This is what I found when I went upstairs to go to bed last night. Elena loves to sleep in our bed, even for a little while (as we almost never let her stay the whole night - she looks peaceful here, but she kicks hard when she's comatose). So I told her she could go to sleep in our bed and instead of moving her to her own bed right away, I just stood and stared at her for a long while. This girl is so precious to me. She's my Elena Glory, my firstborn, and she has made me so proud the way she has adjusted to no longer being the oldest. Psychologists warn against adopting out of birth order, but the Lord never gives those warnings in His exhortations to care for widows and orphans. Elena has had her fleshly side revealed to her and she didn't like it. She realized that she was sinful and selfish indeed, and she has grown and matured so much as a result. There were many times in the first few months when Elena would cry on my shoulder: "I hate how mean I am sometimes!" She has sought and learned how to be a blessing even though it isn't easy. I am so immensely proud of her.
Tomorrow Elena turns 8. Per her wishes, she will be spending the day with her Daddy. He's taking her for a donut breakfast in the morning, then he, Pedro, and Elena will go to pick out her birthday gift (from Pedro) - a bike, then Kyle will take her to dinner and a movie for their "date". She's been giddy all day, talking about it.
You can email a birthday wish to Elena at: firstname.lastname@example.org.