One year later, my prayer for each child as I lay a hand on their sleeping little head, will be so very different. Last year I remember praying so desperately for peace and patience as we waited to bring Selah home. I remember praying for her safety and for the Lord to be preparing her heart to leave the only world she had ever known, to become a part of our family. I prayed He would open her heart to receive all the love we had to offer. I prayed that each of the boys would be prepared for all that would come with having a new sister who may have difficulties adjusting. I prayed that their love and acceptance would be never ending and that Selah may learn a little about Jesus from the way they and Bryan and I would love her. I prayed that jealousy would not have an opportunity to enter into their little hearts and I prayed that their hearts would remain intact throughout whatever would face us. I prayed that God would continue to mold their hearts and bring them closer to Him.
As I reflect back, I see how God has answered those prayers and more. Honestly, there are moments (actually days...several days..) where I feel as though my prayers are not being heard. I feel like He is just not making good on His promises! I know that sounds awful, but it is the truth of my roller coaster emotions. He always pulls me up out of that place of "yuck" and sets me back upon the rock of truth where I can confidently say that I know that I know that I know that He DOES make good on His promises...all of them! His Word does not come back void! And then is when I can so clearly see how He is healing Selah day by day. He has been at work slowly opening her heart to our love. It is definitely not on my time schedule, but I believe His timing is perfect and He knows why it takes as much time as it does. I also see how He has so abundantly and even more so than I could have ever dreamed, filled the hearts of our two boys with this amazing love that it such a model of what He desires for us. The sun and the moon set on their little sister. There is nothing she can do that will make them mad for more than a minute! They had moments when they needed to talk about how things are different now and when they felt waves of sadness pass over them for what we were all experiencing with Selah, but there has never been a moment they have wanted to change things and never a moment they didn't recognize that Selah's behaviors did not come from her heart...but rather from the trauma of her life before us. They were often better at seeing that than even I! They were able to remind me of her progress and the positives even in the midst of the most difficult of times. This wisdom was so beyond their years. What a precious gift God gave us in this wisdom! He is using Selah and her story to mold Zachary and Landon's hearts....as well as the hearts of so many others.
My prayer this year will be for Selah's continued healing. This year I know the specifics. Last year I had no idea. There has been so much more than we could have ever dreamed possible. I am praying for the continued molding of our hearts and for each of us to develop an even stronger and closer relationship with Jesus. I am praying for strength to continue the fight in this ongoing spiritual battle. I am praying for wisdom, for discernment, for patience, and for love. I am praying for a little girl to have a joy that starts deep in her heart and shines through in the twinkling in her eyes. A joy that is not quenched by memories of the past, of fears of the past, present, or future, or by an other emotional, mental, or physical challenges. And finally, I am praying that next year I can look back at this year's prayers and see them answered in abundance!
In keeping with my reflection of the answered prayers of last year, I don't think there is anything more vivid than the two pictures I recently looked at of Selah. One is from the airport on the day we arrived home. The other is a most recent one. Just look at how God works! Eight months are in between those two photos. Eight months, lots of love, lots of prayer, and lots of nutrition (10 pounds and 4 inches worth)!
My prayers are with all those who have brought your little ones home and are adjusting, those in the midst of the brutal wait between the two trips, and those in just the beginning phases of your adoption! May you feel His love, comfort, and guidance each step of the way. God is with us and is not going to let go! Many blessings to all this Christmas!
All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’