Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hard Days Night

We can file this "report" under the keeping it real title -- I appreciate when other Adoptive Parents give the details straight up, and I have tried to do the same throughout my journey. It's nice then when you hit a rough patch to know that you aren't the only one!

Last night was a rough night and so was this morning. Tatiana seems to enjoy being around the other children - and she's a bit of a copycat. I think being around other children is a bit of normalcy in a mixed up world for her right now. The problem is - sometimes in the hotel room she wants to go out - wants to be social - wants to be with the other kids.

Ivan the coordinator stopped by late last night (late meaning like 8pm) to do the paperwork for the consulate. T was already in her crib, but she hadn't fallen asleep. We were quiet for the most part, but she knew something was up - so she didn't go to sleep. After Ivan left, she heard the door close - which started the evening's proceedings. Then about 5 minutes later some children ran through the hall. All part of living in a hotel - no biggie. HOWEVER, in my suite her crib is right next to the spare door to the hall that we don't use. She heard the kids and she was DONE. No going back. She wouldn't stop crying unless I sat next to her crib and sang. I am sure for any hallway traffic the combination was deadly! Especially my singing.

The kicker is with adopted children you shouldn't "ferberize" them (aka let them cry it out). They need to know that you are there and that they are cared for. However, it's also important to keep them on their schedule. Well what do you do when the two don't meet? I called Lisa because I just didn't know what to do anymore. She was out of the crib and running around the room laughing and giggling at 10pm. No signs of slowing...

I ended up pushing the crib into the middle of the living room so that I could lay on my very small loveseat next to her crib. She could see me - I could touch her and yet I wasn't on a rock hard floor with not much wall to lean against. I stayed with her until she FINALLY dozed off. She woke up twice in the night and cried for about 2 minutes before she fell asleep. Then she woke around 6:30am and didn't want to go back to sleep. I resummed my post on the loveseat and we dozed for another hour and half or so until she wasn't having anything to do with snozing anymore.

All was fine after that until it was time to go pick up her passport and go to the doctor. The instant that she saw Sergei's car, she started crying. She cried ALL the way downtown until we stopped at the MOE office. While Sergei went inside she and I walked around (slid on the ice is more like it!) and she was fine again until he returned and it was time to get back in the car. She cried all the way to the passport office - all through the passport office and then all the way back to the car and to the doctors office. She had a break at the doctors office while the "men" left and the female doctor helped me calm her down. The trick? A "laughing" bunny that while you pushed his tummy he laughed. She LOVES thing like that. Unfortunately, the Baby Einstein caterpillar that I brought that did just that broke about 5 minutes after she got here. NICE!!

She cried most of the way home until I started to rock with her in the car again - by this time I had tried EVERYTHING - rocking, singing, tickling, distraction - anything. The rocking finally helped and she rocked on my lap for about the last 8 minutes in the car. I don't think Sergei approved, but it's her soothing mechanism and after almost 2 hours of crying -- she needed to calm down.

We got back into the hotel room around 12:30ish. I had asked at the front desk to have them move her crib into my room. I know most of you are shaking your head thinking NOT THAT! But I have to do something to assure her that I am here and she is safe and get her AWAY from the door. Not only does it wake her up - but I am sure she's keeping the other kidlets awake, not to mention the adults who must think I am a horrible mommy!

Rhonda should have landed in Vlad - Sergei went off to the airport to get her. She'll be a much welcome face at this point. I still miss my Sara + Steven & Heidi + Mike (Vlad's not the same without you); but I am EVER so thankful for Lisa + Andrew and Jeanette who have been my saving grace these past two weeks. Nothing like walking with someone on this journey!

If you are a prayer sayin kinda person - say a couple for Ivan's safe (and speedy) travels to Moscow for us this week. It's a really TIGHT schedule. He leaves for Moscow on Wednesday and returns Saturday morning around 9:15am. Rhonda, T and I are scheduled to leave @ noon -- so the planets need to be aligned! No delays please!! Otherwise, we may be here until Monday as I don't think there is a flight on Sunday!! Paka!


jeanette wunderly said...

Hang in there! You are doing great! Don't worry about bringing her crib into your room. You all be much better off if you have some sleep. Things will all be easier to deal with when you are in your own home. I'm sure you and T will fall into a schedule together soon. You are almost there!!!

Anonymous said...

Rhonda we are definitely keeping you and little T in our prayers. Hopefully this will pass and you will get into a routine that is good for both of you.
We're praying for a safe trip home too.
Hang in there, it only gets better.
Hugs, Mary

Lisa said...

I think the crib in the room is a good move. And not to add extra worries about your Saturday flight - but the Monday flight is sold out and the next flight is on Wednesday.

findingourdaughter said...

So sorry to hear T is having a rough time. This too shall pass (we hope, right?). You are doing everything right....she can't realize yet that things are better, she is trying to cling to anything familiar (other kids, etc.). I don't think moving the crib is a bad idea at all.....if she sleeps WITH you in the bed....that might be a hard thing to change later, but maybe not--right now you are in survival whatever works. As I've told you before, you are such a strong person Amy....hang in there. I know these days must seem LONG (heck, the days my 2 don't have school seem LONG, LOL)--but once y'all get home, it will be easier to work it all out. Praying you make that flight on Saturday, I'm sure it is due time to come home.
Big Hugs!!! Praying for you and little T! Wish I could be there to help you.

Heather said...

Big prayers coming your way. We will definitely be praying that you get to head home on time - especially after seeing Lisa's comment! It sounds to me that you are doing a great job given the situation with T. Hang in there. I am glad to hear that Rhonda has arrived to give you a hand!

Joy said...

I will pray for the speedy return of Ivan. Maybe I am crazy but I do not think that you are crazy to move her crib.

I have planned on starting out with Little Banana's crib in my room.

This challenge will pass.


Becky and Keith said...

Hey there Mama! I should probably email you because this is going to be long winded (as is everything else I write). My advice to you is forget all of the "rules" and everything the books say to do. I was a first time mom of a toddler with Andrew and had a "plan" and knew how things "should" work. I tried that for, oh, a few days and then just did what my gut told me. Sometimes Andrew slept in the bed with us, sometimes I carried him around and sang until I thought my back was going to break, sometimes I let him cry it out for a while (checking in every 5 mins or so) just to let him exhaust himself. Whatever your gut tells you to do as a mommy is a-ok. I think bringing the crib in is an awesome idea. Rocking her instead of her rocking herself might help her realize that you're not going anywhere and calm her more quickly. Trust me, there were nights in Moscow that Keith and I paced around the bedroom holding Andrew (passing him back and forth because he was so darn heavy!) and singing "Twinkle, Twinkle" 1,000 times in order to get him to just chill out. My other advice (which you totally didn't ask for, but when did that stop me?!? :-)) is to have a little mental breakdown in the bathroom after a day like you had. Once she's asleep, turn the shower on and have a good cry. You'll feel 100% better the next day and ready to tackle everything. You are doing an AWESOME job and it sounds like you have a very strong willed child (I can TOTALLY relate). Just wait until the teenage years. :-) hehehehe... Anyhow, sorry to be so long winded, I just wanted to tell you that we're cheering you on! I hope Rhonda got there safely - it'll be great to have an extra set of hands. If I can be of any help, please just let me know!


Roger and Joanne said...

Those were trying circumstances for sure. I think you did a great job and handled everything perfect. The crib going in your room is not a big deal. If you weren't in a suite and in just a regular room, she'd be with you.
Glad Rhonda is arriving, that will definitely help you emotionally, too.
It'll get better and you know that. You just have to cling to that for now.
Take care. You're great!

Anonymous said...

Hi....been reading your blog for a while. My advice (we adopted 2 children ages 4 and 5 from Russia...almost 4 years ago), is to just survive while anything that quiets the child and gets you sleep. Once you are home you can start any schedule you think is best. My biggest mistake while still in Russia was to stop our children from having tea. I was horrified that they only drank very sweet I switched them to "heathy" drinks....never thinking that they would be going through caffeine and sugar withdrawal. Hang in are doing fine. Praying for you, Denise

Lindsay said...

Don't worry too much about keeping T. on the orphanage schedule. You need to make your own, not feel the need to keep to theirs. If she has one nap a day rather than 2: fine. If she has it late morning rather than afternoon: fine. You and she will get into your own rhythm. You can't keep her on the orphanage schedule because she no longer lives that kind of regulated (unstimulating) life. Let her find her sleep time naturally - it will make it a lot easier for you too. And absolutely - have her as near your bed (in your bed even) if possible. Hannah only recently got over her attachment issues enough to co-sleep and it has been a massive step forward in her strength of attachment and reassurance of my being there for her.

If she's hating the car rides, maybe a pacifier would help?

And not to depress you, but Hannah didn't sleep thru the night for 3-4months. And right now for the last 6 weeks again she is up several times. :( It took over a year before she would fall asleep in my arms without a fight. In the beginning - first couple of months home - two hour screaming matches and fighting like you wouldn't believe were our normal since she had attachment problems (not that I first realised it)! But I knew deep down I needed her to learn to let me soothe her, not allow her to continue soothing herself. And remember it doesn't have to be every night - no-one could do it every night, and especially when you are a single mum, but as often as I could physically and mentally do it, I did. T. needs to learn she has you to soothe and comfort her, that she doesn't need to do it herself. It is hard: especially wehn you know they can get themselves to sleep in two minutes and you can't do it in two hours!

A tip I got from another mom - put her in long sleeved pyjamas, so arms and legs are covered. If it is over stimulation on the skin that is keeping her awake, then that will help. Hannah was really disturbed by the sheets despite them being soft: but a nice soft fleecy blanket worked for us.

And remember - you are only just together. You can't do everything or fix everything at once. Only time will help Tatiana understand you are different. She has been with you long enough now to begin to miss and grieve for her old home.

Thinking of you both.

kate said...

Crib in the bedroom is good! She'll feel better and you'll both sleep more. Hang in there. This is just "survival parenting"...not the way you'll have to parent forever and ever.

prayers being said.

Jesse said...

I agree with Lindsay. Remember this is all new to Tanya. It would be better to let her sleep in your bed rather than cry it out. Lindsay is right too - this will last for a while. Just know that it is not a big deal and this too shall pass! It's OK!

We found that our orphanage gave us a "wish" schedule/diet i.e. it was not real. Stop worrying about being perfect. Crying is ok. Also you can hear in the hallways there really well but you cannot hear thru the walls well. Good move moving the crib - bond with her. Later on you can do bed training if need be - we did. All of this takes time.

Comfort and bonding comes first. Crying it out might work but you are sending a message to little t who needs to understand you are there for her. Crying it out can come later - Try to keep a single approach - the bed in the room? Then keep it there. You are doing fine. Have faith this works. Even tho I feel that co-sleeping is hard it works with bonding. You will be able to get her back in her bed it - we did.

Ear tugging is a form of comfort just like rocking. Alina still does it. A prolonged fever could mean ear infection.

Faith - enjoy her. I look back and see how scared we were. After a few months of parenting you will laugh at these first few panics! seriously! (We just had Alina stay up all night with some mysterious reason - rare but we are more confident now. It makes all the difference - confidence.)

This is all creating "parenting muscles" in you. It's hard. It will take time.

Carolynn and Steve said...

No advice from the "not-yet-mommy" other than these amazing people all seem to know what they're talking about. Take it easy on yourself, and know that you're in my thoughts and prayers! Hang in there, sweetie! You're almost home!


Barb said...

Amy, you're getting lots of great advice. I remember how hard it was at first! Focus on the bonding - even though it will be really hard at times. And remember, don't take pushing away personally (that was the hardest for me) - she's fighting the changes , not you. Hopefully, once Rhonda's there, you'll get a bit of sleep and a chance to reenergize. Get at it, Mamma, you're doing great!