We had our suspicions. The mysterious noices in the night. Occasional displaced items. The blood shut eyes of our 3 year old. After sharing a room with Etienne for 5 nights, we now know better the depths of Etienne's sleep dysfunctions. Our buddy boy was awake every time I woke up at night. He typically takes a VERY long time to fall asleep and we knew he woke up frequently. While in Wyoming, the above picture of his stuffed animal is his finished product. Poor Bobo is only 10 months old and was previously in mint condition...
Ryan and I have tried snuggling with E at night. We were even open to co-sleeping if it meant that E would sleep a solid night. I think about how much better I function with a good night's rest and I think that maybe some of his struggles would be lessoned if he wasn't always tired. It is pretty typical for kids from an institution to have trouble sleeping at night.
A recent study by Frank Putnam found that older children who have been traumatized have increased large-muscle movements, less frequent REM sleep and wake frequently because they are conditioned to be vigilant (Lamb,M.B.Attachement Issues. Adoptive Families 43:4 (2010)).
Isn't that so sad? I have a new perspective on Etienne. I see him as this beautiful little boy who isn't broken but absolutely perfect as our Creator made him. All the behavior, issues and challenges that break me are simply the Enemy trying again to damage something so incredible.