Saturday, December 8, 2012

Climbing our "Mount Everest"

 I have always been afraid of heights. My greatest fear is falling. But... I absolutely love scenic pictures of snow peaked mountains and can only imagine the breathtaking view. However, mountain climbing was never on my"to do list."
Until now..
After a LONG and FRUSTRATING week... Sol and I came to accept the reality that God has given us our own "Mount Everest" to climb...
our daughter.
Last week, I mentioned the small baby step "I thought" we had made with her.  She approached me with the first sign of "genuine"affection and told me how much she loved me.  After a few days, her behavior spiraled down (again), she wanted to leave and decided to stop calling us her mom and dad. 
I can't tell you how many dark valleys we have gone through with her since she arrived home.
Our own logic tell us why she is pulling and pushing away...
but our heart is worn and we are exhausted. 
Loving her must be a daily choice...whether she pushes or pulls, we have a lifelong commitment to her.  Besides God, we are her only hope and yet this doesn't mean we have to accept her choices of chronic lying, stealing and manipulation.  Unfortunately, these are behaviors that she has learned in order to survive.
We have tried every "attachment book method.." and the only resources that daily save us from falling are the Bible and praying.  Our Creator has formed and created each one of our children so uniquely. 
 Only HE can see the beauty that is hidden within our daughter.
Unfortunately, right now... we struggle to see it.
We are still climbing... and have a long ways to go.
Everyday, we have to equip ourselves thoroughly by
 praying for
 an abundance of patience...
an overflow of God's love...
plenty of wisdom and discernment
and eyes to see past all of her fear, pain and grief.
I have come to a place where I have stopped asking for answers.
All I really need is...
the confidence to know that when this "mountain" seems nearly impossible to climb... we will eventually get to the top and be able to see the incredible view of all the valleys and hills that we survived through climbing our Mount Everest.



  1. I'm praying for you and your family in this time of transition. I also hope that you have a strong group of friends praying for and over your family. I pray that you will receive the wisdom you need at each moment you need it. The compassion to see through these hard moments into something deeper in her little soul. Some deep down hurt she's not even aware she is dealing with. I pray that Jesus will work a mighty miracle in this young ladies life and that she will go on to do mightly things for Him because YOU answered this calling.

    Thank you for your sacrifice on behalf of these precious children. May you be blessed abundantly for your love, patience, time and affection and may they all know the peace of God because you obeyed.

  2. I know the pain and heartache that your going though........God is always with you, he will not forsake you and your daughter will learn to love you.........Knowing this comes from trauma and the pain doesn’t make it any easier to live though...........Stand tall, know that this is NOT personal, this is her way of surviving, this is her way of accepting that life is different, of mourning the loss of her life and all that she knows, as strange as it sounds life was predictable for her Ghana, crazy unpredictable but predictable at the same time. She knew that life was just about survival physically.
    Life is about so much more now and that has to be one of the most overwhelming feelings a human can go though........
    I pray that this will all be a distant memory soon. Do not be affraid to ask and recieve help from others that have parented hurt and traumatised children.......there is so much wisdom in the adoption community, so many amazing professionals with great skills and practical advice. lastly ......Do not let her hurt and heartache divide you all.......Prove by actions and consistancy that Love and Family will never ever fail her again xxxxx
    My Heart and prayers are with you family xxx

  3. We have been climbing Mount Everest with our youngest daughter for 4 1/2 years since bringing her home from Ghana at age 6. So hard. So sorry for what you are walking through.


  4. We have been reading your blog for a while now, but we've never written to you before. We have fallen in love with your family. We are the parents of 5 children, four of whom we adopted. We also have two "in-love" children...the spouses of two of our children. God has also blessed us with 7 precious grandchildren. Two of our children went back to be with the Lord at the ages of 21 and 22. Almost a month ago, another one of our children was almost killed in a horrible accident. He is still in the hospital with very serious injuries. Sadly, we have much experience with Reactive Attachment Disorder. We would like to share something with you all privately. Could you please send us your email address? Our email is We are on facebook, if you would like to check us out. We are on fb as RobandKathy Gandy. It truly is a small world, so we probably have some friends in common with you. We have been in the ministry since we were engaged. We will soon celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary.

  5. My heart aches for you....I so 'get it'. We adopted our daughter at 4 from foster care and she is now 6 1/2. Much of what you wrote, we are dealing with. So very hard. My 'best' advice to you is this....TAKE TIME FOR YOU. I know, I know....SO HARD.....but, so very necessary to make sure you put the oxygen mask on yourself first. I will be praying for you as you continue to walk this out!

  6. I will be praying for you! We brought home an 8 year old boy and a 12 year old girl from China this year. They are not our first adoptions, yet, it has certainly been a difficult journey. We were very prepared for older child adoptions, yet, I’m not sure that you can ever be prepared for the emotional aspect of it - both your, and theirs. God has faithfully helped us along this journey. I pray that He will show you how to parent these children and pray for healing!

  7. I really appreciate your honesty here! I can relate so much! We brought our 3yr old daughter home from the DR Congo 6 weeks ago and we are dealing with similar issues as well as aggression towards us. What you talk about choosing to love her, that is so true and so hard sometimes. I want to love her like Christ loves her but sometimes when we are in the midst of the struggle it is so hard. I know God chose us for this journey and only He can equip us for it but again in the midst of the battle it's hard to remember that. I've been following your journey for a while and I love reading your blog. Keep posting honestly, it's so helpful to others!

  8. Praying (right now!) for you! We really struggled with attachment with our daughter who was 7 when we adopted her. It was so hard. But, she really is doing wonderfully now! It's not the same as it would have been if she had been born to us, or if we would have had her from birth, or even if we had had her earlier in her life. But, it is still good and God is doing amazing things in her life.

    I know that you said that you've tried everything and I don't want to just suggest something else, but the things that REALLY helped us was some of Karyn Purvis's videos. I wish that I had known what I know now, when we first adopted our daughter!

    May our precious Jesus pour out His amazing blessings on you as you continue to love one of His little ones.

  9. I stumbled upon your blog and then saw your familiar faces that I had read about when you were stuck in Ghana. I remember then thinking of how brave your family is / was to adopt this sibling group of four!! I also loved your honesty about your struggles particularly with your 7 yr old. In fact, it seemed like what you wrote was VERY familiar, VERY close to words I have wrote about our now 7 yr old daughter(adopted at age 6, from ET)but I was comparing it to running a marathon!! You are right, we have to decide daily to love her no matter what, lying, manipulation, etc we have all dealt with as well!! Sometimes it is very hard....! Keep your courage and strength for your other children as well!

  10. Bless you for being honest about the struggle. We have struggled (especially me) with our son who we adopted from CHina at age 3. I agree with Sarah about Karyn Purvis. She is the one person whose teaching and research have helped me the most. She works with Texas Christian University and has written "The Connected Child". There are some great videos and written works on the TCU website. While our son still struggles with things, it has gotten better as he has matured. But I'm totally with you on the struggles. There were days I wasn't sure I would make it thru but God was always there. I will be praying for you and the family as you grow together.

  11. Home almost three years with a now almost seven year old. Still climbing that mountain. Tried every technique in every book -- including Karen Purvis. Been to attachment therapists. Never thought three years in we'd still be struggling to attach. But here we are. Best of luck in your journey.

  12. have you seen the empowered to connect resources?

  13. Oh I know your pain. It's so hard! We are still climbing the mountain, sometimes it feels like we are almost there only to go sliding to the bottom again. One thing I wanted to mention--and I know you probably HAVE read every book out there just like I did--but someone told me about and I tell ya--it was the best book for our situation. And it's a short quick read. Just another resource. I wish I had known about it earlier. The little booklet on Teens I highly recommend too--seriously helpful especially the sections talking about "family child or lonely child". It's not well-known like Karyn Purvis but is what really gave us the tools that have worked for our kids.
    Blessings on your journey.

  14. Praying!!! I know your pain but praise God have made it to the mountaintop with lots of prayer. God brought you to this and He will bring you through it! Prayers works! Don't give up and THANK you for your honesty.

  15. God will bless your 'realness'. So many adoptive parents do not want to see or believe that the children's moral compasses are truly broken. But they are. We have adopted 7 children ages 2-18 from Ukraine. It is a tough journey but one that must display love AND discipline. Keep praying and seek out those who have gone before you in parenting 'broken and wounded' children and have come out on the other side. God's blessings to you.

  16. Hang in there and take time for yourself! I am so happy to read you are all under one roof.

  17. remember the joy of the Lord is your strength, when Satan comes in start praising God, it's the best weapon of warfare, and we often forget about that one! Praying for you all, God hears your prayers. Is. 49:23 Those who hope in me, will not be disappointed.