Bunk Bed Bash or Not?

I posted this on Facebook last night; it made me slow down.   You know, stop and think . . .

Screaming child in the other room–1 hour and 45 minutes later . . . still fighting bedtime–this is part of adopting, too. Not handling it well tonight, though–wanting to do a little crying myself–when will this child go to bed on her own!

We adopted our second daughter on Mother’s Day, 2011.  While in China, she was scared of a bed-didn’t want us to cuddle with her at all.   Of course, no one could blame her.  Up until that point, she had never seen a bed. So, she spent many nights in a stroller. Can you imagine!  The only way we could get her to sleep was to push her through the halls of the White Swan wrapped up in my pink fleece; if we moved her, she would wake up.  Thus, her new bed became . . . the stroller (minus the popsicle, that is). .

One Month Home

We would either lie down with her or rock her to sleep.  She slept in a crib converted into a toddler bed.  Every night, we would lie down with her; once asleep, we would place her in the toddler bed next to ours.

Five Months Later

We sold the crib.

She was in her new room with her sister–still needed the same routine: either being rocked or one of us lying down in her bed with her.

Several Months Later

The words came, “Don’t like my room.  Room is scary.”


Almost fifteen months later, we are still rocking her–in our living room.  Some nights she falls asleep in five minutes, and other nights it is closer to fifteen.  Sometimes, she falls asleep on the couch while we finish up school work. Only occasionally, have we put her into the bunk bed half asleep.  Not now . . .

Last Night

So, in the midst of watching our daughter disconnect with us, her stiffening body screaming and trembling all over, I come across this blog post: Long Term Sleep Issues

I was reminded of this . . .

  • If I want to be “done” with mothering for the night and have my own agenda, my little one can sense this.  She is operating out of the “emotional” part of the brain not the logical.  Not sure how to change this–I am home all day long.  After all, I am only human and get tired, too.
  • Dad manages to stay calm every night.   I am thinking that he should do the night time routine.
  • Tiredness evokes grief . . . she is so busy during the day.  Then, the brain slows down; the emotions awaken.
  • Her birth parents left an emotional brain print.  Like many, the child falls asleep with their parents, but wakes up with strangers . . . in an orphanage.  Talk about trauma!

I get it!  She doesn’t want to lose her forever parents!  I wish I didn’t have to  be reminded of her past this way!  I know why . . .

Life gets in the way; life happens.

As far as a bunk bed bash, this sleeping arrangement with the two girls has not been a party by any means.  My oldest (adopted from China 2008) has not slept well for the last year. Mainly, because she was on the top bunk and misses the constant hugging and rocking at night–not to mention being the only girl.  We’ve resolved this problem two ways: Doing the Bottle and putting both beds on the floor–good-bye bunk beds.


A success story–our little one did crawl into her bed and stay there for a while.  I was on the other bed pretending to be asleep.  However, suddenly, she began to cry, seems to be panic-stricken.  My husband is away; it is up to me; thankfully, tonight, I am emotionally calm.  Back to the living room rocking chair!  Ten minutes later, she’s asleep and in her bed, down for the night.

Adoption is hard work; it is certainly not for the weary.  I am reminded of this verse:

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.  Acts 20:24 NIV

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