guangzhou and the longest night ever.

we arrived in guangzhou last night. the night brings a flood of neon here...every building has some sort of fantastic neon signage. they all sparkle and create such unique movement everywhere you look. somehow, it's even color coordinated and all of the buildings, though each has different architecture, look like they belong together. it's really something amazing.
it's morning now, and we are hiding in our room with the lights off so jing liu doesn't wake up. we had the LONGEST night ever. maybe the most challenging in my entire experience of motherhood. the airplane was a piece of cake compared to when we got to the hotel. 1st. miss into-every-thing decided a nap wasn't in the cards yesterday. ok, no problem, i'm sure she'll go to sleep early on the plane. 2nd. miss i-don't-want-to-miss-a-thing was soooo excited to be somewhere new she was quite pleasant on the plane, and especially loved looking out the window. 3rd. miss exhaustion fell asleep in the bus to the hotel at 10pm. 4th miss i-love-to-sleep-while-you-are-holding-me didn't like it when i tried to put her in the crib. at ALL. i tried picking her back up and putting her to sleep and then making the transition. i tried that at least 5 times. we have single beds at this hotel, so there is no way miss scootchie-night-sleeper could ever sleep next to one of us. the crib is a must. oh, and i also can't sleep walk and hold you, fyi sweetie pie.  i decided i would wait her out. since she's been with us, she's stopped needing to put herself to sleep. and when i say "put herself to sleep" i mean claw at her ears and scalp until they bleed, and scissor saw her mouth and feet with her nails with all of her teenie-hulk-like strength. it's excruciating to watch, let alone what she must feel. so i waited her out, with my hands gently stroking the sides of her head (so she couldn't claw them open) and talking softly to her. i let her have her feet, which she gladly scratched and gnawed at. oh and did i mention this entire time, she is SCREAMING louder and more fiercely than any child i have ever encountered????????? i was in tears. i gave in a few times and picked her up. and you know what??? she instantly feel asleep. ok. that's it.girl, you can sleep if you want to. i love you. but i really can't hold you all night. back into the crib you go. all of the above ensues. i'm guessing it was at least 2 hours long. me crouching by her crib, her clawing and screaming and thrashing. i have no idea if i was doing the right thing. honestly. i kept asking myself what someone else would tell me to do at that moment, because i was out of ideas. i've never seen her like this. i kept my hands near her, but didn't hold her down. i wanted her to know i would stick by her, even when she was so upset with me. i know she wanted me to hold her, and i know she wanted me to know she usually has to do this on her own. so as soon as she started her normal sucking sound with her blanket, i pulled my hands back gently so she knew i would let her fall asleep on her own when she stopped trying to hurt herself. after 10 false alarms, she stopped thrashing for good. she's been asleep ever since.
so yes. lights out. we didn't even unpack last night, so i carried all of our suitcases into the (small) bathroom to find clothes and toiletries this morning. it was quite a sight.
we have to meet at 9:30am for her physical and then go over all of her paperwork in preperation for monday. after that, it will be lunch and our friends are all coming to visit us. we hope to spend the rest of the weekend with them, and then we have an early 7am meet up to head to the us consulate at 8 am on monday morning. out guide said "prepare to wait around". not sure what that means, but as long as miss thrasher doesn't come along, i think we'll be fine :)
lets hope last night was the worst, and it can only go up from here :)


  1. Sounds like you did GREAT!! Since I consider myself to have the worst sleepers in the entire world (which I know isnt really true- it just FEELS true), I have read a few sleep books :)
    "Good night, Sleep tight" was my favorite and she recommends after your nighttime routine to put them down in the crib, stroke their back, talk to them (whatever soothes them), and then wait by their crib until they fall asleep. If they get up, scream, cry, etc.- soothe them without picking them up by talking, holding a hand, rubbing back, etc. If you must pick them up to calm them, don't let them fall asleep in your arms and if they fall asleep the second you pick them up, in her words "You've been had". Lol
    The idea is to send the message that you are here with them, but they must do this on their own. That's exactly what you did- so hooray for you awesome mama!! You did great and you did it in a foreign country, in a new room, with a new child who has all kinds of patterns and routines you don't know about, while completely overwhelmed and exhausted yourself. MOM OF THE YEAR!!!! You amaze me :)
    Had a great time with Rowie and Foster today. They are doing so so great! Can't wait to see you!

  2. Oh my. I'm so sorry it was so hard. As if the crying and the needing to hold her and the desperate need for your own sleep was not enough, add in the pressure of not wanting to mess with any emotional things and not knowing if what you are doing is right or wrong...the pressure and the sheer exhaustion and the ache for her to be at peace can be just totally overwhelming. Praying it was the worst and that she'll do great at the clinic and at the consulate appt.

  3. I am empathizing. Grace, strength, and peace to you and to her.

  4. Sounds like the little doll is also fighting a little battle of reassurance in you. You did everything so wonderfully, that I can't imagine you will see many more nights like that one. They all adjust to this adoption thing differently and it can come out in the strangest ways. Pray for strength and understanding. Patience and peace. Our God is cheering you on and wanting you to succeed. You are succeeding and you will continue too. Your new family unit is beautiful. Enjoy the rest of your trip. I love following along!



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