May 31, 2008


The bedding situation at the transition home was...luxurious. Downy comforters, pillows, a stuffed animal or two...which makes for a cozy, warm, soft environment for sleeping babies. Here, we worry about suffocation. So, I have lovingly placed my baby in the sterile pack and play.

When he got tired of that, I started laying him on his side. The side thing alone was the solution for about a day. One night, he kept waking up. No, that sentence isn't strong enough.


Every single stinkin' time I let my hand off of his back. He would flop his arm over and his eyes would fly open. Argh, the frustration! I've got things to do (like dishes, reading books to the older four, laundry...), I can't stand all night long with my hand on his back. Frantically, I looked around the room. What could I possibly do to keep him asleep?

I saw the answer--a teddy bear that sits on my dresser. It was perfect. Within arms reach and big enough to fake Josiah out. I know, "Teddy bear on her dresser? I underestimated your flaky factor, Apryl."

This isn't just any old bear.
My grandpa died almost three years ago. He had the opportunity to love on each one of my older three kids. We brought Ella home shortly before he got sick. The first time he met her; he was in the hospital. He never knew of our decision to adopt again. He was a very distinctive man; a full-time farmer with a law degree. I remember him in a button down blue shirt working on the farm (or watching the news). The shirts were soft and thin from wear. A woman from hospice told my grandma that she would make her some bears from his old shirts. My grandma took her up on the offer, and the one she gave me sat on my dresser.

Tonight, Josiah woke up, rolled over, and looked up at me. Then, just as I was about to pick him up, he reached out and patted the bear's head until he fell asleep.


Susan said...

That is so sweet!


Susan said...

That is so sweet!


Anonymous said...

Sakari loves having her monkey in her crib with her too!!! So happy this worked...we are praying for you guys and healing for your daughter!

Jill Coen said...

There you go, making me tear up again! I really just felt like I was reading my own story. Poor Silas. It took a month to figure it out. Yesterday we got him a down duvet set...just had to. That's what the Germans use, so we did it and secured it under the sheet. He looks like he's sleeping on a cloud. The key there is that he's sleeping longer than he was on that non-mattress, plastic thing.

Danica said...

too cute! that bear is perfect for him and it has such sentimental value that makes it even better.

Farmboy and Buttercup said...

Love it!

I have SO been there, patting a child on the back, wondering how long I can actually do that, wondering how cranky I will be in the morning as a sleep deprived mom.

You captured it well. I should have thought of a teddy bear years ago.

Shanyce said...

So cute! That's what I remember Grandpa as too! and I also have one of those bears thats made of his sleeping clothes...that just made my day!

Love ya'll,

Team Dragovich said...

Simply beautiful.

E said...

That is such a precious story. Sniff, sniff. We've been ignoring American conventions since the word "go" and Abel sleeps like the proverbial baby. Now. However, at first, we really had to work with him to get him on a healthy sleep schedule. But, I think the bedding helped...and he's older so I think we could get away with it a little easier.

He'll sleep anywhere as long as we bring his pillow & special blankets - even a pack n play in a strange room, strange house, the bathroom of our hotel room for his naps on vacation. I know, that sounds horrible, but he is in his pack n play and it is dark & quiet and there's nowhere else for him to sleep unless we hang out in the bathroom while he sleeps in the big room). :)

Thanks for sharing this sweet story.

the Steiger's said...

That is so cute.
Jo sleeps with Down duvet like jill wrote. I am from Europe and that is how all of our kids sleep. Jo loves her duvet and snugle with it every night. Now she sleeps on top of it since it is warm outside.

Carpenters said...

Ahhhhh... I'm with Jill, you're making me tear up again. What a wonderful way to remember your grandfather and share that with Josiah.

With Love,