Started out the day by shopping. You may be surprised to find that Erin is quite the negotiator! They would say "5,000" (Rwandan francs), and she would be like "Will you take one?" They'd say no, and she'd say okay and walk out...then they'd follow her saying, "okay, okay" and she'd seal the deal. So proud.

After shopping, we went to get our kids! We took them out of town a bit to visit a true Rwandan home, the kind of place most people live outside the city. I can't begin to describe it to you, but those of you reading this back home should all just take a moment and THANK GOD for what you have.

We came back to town, ate some good ol' Rwandan cuisine, and went back to the hotel. As we entered the room, both kids began SCREAMING at the top of their lungs. Huge tears. With Elijah, you expect to not be able to communicate anyway, because he's only 21 months old. But with Ellie...she's talking up a storm, but we can't understand each other. It was SO hard to know what was bothering her. Erin took Elijah and calmed him down, and I took Ellie for a walk. She calmed down immediately and we took a walk around the hotel, smelling flowers and smiling. But anytime I started approaching the room...whimpers and tears. I finally figured out that when she see our room, she sees the bed - which has only been associated with sleep for her. There's no such thing in her little mind as a bedroom for her to play in AND sleep. She has only known a huge room with a ton of beds. So I just brought her back to the room, knowing she'd start wailing again...which she did. Elijah was out by then, so we both just played with her and talked gently to her and laid on the bed as she cried and quieted down. She eventually fell asleep. =O)

Elijah smiles and giggles a lot...when he's not sleeping (which isn't much). He's become quite the momma's boy. I've fed him a couple of times, but now he won't take it from me. He just cries until we put him in Erin's arms and he immediately starts eating! He's really quite attached to her and it's so good to see the bonding taking place. And because Erin's always taking care of him, I'm always taking care of Ellie more and we're bonding quite nicely ourselves.

So, we're getting the hang of it - but that communication piece is pretty challenging with the older children. And I think she's frustrated that we can't understand her. But all in all, it was a great parenting moment. It was pretty tough (again) to pull up to the orphanage and hear Ellie start to whimper. We asked our guide to tell her we love her and we'll see her in the morning...and that we have a pretty dress for her to wear to church.

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