Fear, it can be a very debilitating feeling. It can paralyze your body, your mind, your will…your hope. Fear is powerful…..but so is courage. Courage tells fear, “you are not bully anymore!” Courage tells Fear, “get out of the way because if God be for me, WHO can be against me!”
Courage bosses fear to the ground.
And I am so proud of my Helaina and Tahlia….and myself, really.
Let me start with some background info.
I have always put Tahlia to sleep, whether it be on my chest, in my arms, with my arms on her chest, rocking her, holding her in my bed, in her bed….whatever it may be, she has always been put to sleep with me….it was her security. I was her security. That’s a good thing. I learned that this would be “our way” after many failed attempts to try it “my way”.
This was something that God showed me was very needed for her little tender heart. I was once given the wise advice (from another adoptive mommy) to consider your child a newborn (no matter the age) upon coming home with you…emotionally, that is. This understanding is so important in creating a secure and strong bond with your adoptive child.
When you give birth to your biological child, you feed, rock, hold for hours and put them asleep in your arms. This is so vital to create the fierce and inseparable mother/baby bonds. To instill the “you are safe, and you are taken care of” security in your baby. It builds the brain, it wires the brain…..
Well, the same is true for your adopted child…..no matter the age.
No one would balk at someone for rocking, bottle feeding or co-sleeping with your newborn or infant. But, I think….too often, there is a lot of criticism of adopting parents who are in the midst of creating these bonds with their older children through the methods of attachment parenting.
I am so grateful that the Lord released me from the fears that I would “spoil” her too much by rocking, co-sleeping, not forcing her into nursery without family, not allowing her to cry herself to sleep ( tried once, it was UGLY).
Peace to know that it is OK not to push her ….and I needed to go at her pace.
He taught me how to love her the way she needed to be loved. I am not saying this has been an easy road of surrender, and I have had to learn, in many situations the hard way, but it’s been freeing to give it up to Him…
I guess it just takes understanding, something I certainly did not have before I was an adoptive mommy. I had to live it to understand it.
I praise God for the grace that He has given me to understand the vitalness of this truth. Tahlia has always dealt with her grief in the night-time. She has had numerous night terrors, and abrupt awakenings where she would SCREAM out for mommy as if I was gone forever.
We have come to the conclusion that this is the result of her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that can happen in adoptive children.
I am so grateful to have had this knowledge and understanding of Tahlia, because it has allowed me to give her SO much grace when it comes to situations that “with my bio-kids” was just not an issue, we just trained them and it was, as it was….done. Like, for instance….nursery at church. (that is a whole other post)
K, back to the “Breakthrough”
I was noticing that Tahlia was just very squirmy when I would lay with her or rock her to put her down. It was taking longer and longer to get her to sleep, even after she had been up for over 12 hours.
So, after praying the Lord gave me the charge that she was now ready to start to learn to go to sleep in her own bed.
I knew that this would be hard…..for both of us. But, the signs were pointing the fact that she was ready, and more importantly, God was giving me a peace.
**Side note: No matter what the books say, the experts say….friends say, God’s PEACE trumps ALL!
So, the first night I laid her in her bed and told her that she was going to be going to sleep like her siblings, like a big girl but that mommy would stay here in her room till she fell asleep.
Oh my, that first night….it was AWFUL!
I decided to document in through Instagram, because I knew God was holding me, and I didn’t want to forget how COMPLETELY reliant I was on Him for strength.
Here was my pic and text from that night:
This is how sweet girl fell asleep tonight. My position was similar as I was praying non-stop to The Lord to give her peace and comfort. This was The first time I laid her down awake to fall asleep on her own. I was in the room with her yet did not pick her up. Though i gave her many hugs in between. It was so hard. I cried and cried when she finally stopped screaming and wailing and fell asleep with her head in her hands. So pitiful. Praying for strength and wisdom to help her learn that she “can” do this. She can fall asleep in her own bed. I can’t do this w/o the Lords intervention and strength. I know that we’ve come to the place where this step is needed…..but it’s so hard to see your baby devastated :(. #Godgivemestrength
Yes…it was VERY hard. And it took courage In God’s charge to me….
I was so encouraged by some dear friends‘ comments on my instagram, comments that they were praying for me as well…
for instance, here is one of my encouragements that was posted! (thank you)
” It’s sooooo very hard…you are doing a great job and its amazing how God meets us right in those moments as we cry out to HIM. He sees our tears and knows our hearts. It becomes a form of worship even in the midst of it all. Hang in there it will get better:)”
I so needed to read that.
And, she was SO right, I was CLINGING to God, and felt so close to Him as I prayed over my sweet tender-hearted little girl.
This was my Tolly-pop the next morning upon learning that she had fallen asleep in her own bed!
Well, the next night there still was some tears….but a lot LESS.
And, she fell asleep…on her pillow.
and the next night…NO TEARS at all! HALLELUIAH!!!! PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!
I mentioned that she was a “squirm-er” and that was one way the Lord was revealing to me that she was ready to learn to put herself to sleep.
Well, she is so funny. She will move around so much and arrange her “Friends” (stuffed animals) in just the perfect way, cover herself, uncover herself, cover her friends…uncover her friends.
She is a mover, and this is how she ends up most nights….
I still sit in a chair by her bed till she puts herself to sleep. That’s when I get to do my Kindle reading. I like that. Those quiet moments are good for me.
And, that is where we are at now….and that is fine.
She still gets weepy some nights, but I will hug her and reassure her that mommy will be with her in the morning…..that she will be alright and she CAN DO THIS!
She still will 5 out of 7 nights wake during the night and call (n anxiety and terror) out to me, and I will still bring her to bed with me. I don’t mind at all….and I know that she wont be doing this for the rest of her life….I cherish it, actually…
And, it seems that what was usually a 2am wake-up, since falling asleep on her own, she has been extending it till 3 or 4 am. …and 2 -3 out of 7 nights not at all! That‘s pretty cool!
I am so amazed at how the Lord has answered my cries for peace over these sweet girls
and on to our next BREAKTHROUGH…
my 10 yo….
Oh my girl…she has been a victim of fear and anxiety when it comes to the night-time sleep thing. It has really been an issue. It‘s been so hard. We had tried everything…..well, recently She has allowed courage to boss her fear around …to the ground!
She has (this whole week) fallen asleep without mommy in bed with her. She has fallen asleep on her own!
THIS IS HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so proud of her!!!
I can’t believe that the Lord has allowed both of these girls to experience a victory in this area at the same time!!!! That is just AWESOME!
I am rejoicing in His power, and the power of prayer.
Praying that we stay on an uphill journey, but prepared for setbacks…cause, after all they are children, and children are NEVER predictable! 😉