The visas (travel stamps, not credit cards!) from the Chinese government are for our passports and allow us to enter into the country. The visa application required photos of each person in the family. Easy right? Nope, not when that includes taking the picture of a two-year-old that hides her face every time a camera is taken out.
There are very specific requirements for the photos and they must be against a plain background, a close-up of the face, looking straight ahead, etc. EBean refused to meet any of those requirements. The woman taking the photos (who also had a toddler) was wonderful and tried all kinds of tricks to get EBean to cooperate. Then we decided that Jamie would try and take the photo and the other woman would leave the room. Still no luck. Next plan was that I would hold onto EBean and try to take a picture of her looking over my shoulder. How about me holding her up over my head? Still no luck. At this point both Jamie and I are sweating from holding her and feeling a bit of pressure. We have to have this pictures, but we're not sure how it's going to get done. EBean was also causing a bit of a commotion (i.e. whining and crying), which reverberated nicely through-out all of the cubicles around the corner. One gentleman stopped by to offer his condolences, I don't think the employees are used to crying in their building.
Jamie and I exchanged a quick look of desperation between the two of us and decided we'd give it one more try before heading off to lunch. This time we decided that Jamie would count to three, hold EBean above his head (to get in front of a plain background) and I would snap the photo. It almost worked! Between the tickling and being hoisted up in the air EBean was smiling, but the picture was not close enough on her face. By this time she would not look straight forward, so we had to alter the plan just a bit. With the promise of candy (one in her mouth) and the instruction to "look for the M & M behind mommy's head" we got the winning picture. Hooray and we all rejoiced!
It occurred to me that we would probably have many moments like this throughout our move to China. Times where we would have to improvise, try plans A, B, C & D and feel a little pressure, but if we could make it, the memories would be wonderful.
I'm including two photos in this post of EBean. The first one is of Jamie holding her over his head. If you look at the lower left-hand corner of the picture you can just barely see Jamie's hand. The second photo is the one we had to include with the visa application. She has an M & M in her mouth, which explains the weird smile and you can tell her eyes are searching for the mysterious M & M behind mom's head.
|Such a cute photo, but not usable for the visa application.|
|The final photo!|
P.S. When LBean is taking photos of EBean now she'll tell EBean to "look for the M &M"