Monday, September 19, 2011

Fighting Sleep

Have I mentioned that Amani fights sleep? Oh I have? About a million times? Oh, that must be because he really does. And it’s just awful.

We actually have done really well yesterday and today during the day getting him down for naptime and bedtime. He fusses a little and you can see him trying to keep his eyes open and keep his head up but it doesn’t last long. It’s definitely better than it was. Tonight for bedtime he didn’t even freak out as I made his bottle, which is usually when he loses it. We’re really making awesome progress.

Except for last night. I don’t know what woke him but he woke up about 10:40 last night and was screaming. I rocked him but he was not calming down. So I gave him a bottle. He was quiet while he took it but as soon as it was done he was screaming again. I did everything I knew how to do to try to calm him and he would not stop screaming. He didn’t have a fever, he wasn’t pulling up his legs as if it were a tummy issue. And he wouldn’t calm himself.

How do you comfort a child who refuses to be comforted? He wouldn’t put his thumb in his mouth. He pushed away from me and kicked out his legs. At one point he wrenched himself away from me so violently that I was afraid I was going to drop him!

I gave him another ½ bottle and he was calm only long enough to drink it. He was screaming again. That’s when I accepted the fact that he was going to do everything in his power to stay awake. I put him in the sling and we went outside. He was still screaming. We walked up and down the porch over and over and poor sweet Amani would not calm down.

Finally I started praying aloud. I prayed that God would help him know that he is safe, that he can trust me, that we love him, that God loves him. I prayed that I could take the pain and fear upon myself, even though I know that’s not how it works. As I prayed, his little body started to relax. He was still fighting sleep but he’d run completely out of energy. This little one fell asleep still holding his head up.  It breaks my heart that he’s so scared.

Here’s the deal: I can see the bigger picture. I know what his life would be like if he were never adopted. I know that after this pain and grief and fear part, that he’ll finally know and understand the love of a family. He’ll know what it means to have a Mommy and Daddy who love him, to have siblings who love him.  I know what the future holds for him. 

He doesn’t.

To him, he was suddenly taken away from everything comfortable, everything safe. He is now in a strange big house with strange people who don’t speak a language he can understand. He’s learning that I’m providing for him, but sleep makes you so vulnerable. He’s just not ready to be that vulnerable with me yet.

And that’s okay. I’ll hang with him as long as it takes.  I was fine last night, other than my heart hurting for him. His crying didn’t wear me down, I was perfectly calm, although maybe a little sleepy at first. I know the day will come when my presence will be enough to comfort him. I get the honor of being his mama and I’ll do whatever it takes to be worthy of that honor.

PS. If you are still reading, please say a little prayer for Kim and me… we are hoping for an Embassy date soon!


  1. my heart hurts for his confusion - but I know he could not be in any better arms. paying for him to find peace in your love soon....

  2. Dear Kirstin,
    As i read your post -- i was wishing i could reach around the world and remind you to pray for him --- and then i read your words --- you prayed. So beautiful.
    I wanted to share with you -- Maggie, our daughter (you met her last year in Swaziland) --- she nannies for several different families --- and two weeks ago one of the little boys she cares for would not go to sleep -- crying so hard. So Maggie began praying and asking God to help her help him. As she prayed she noticed he began to calm down. So she began rubbing his little back and praying God's blessings over him. Almost immediately he quieted completely and fell asleep. Now -- it's their routine. He looks at her expectantly for a back-rub with prayers --- and lays his sweet little head right down.
    May God's blessings, peace, healing, and love flow sweetly into little Amani through your loving hands Kirstin.
    praying for you friend,

  3. So awesome that as you prayed out loud, God answered your prayers. He is good. What a great testimony!


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