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By Tuesday Ezra started to come out of his shell. He laughs a loud, wide open-mouthed laugh when he scores a goal (aka – kicks the soccer ball between the wall and the trashcan). Muttering lingala to himself, he sets out the little suction cup toys our friend Tucker gave us and the toy cars we brought from home like a parking lot of parked cars and blue, red, and yellow people looking for their cars. We were told he likes to watch soccer and professional wrestling on TV and we believe it since he mainly wants to play soccer and wrestle with Brent.

He has been a lot of fun but he is also beginning to test us. After being reprimanded for picking up the phone in our room several times, Ezra retreated to a corner to sulk. He moaned softly until tears rolled down his cheeks. Although we are touched by his sadness this isn’t our first rodeo. It will take more than a tantrum with forced tears to let him call long distance on the Congolese hotel phone.

We skipped his nap yesterday in lieu of a meeting with our friend who is working to secure Ezra’s exit letter. (Note: Please pray for things to continue to move in that direction. We have permission to apply for his exit letter but it’s not complete as of Wednesday morning. We need this document in order to leave with our son on Friday evening.) The skipped nap may have something to do with his crocodile tears. We had an early supper of Ramen noodles, bread, and applesauce, and then we gave him a shower and put him in his p.j.’s. We settled in the bed with popcorn and Bugs Bunny cartoons on the iPad. Ezra was asleep by 7:30.

This trip is different in many ways from the one we took in 2014. That week was filled with making memories and taking pictures to shore us up for the months we’d spend away from Ezra. This time, we’re happy to be with him but we’re ready to go home and less patient on those endless, hot afternoons. We’re so excited to introduce Ezra to his sisters and brother. We’re ready to merge him into a busy, happy life.

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