Today was such a big day. Today Irina Grace and Artyom Malachi officially become Dahlens. Today we are listed as their parents on their birth certificates. Today was the day we have been praying over for months. Praise God that this process has gone smoothly and quickly up to this point!
Our 10 day wait was up Monday. Finally! If you have been through this process, you know how nerve wracking those days are. Your kids are not really yours until you have a court decree in your hand. During that 10 day wait, any number of problems are possible. It is like holding your breath for 10 days. Everything had gone well up to this point, but until that document was in hand, we just prayed nothing would change. This morning we could breath again. With our court decree officially in hand, we started the 2nd half of this process-getting the paperwork to get OUR kids home! On the agenda today-lots of driving, lots of waiting, and birth certificates, tax ID numbers, and passport applications. It was a never ending stream of visits and officials and paperwork. Fortunately, all went well. Tomorrow we will take the kids out of the orphanage to get pictures made for their passports, and then we wait. Their passports will hopefully be ready Monday, we will go to the embassy on Tuesday and wednesday, and then we will go home thursday! At least that is the plan at this point. Pray that all the details work out as they need to!
Today was also the day we visited the kids for the first time since the day we had court. We had no idea how they would react, but wow to see their grins when they saw us! Both of them were so excited! Ira Grace insisted that I pick her up! The orphanage director told us they had been asking when we were coming back since we left. I wish I had enough words in their language to explain to them all the changes about to happen in their lives. However, even if I had the words, I know they wouldn't understand. Their world has been within 4 concrete walls for their entire lives. They are about to enter the world. Just a few more days!
And today was the day they met Anna Faith for the first time. They had seen pictures of her since we first started visiting her and both immediately recognized her. Ira Grace immediately went and took her hand. Malachi warmed up to her in a way I have never seen him take to someone. Both were following her around, talking to her, sharing with her, copying her, and smiling at her. If she did something, they had to do it too. I can not wait till they can meet Samuel too. Thank you God for bringing these 2 home finally. It feels like they have always belonged with us. We will always be missing a piece. We will not be complete without our Abigail. Even when they are home, our family will not be together or whole, but we are so happy to welcome these 2 little ones. It is bittersweet.
Today was the day we have been waiting for. The day we have been journeying toward. All of you have been such a huge part of this for us and these kids. I can't wait to post our gotcha pictures this weekend!