Today, it felt like we were officially a family...which, of course, we are. =O)

First off, both Erin and Ellie felt MUCH better today...a huge answer to prayers. Ellie was back to her ol' self.

The only thing we had to do today was finish up the passports for the kids. After that, the day was ours as a family! We took them to the hotel, which was quite an experience for them. They LOVED the bed and the pillows! We've got pictures of the experience, which we still can't show, but you'll definitely see them later. Such big smiles and giggles!

And we slept. As a family, all on the bed. It's seriously a moment I've dreamed of, and it was amazing. 1 1/2 hours later, we had to wake the kids from their deep slumber to head to a restaurant, their first ever restaurant experience. Elijah grabbed for everything in sight, which we expected. And Ellie was beyond incredible. She is such a sweet and gentle girl. Erin shared some spaghetti with her, which she very quickly (but politely) took it down. Erin showed her how to push the small last pieces together, which she picked up immediately, and she also learned how to use a straw. I'm pretty sure she's the most brilliant, beautiful little girl that has ever lived.

I can't even begin to explain the feeling of dropping our beautiful children back off at the orphanage each evening. I'm not sure how much more of that I can take. If all goes according to plan, we will be able to take the children for good on Monday. That means two more days of taking them for the day and then leaving them. Please pray for Ellie and Elijah to understand that we're coming back and that we love them, and for us to be able to handle the emotions. We know that in the end, we'll have our kids and all the hardships will be WELL-worth it.

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