Thank you so much for praying for Selah, for the advice, for the been-there-this worked-this didn't information. Truly, God uses the internet for good in many, many ways. Since we live in small town, Iowa, we have few resources, few people to turn to who have adopted an older child out of an orphanage. Around this country, however, there is an abundance of you out there--thank you for sharing your stories, your lives with me.
Life is much better around here...we feel as if the difficulties we have been working through have actually been a good thing, now that the grass is greener, the behaviors absent (for now anyways). Selah is learning that no matter how "bad" she is, she is staying right here. She has no basis for unconditional love--perhaps she is testing us, testing our ability to stick with her. We are also changed! It's amazing to me how God can allow our greatest fears to invade our home and yet show us we can, with His help, get through yet another storm. Sometimes He breaks us. We have been through three months of brokenness and yet we are OK...we'll come out on the other side changed...it's good. My close friends know that no matter what is going on in my life, I'm able to wear a mask and have the answer of "it's all good.". We joke about this all of the time. In my deepest pit, my reply was always "it's all good". Well, you know what--sometimes it's just not. It has not been all good for the past three months--my once clean, organized, simple home has had a tornado spinning haphazardly through it. We are now cleaning up the debris, but have this feeling of quiet now.
Selah still has a long road ahead of her--we do know this. 71/2 years of heartache are not just wiped out in a year. 71/2 years of abuse and neglect are not completely gone because of a family. With a moldable heart, however, Jesus can get right in there and fill her up. She has a moldable heart. She is good, she tries so hard, she is sweet, she is loving, she is kind, she just needs Jesus. We are pretty certain that is why God brought her over the ocean, through mounds of paperwork and red tape to Charles City, Iowa...to our family. Our job is to show her Jesus.
In many ways, these past months, we have failed. We've tried what we've known and it hasn't worked for this child. There have been times, we have been so angry...our voices raised and our fingers pointed out of sheer frustration. That was clearly NOT what Selah needed. Most times, we could walk away, breathe a bit, pray, and come back with clear minds and soft voices. What Selah has responded best to is love, touch, and forgiveness--now, doesn't that just make perfect sense. At one time, I asked her--"do you think I love you or Breuklyn more?" She said, "Breuklyn". "How about Connor?", I asked. "You love Connor more." "Derek? Gracie?" Each time, she said the other child. She feels unworthy of love. We ask her all of the time now, "who do I love the most?" "You love me the most!", she will shout. I tell her, "I love you all the most. I love six children the MOST!" She needs the confidence that she can know love. She can know that she is loved not because of what she does and doesn't do, but she is loved because she is. As difficult as that love comes for me at times, it is there. It is there because I ask God for that love--I simply don't have it in me myself, but through Christ, and only through Him, I love.
Oh...to ramble on and on...that's me!
Have a blessed day!