Today was a really good day. AJ seemed more relaxed with us. We were greeted with great big hugs this morning with the expression of "they came back for me." Oh his heart is so tender! We heard lots of laughs today, and he smiled a lot more. He enjoyed playing ball with his papa. Poor Ryan, papa is not his choice of names, but I must admit it's too cute hearing AJ call out for his papa. AJ enjoys playing outside so we spent quite a bit of our time on the playground. I loved, LOVED holding him while we were on the swings. Feeling his body relax while I'm holding him is such a joy. It's a blessing he is letting down his guard! And while his guard is being let down with us, some of the other children get jealous at times. He has been hit a few times. It bothers me greatly to see this and we do stop it, but I also understand why they are mad. They hit because it's the only way some of these children know how to deal with that emotion. I can just hear Karen Purvis talk about children from the hard places. Orphanages are hard places. We are at the best of the best places to be. These 80 children get amazing care, but there is not the nonstop quality time of a parent. Children crave the unconditional love of parents. They crawl into your lap practically screaming "love me." They put your hand on their back or head or arm for you to rub. The little blind girl who stays in the isolation room with a baby gate at the door did not want to let go of my hand this morning because that's her way of saying "sit by me and love me." So yes I understand why some are jealous of AJ getting parents and so much attention. The good news is many will have their special days of meeting their parents soon. The questioning of "will somebody love me" will be answered, and the anger and sadness will slowly fade away. But my heart can't forget the ones who will remain and eventually be sent to older children orphanages or be put into institutions. It's crazy how such a good and joyous week is also heartbreaking. I'm happy, truly I am. I have waited a long time for this week. It's just hard seeing real orphan faces. It's even more difficult once I know their names. It changes everything. Everything! It breaks the guard I have around my little American Dream. I don't want a big house or a nice car or dare I even say fancy educations for my children. I just want to be a mother. A mother who shows and tells my children of the love of God because love changes everything.