Jiehao was a bit of a tyrant, going way beyond any security issues (or because of them). Philip couldn't even sleep in his own room, the room he shared with Eli because of the all-night tantrums (whether we were in there or not).

We moved Philip to our room once again and kept Elijah in his room with the benefit of a baby gate since he absolutely refused to stay in bed or in the bedroom for that matter. He would even race us to the door to try to get out before the gate closed. Trying to ease out of the room gently while keeping a raging little two-year-old in was a huge feat each nap and bedtime. Whew!

He began trying to take over Philip's bed as well with Philip out of the room, so Kevin felt that if we moved the beds around, Elijah's bed would be the one that had a view of the hallway.

Lack of sleep began to make us very grouchy and not seeing the cuteness of Eli during the day. We didn't have such warm and fuzzy feelings about him when he ruled the nights.

Thanks to our God that he led us a different way to help Elijah realize he was safe and secure here. With the help of the doctors, our family, and many adoptive families we know who have been there, Kevin and I were able to come up with a way that suited Elijah (after about a week) and kept our sanity so that we could be the parents he needed to guide him through this tough time.

Finally, after a long, long week, Elijah began to sleep in his bed. Then on Saturday night, we moved Philip back into the bedroom the boys shared. It worked! Elijah was so happy to have someone in the room with him that he only cried two times before going to sleep. The next night he happily went into the room, kept saying "Nie nie" to us with a smile on his face, and promptly went to sleep the entire night, waking this morning at 8:30!

The huge benefits in all of this . . .

Elijah feels more secure because he saw that we didn't leave him (even during his tantrums in his room we reassured him that we were still there) . . .

And he is so much sweeter and nicer during the day. Boy can we see his cuteness now! And we are wowed by it!

Introducing Elijah to playdoh

Being coy with his smile

Concentrating hard on that playdoh

Whoa - this stuff is cool!


Chasity said...

You are such a beautiful family and turning to God for strength is our best solution. I'm praying for you, but we know this to shall pass. He's a little cutie. Looks like he truly enjoyed the playdoh! So happy for all of you, hopefully sleep is helping everyone....been there (about 6 months of it..haha), praying he gets into the routine and everything calms down for you.

Lori said...

Wow, friend! That sounds incredibly difficult but I'm glad you found a solution. Hang in there! You are doing a great job!!

Jean said...

I cannot do anything without my sleep- I am not the Mom I want to be without sleep.

It sounds like you did some good problem solving and found some solutions to what was going on with Eli- good job!!

jasnjoj said...

Keep up the good work, Janet - and keep leaning on the source of ALL wisdom!

living4him5 said...

Oh Janet! Tough times for sure. We all need our sleep to think straight so I'm sure it was difficult. I am so grateful the Lord delievered you all! He made no mistake putting that child in your family. God is soooo GREAT!

Amy <><

Pam said...

Oh Janet, I am so sorry for your struggles. And life is not good for anyone without sleep. I kam so happy that you are beginning to say Eli's cute personality. It was several months with Kate that we finally were able to see her sweet and happy disposition. And probably not for a full year, that her little self was completely revealed to us. Just yesterday, Kate saw her Chinese passport photo and said, "I looked so sad, mommy." And she was. But no more, praise God.

Jocelyn-Chris said...

So glad to hear how you hung in there and toughed it out. Praying you continue to get a few extra ZZZZZs.

chrisandlaura96 said...

You sound like you deserve a major pat on the back and a hug (along with a nap)! Kudos to you for finding a way to work through that. Getting home from China really was the beginning of the adventure, wasn't it?!

The Berry Family Six said...

He is beautiful - and you definitely deserve a major pat on the back for sticking to your guns. Two year olds can be SO hard -- and it really does take everything you have just to keep it together. We love you guys and will pray that the craziness abates a little (I'm not crazy enough to suggest that it might end!!!)and that you continue to find the cuteness...some days, that's all that saves them!!!