Tuesday, December 30, 2014

One Year

One year ago today we met our precious Selah for the very first time. The Civil Affairs office was vacant except for our family and a girl behind the curtain......our daughter.
She was scared.

She was not happy.

She was completely unprepared. 

She was silent.

But we were thrilled to meet her and have her join our family and become just like everyone else. 

On Jeremy's 41st birthday we met our precious daughter for the first time. The experience could not have been any different than when we met Mariah.  At least Selah was not screaming and crying. But I believe on the inside she came kicking and screaming. 

Unfortunately when we met her she only had the clothes on her back and a toddler size backpack which we knew nothing of its contents. She wore a pair of knit pants and a pajama top that in English read "Sweet Dreams". She had on two jackets (which were purchased the day before). Her boots were several sizes too small.

We were told she knew very little English. 

You can imagine our surprise when we were in our hotel room that evening getting ready to leave for dinner she walked past Jeremy and simply stated, "I have to go to the bathroom first." 
Selah's choice for supper that night was Pizza Hut. She had never had pizza before so Becca had to show her how to eat it. She liked it!

As we sat in our hotel room that night we heard a ringing sound. We all stared at each other. Then Selah jumped up and ran into our bedroom where he coat was. She pulled a phone out of her jacket pocket and answered. We were a bit shocked. 

We soon realized that she knew much more than anyone thought. We have since spoken to her social worker in China who asked Selah's school for her grades. We know that she was ranked #1 in her sixth grade class of 800.

This year has been one of challenges.  We definitely had a honeymoon period. At six months home the real challenges began and continue.

Raising an older child from a traumatic background takes parenting to a completely different place. It is unlike any other parenting. Yes she is a teenager but her history is something that is a part of who she is. The challenges she presents are entirely different than our other two teens. Her past is very jaded.

As we struggle through daily life we still can thank God for his guidance to bring Selah home. We know that God is in complete control. He led us to her.  But this is by far the most difficult thing we have ever done.

Please pray for our sweet Selah. She is a product of an institutionalized life. She has had no one take a vested interest in her life. An orphanage has nannies with shift changes. No one constant was there to love her and help her along. Now Jeremy and I are attempting to give her something she does not believe she wants and definitely believes she does not need.....a family who loves her unconditionally.

We only want for her to have exactly what our other children experience.........true happiness and love. That can only come from God. She is valued and priceless. Part of our job is to prove that to her.  Quite honestly, that seems impossible to us at this point.

For us this is a happy day. One that we celebrate. For kids who are adopted, these "anniversaries" are very difficult. She has been silent this week. She struggles. It is hard to know how to balance the events and celebration. It is a celebration. We just need to find a way to help her understand that as well.

I'll end this with a Christmas photo. We took this photo the Sunday before Christmas. I'm so glad we did because we ended up with a few sick kids the entire week.
God often is so good to me and brings these verses to mind each time I doubt.

John 14:18
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.