Then and Now: Selah

December 5, 2016 Family Stories, November 2016 Feature - Then and Now 5 Comments

One year ago we were sitting in a hotel conference room waiting to meet our daughter for the first time.
One year ago the minute hands on our watches seem to stand still.
One year ago we watched families meet their children for the first time.
One year ago our daughter was finally brought into the room and our lives have been forever changed.


During our adoption process I found myself constantly counting down the days until the next step in our adoption. Whether it was the final home study, LID, the unknown wait for a match, LOA, TA, family day, attachment, jet lag and every other step in between and after.

During our adoption journey Galatians 4:4-5 was our family verse: But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. The verse was a constant reminder of God’s promise to us. Everything was always at just the right time, His time.

All of the dates I was counting down to came and this past month we celebrated one year with our little girl.

Of course with the celebrating also comes the looking back.

It seems like just yesterday we were in China waiting at the edge of our seats feeling like our hearts were going to explode. Our little girl has changed so much in the past year and what a joy it has been to watch her grow. But sometimes I just forget how far she has come, yet she is still the same sweet girl in so many ways. I forget the hard weeks that turned into hard days to now a handful of hard moments. At the beginning we faced many unknowns and challenges that we were expecting to be difficult but ended up being insignificant.

To some the changes may seem small, but for our girl they are all huge and we are rejoicing with her for each one.

A year ago she was so small:


Today she is quite a big little girl:


A year ago she wasn’t sure how to play with toys:


Today some of her favorite things to do are playing with her babies, play kitchen and pretend baby lion:


A year ago her main way to get around was crawling or asking us to carry her around:


Today she is cruising around with or without her walker. Depending on her current preference:


A year ago she did not want to be taken care of by mama:


Today we are thankful that the uncertainty only lasted for a few weeks:


A year ago there were a lot of unknowns about her health:


Today we are thankful for answered prayers. We have some amazing doctors, therapist and teachers that have taught us so much about our girl:


A year ago it broke our hearts that she would self-sooth herself to sleep by rocking her head back and forth. But praise God one day she just stopped doing it:


A year ago Selah knew six signs and a few English words:


Today she can say more words than we can count and 6-7 word sentences: The difference in a year is crazy to hear.


A year ago we missed her 2nd birthday by days:


This past month we also got to celebrate our sweet girl turning three:


A year ago she was an orphan:


Today she is a daughter, sister, niece, cousin, and friend to so many:


Thankfully some things have not changed over the past year and we are so glad she is still the sweet, joyful and strong willed Guo Guo we met in China.

We know that all of these changes did not happen overnight, and it is not always easy. But they all happen at just the right time….

And we choose to celebrate the joy.

– guest post by Brianna

5 responses to “Then and Now: Selah”

  1. Yun says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. We are currently in this position. We are counting down the days until I800 approval. We are hoping to make it to our daughter 2nd birthday in February, but I don’t want to be heartbroken and wish for this.

    • Brianna says:

      Yun I prayed everyday after we saw our girl that we would make it by her birthday. I was heartbroken and sad when the reality hit that we were not going to be with her but we celebrated a few days late and get to celebrate everyone of them from now on.

  2. Gwen H. says:

    Selah barely even looks like the same child who was placed in your arms a year ago in China. She has truly grown and blossomed with your love and care. I love reading about these precious children who were once orphans, and seeing the changes through pictures. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sure it will give encouragement and hope to families who may be considering adoption or who may be anxiously waiting to bring their child home. Best wishes to all of you for a happy forever.

    • Brianna says:

      Gwen, thank you for your kind words. Selah has grown so much over the past year. The changes at times are gradual but sometimes it feels like they happen overnight. Praying that by sharing our story will indeed encourage others to step out in faith to adopt.

  3. Mandy says:

    You two are the real meaning of selfless and excellent parents. Selah is lucky to be part of your family as well you’re all lucky to have this chance to show an amazing little girl a real life. The progress she’s made is astounding and she will continue to strive with the love of her great family! ❤️️

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