Monday, February 21, 2011

A Room of His Own

I'm not sure if I actually read this somewhere (though I'm sure it's been written) ... but I would say one of the most important lessons I've learned as an adoptive mom for 7 months is "things don't always work out like you think they will." Yes, I know, I had 3 kids, wouldn't I have learned that already? But I definitely am learning this in a new way since Kenen's been home.

Our original plan when finding out that our new son would be a 4 year old boy was for him to share a room with our 9 year old. Ethan was super excited to be a big brother, and even excited to share (most of) his toys. So we thought this would be perfect. We moved the bunk beds into Ethan's room .. rearranged toys and even sent Kenen a picture of his new room with Ethan on the top bunk and a small picture of Kenen's face on the lower bunk. We were sure this would work out.

Upon arriving home after traveling for a couple of days from Ethiopia ... I panicked at the thought of putting him in a room across the hall.  I was exhausted ... what if he woke up and needed something and I didn't hear him ... what if he got confused or lost in our house. So we picked up the mattress and put it in our room near our bed. I know this was the right choice at the time. He would call out for me at times, and it was nice that I was close enough to be able to answer him without getting out of bed.

Then the reality of Kenen's transition issues hit pretty hard ... and it became clear that perhaps he and Ethan were not going to make the best bunk mates. Kenen is very strong willed and controlling. Ethan was trying to be the good big brother and be kind and accommodating, and he was getting pushed around quite a bit. It became clear that Ethan was going to need a space in the house where he could retreat to .. and play without always having to include Kenen.

So being the flexible person I am .. we started looking at other alternatives, and finally settled on moving the 9 year old and the 15 year old together. They really are the best of buddies, and the teenager does not hang out in his room, so it should work out well.  The combining of rooms and stuff, however, has been difficult and time consuming. For each of them, 6 years of accumulated "stuff" is tough to sort through ... what should be saved, passed down, thrown away ... And trying to do this without a certain 4 year old questioning each thing we pick up has been nearly impossible.

But finally .... after 7 months ... we have the move basically completed.  Ethan slept in the top bunk in Ryan's room last night, and all of his clothes and "stuff" are in Ryan's room ... though not all organized and put in it's place.

And the big news is that tonight Kenenisa will be sleeping in his very own room ... sleeping in a big bed ... with no one else in the room ... something he has never done!

So we'll see how it goes ... and whether he makes it through the night ... I may have a pillow and blanket on my floor just in case.   I'm excited for him ... but I'm even more excited for me ... looking forward to getting uninterrupted sleep for the first time in a long time!!


  1. Oh, I hope your night goes well! I think you are very wise to be so flexible and sensitive to what your children need. I think the plan sounds great! Hope to see you SOON!!

  2. Oh!!! This is such good news! I was going to offer to come help a couple evenings to get things moved if you needed. I see this as such a huge step! Hooray! I'll be praying it goes well for everyone!

  3. You all are in my prayers, too, tonight! :)

  4. Thank you so much for letting us peek inside your window, via blog posts, to understand what life looks like for your family. There is so much I would have no other way to comprehend. Continuing to pray!