‘Just’ going on holiday with the twins
Janine van Lierop and her husband Nils are the foster parents of Devon and Elijah. The children have a gene defect, which makes sleeping in a ‘normal’ bed unfeasible. During a holiday at the Bio Holiday Resort, other parents tell them about the CloudCuddle bed tent. During a trial weekend, they noticed that Devon and Elijah sleep well in it. So they order two for the holidays. Now it’s just waiting for the refund….
Nils fastens the straps under the ‘standard’ single mattress
Janine van Lierop and Nils had a desire to have children. Unfortunately, this was not fulfilled as they had initially envisioned. After a long process, they considered foster care. Yet at first they decided against it because they didn’t want to keep saying goodbye to the children who will be temporarily entrusted to them. But then, more than three years ago, twins came their way. They heard through the grapevine that a foster family is being sought for Devon and Elijah. Since Janine’s father is the father of twins, Nils is half twin himself and Janine herself has been pregnant with twins, they immediately felt that these two children could grow up with them. And so they did.
Rest and overstimulation
Devon and Elijah need a lot of help because of a gene defect, Cornelia de Lange syndrome. The children can now, at the age of five, walk short distances and make short sentences of one to three words. But in their daily programme, rest and variety are an important part: they cannot sustain something for so long in a row. Otherwise, they become nauseous to the point of vomiting, get in a lot of pain and become so over-stimulated that they throw a tantrum or cry endlessly. Caring for the twins is quite a ‘chore’ – and not only because of the informal care, but also because of the organisation work involved. So hats off to these caring foster parents.
Setting up an inflatable bed tent for disabled children
Janine and Nils themselves take care of the five-year-olds for much of the week. In addition, a number of regular care workers take care of them. At home, the twins sleep in a bedbox. This gives them the peace and quiet they need. But a night out with the whole family, a sleepover, let alone a week’s holiday together: that was out of the question during the first year as a foster family. Once the family members got used to each other, and had found a rhythm with each other, they went to a Bio Holiday Resort and also to a Ronald McDonalds house to get away from home for once. Here, bed boxes are available and, as a result, Devon and Elijah slept relatively well there. Before this holiday destination, they had tried sleeping elsewhere with the children but in a regular bed ‘they break up the room’, Janine said.
A safe place of their own
During their stay at the Bio Holiday Resort, other parents tell Janine about the of CloudCuddle. They explain that the bed tent is easy to take to any hotel, lodging house or holiday home. The foster parents would like to try that themselves. But how? They book two CloudCuddle bed tents as a trial and go on a family weekend.
“We had booked two separate hotel rooms. I slept with Elijah, Nils with Devon. The children’s reaction was unprecedented,” Janine recalls. “Devon and Elijah quietly got into the bed tent. It was immediately clear to them what the intention was. The children are always quite unambiguous in their reaction: something is good or not. Sleeping in the CloudCuddle accepted them immediately; they dared to go to sleep almost immediately. No one else is allowed in the bed tent because that is their own safe place.”
CloudCuddle at lodging house
After this first success, Janine and Nils are also taking the CloudCuddle to the sleepover house where Devon and Elijah go one weekend a month. During the sleepover weekend, the foster parents can take a breath and do other things besides looking after the children. Nils: “One of the supervisors was interested in the inflatable bed tent, though. He watched the video in advance explaining how to set up and take down the bed tent. When we came to pick up the children at the end of the weekend, the CloudCuddle was neatly folded up and packed for us again.”