Monday, October 6, 2014

The Path to Love

I have not been great at keeping up with my blog. It is incredibly busy here as we homeschool five kids in four different grades and entertain a very busy toddler. We took the kids up to a local park for a few photos. Jeremy is learning some photo editing and we just needed some updated photos. As a general rule of thumb I need to learn that Ben cannot be left to his own as far as wardrobe is concerned. I never noticed he had shorts on. I am glad these are not the good photos! 

A peek at our day is nothing fantastic. I consider it a success if I feed all six kids three meals a day. Every night is around the dinner table as a family with a home-cooked meal. 

I am amazed that Mariah can completely destroy a room in 2 minutes or less. 

This is how my dining room looks at any given time.
And my living room..........
Then along with the homeschooling we have normal household chores. The kids wash their own clothes but I do fold them, usually after everyone goes to bed.
This week I had a mountain of ironing as well as changing out the summer clothes for the fall/winter things. 

As I was in the kitchen fixing dinner I smiled as I watched Jeremy at the grill and our sweet Ben just spending time together.
I have noticed Ben spending more time with Daddy. It really is sweet. The two of them were chatting away and laughing. I'm sure I don't even want to know what was being discussed! 

Each Sunday Ben gets up at 6am and leaves with Jeremy to go to church. He was upset a few weeks ago when he was sick and had to stay home. 

On another note.......we need a bigger grill!
I don't think I have had as many tea parties in my entire life as I have had with Mariah! She loves them.......and so do I! Occasionally we get to include Jeremy.
I walked past Mariah's bedroom the other day and heard her playing. Then I peeked in to see.
In science we are learning about the Table of Elements. Then we moved on to solutions using a solvent and solute. Here was our experiment that produced Carbon Dioxide.
I have to admit that this is a beautiful sight! She is one very busy toddler and this nap time is imperative to schoolwork completion! Notice the thumb-sucking. I love it!

I felt the need to spend a little bit of one-on-one time with Rebecca. She has experienced so much change in the past 2 1/2 years. The dinner was her choice. She wanted Olive Garden. It was perfect since we had a $25 gift card! If you notice.......she is taller than me.
It had been a while since Jeremy and I had our picture taken. We asked Ben to take a photo and this was the result. Twice!
Rebecca to the rescue!
I am so thankful for this amazing man I married! This past year has been one of many changes and challenges for our family. We have probably tripled the gray hairs we each have. 

We have had many difficult days here as life in America is proving to be very difficult for Selah. We have had to make many adjustments. And I am so glad that Jeremy and I fully trust each other. He is the "relief pitcher" when he comes home from work. 

Several things have come to light over the past few weeks. Jeremy has maintained contact with some of Selah's friends in China. Finally, we are getting some answers to questions we had in China. 

Selah's nanny from her first orphanage confirmed what we suspected all along. Selah's birthday is not January 4, 2000. Her nanny remembers exactly when Selah was born and was very clear to us it was November 24, 2000. Our 14 year old is really only 13. It is sad that she is afraid now that the truth is out. She asked us, "What will happen when China finds out?" We tried to convince her that nothing will happen and she is safe but she simply does not believe us. 

We believe that the orphanage merely wanted her to find a family sooner. We do not know why the January date was chosen but the November date makes much more sense. It puts her in the correct grade in school and her bone age x-rays now match her chronological age. We are not upset at all. I am thankful that God allowed this to happen and she is able to be with our family sooner than if her birth date was in November. 

Jeremy messaged with one of Selah's nanny's and she gladly told Jeremy details about Selah's past and it really is heartbreaking. She has been through terrible loss and grief in her few years. We pray that one day she can move forward and accept that she is here and we unconditionally love her. 

We have seen a few moments where she has allowed herself to be vulnerable. Even tonight as she was going to bed she asked Jeremy if he saw her new clothes. I took her shopping Saturday evening for a few things and she was so excited to wear them for church. It was cute to see her excitement over a new sweater and skirt. Then she loves for Jeremy to tuck her in bed.

She is beginning a very slow process of healing. 

It is hard and painful.

I am so thankful at God's goodness to give me a toddler that tells me countless times a day, "You're my favorite mommy!" and, "You're the best mommy ever!" Because without that I would seriously doubt my ability to be a good mommy to my two girls who right now need me the most. 

My greatest concern is that Selah will never accept Christ as her Savior. Then I fear that she may never truly accept us as her family. This is hard work and we are diligent 24 hours a day. We shower her with love and the discipline of a family. We bathe her in prayer daily. 

This is hands down the toughest thing we have ever done. But we have no doubt that we were called to this journey. We will pursue her for as long as it takes because we desperately love her. Everyone else in life has failed her so we have a lot to prove. But God is faithful, always.

Proverbs 18:10
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.