Thursday, September 17, 2009


Our mountain...that is! As I shared a couple of weeks ago, we are going through some really tough stuff with Selah, really tough. Again, I don't want to embarrass her or have anyone think she's a horrible child. She is not. Curtis compares her to a robot--she will go where you ask her, do what you ask her to do, completely submissive and sweet UNTIL she's by herself. She can turn herself on and off , seemingly feeling nothing...just blank. It's in those times alone, whether it's 30 seconds or an hour, that she shows really disturbing behavior. Now that we know, we cannot allow her to be alone, which is tough. It's tough on us as parents, it's tough on Selah, and it's tough on the other kids, who are completely innocent, not asking for the chaos that has wreaked havoc on our home. As we have tried everything we know to try, we are throwing our hands up (finally) and just asking God to move this mountain--we cannot. Can our faith be the size of a mustard seed, real faith? That's what we are now working on--ourselves. We have prayed all along that God would just give us the wisdom to parent this child, now we are taking it a step further and asking Him that He would penetrate her heart so deeply that she will feel, that she will take ownership of her behaviors, of her feelings, of her past, her emotions, her decisions and that He will change her.

I'm not a mountain climber, but one time, many years ago, as a child I climbed a mountain. Well, most of us wouldn't consider it a mountain, but it has "mount" in it's name, so I'm going with it. Mount Baldy in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I was 9 years old and went to a church camp with friends of our family. What I remember is this...all I could see was the path in front of me--I couldn't see the top of the mountain, in no way could I see the other side. We climbed and climbed and climbed...and at 9 years old, I was exhausted, really ready to turn back, but we kept on moving up. When we made it to the top, we could see such beauty...God's marvelous creation below us with the hot sun basking on us.

Right now we are climbing up the mountain...all I'm seeing is what's right in front of my face. We are completely exhausted, ready to turn back, yet knowing if we keep trudging through, we will make it to the top and it will be glorious. As we are enjoying Derek home for one more year--our time seems to be flying by...this added stress to our family is just breaking my heart. We are just telling that mountain to MOVE IT! I don't want to climb anymore, I want off of the path, and I want the mountain gone. I know we are not able to "fix" Selah, nor is that our job, as a friend so kindly pointed out--we are just loving her the best we know how. We do, however, need to keep the rest of our family safe and healthy, so the behavior needs to change. We are unable to fix a heart...yet the same God that has been working on Gracie's literally broken heart is completely able to fix Selah's broken heart...we are placing our faith in the One who created this being and placed her in our arms and in our home. We trust HIM!

Matthew 17:20 He (Jesus) replied , "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

I believe His Word as truth and am claiming His power over Selah's life!

Continually in His grip,


OK...I googled Mount Baldy and it's actually Old Baldy, which really isn't that impressive, but hey, for a 9 year-old, it was Everest!


God's Grace said...

Gayle I will be praying for you and selah and the rest of the family. Dear God I pray you will heal Selahs heart and protect the heart of the rest of the kids.

Stirm Family said...

Praying for your family, and God to heal Selah's heart.

LovinLife said...

You are strong. Your faith is strong. Your children are amazing. You give so much of yourself, yet you still have so much love to share with others...seems to me that makes you pretty amazing yourself.

May God help Selah discover who she is and that she IS worthy. I pray He wraps His arms around each of you so that you feel comfort during these trials.

Breuklyn, Connor, and Derek aren't the way they are by accident. God selects special families for special babies--and the Opps are my definition of special.

"If God brings you to it, He will take you through it"

Sending you strong friendship vibes--Shana

Heather said...

Gayle, I have a child that had some dangerous behaviors at one time. Stuff that might have caused us to take drastic measures as he grew bigger. We found that his little mind was just ill. A good psychiatrist has found the right mix of meds and he is a DIFFERENT CHILD! I no longer worry about the future. I no longer worry about his or our safety. If you ever want to talk, I am here. Selah's past is the past of all children who sit in orphanages WITHOUT A FAMILY! While each child handles things differently, I imagine there are many shared experiences. Again, I am here if you need me. Know that we lift you, your family and SELAH'S HEART up to the great Healer, our Father

Anita said...

Dear Gayle - I sooo wished we lived closer to share life together. For now though, please know I'll be praying more deliberately for that mountain to move and for God to perform HIS surgery on Selah's heart!! Praying, too, for you and the rest of your family as you walk through these days together. MUCH Love, Anita

downeyseven said...

Praying for your family on today's step on the trail.

Holly said...


I have been following your journey ever since you got Selah. I don't know if you remember, but we have emailed a couple of times. My heart is just broken over Selah's broken heart that is causing problems in your home. I am committed to pray for her and for you. I know God loves her so much. He cares for her and wants her healed. And He cares for your other children and for you. I know He will work to reach Selah in the secret places of her heart. I'm glad you shared so that we can all pray.

Holly Gilliam

Mathew and Christie said...

our thoughts, prayer and heart all go out to you and your family.

Adoption is hard for those kids. They have been through so much. I will be praying that your hearts are healed and that the mountain is moved.

Blessed Mom of Four, Now Five said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. I am headed to my prayer closet now. Please know that you will be in the prayers of many!

Susan said...

Please, please get the series of books called "Beyond Consequences Logic and Control" by Heather Forbes and Bryan Post. There is life-saving information on the behaviors and treatment of children with trauma histories. Heather is an adoptive mom to two children from Russia and Bryan Post was adopted himself (had history of severe behaviors)and is now psychologist that has established the Post Institute specializing in attachment. I've attended Heather's seminar and it gives hope. Please look into this.

There is also an adoptive family you may know from Journey to Me site - - that has many older adopted children and both parents have just completed the Beyond Consquences certified training program. They, too, are Christian and I think you may find much support and guidance and fellowship if you contact them. You will find your way to healing!

Will say a prayer for your family!