These pictures were actually taken yesterday. We went on an outing to get Julia and Aaron's passport and visa pictures taken. We first went to Aaron's building and I took a few pictures of where he sleeps and spends his days. Then we went to get Julia and got in the car for our first trip out of the orphanage. Julia was absolutely wonderful and did not seem phased at any point in time while traveling. She did get a bit distressed when they were trying to get her to look straight when taking her passport picture. But it never escalated to anything disruptive and she was just as happy after as she had been before. So from what we can tell, she seems like she will be a trooper while traveling home. I can only hope and pray! Aaron was very excited to be going somewhere as he was getting dressed. And as you can see from his picture down below he was all smiles about it. I made sure it was explained to him that this was not the day he would come home with me. So he knew he was coming back to the orphanage afterwards. He was fine until about half way to the foreign passport office when he became agitated about the seatbelt. He was progressively getting squirmy and irritated. Tatiana was explaining to him why he was to wear the seatbelt. He would be okay for a little bit, but started getting more and more restless. He started swaying his head, seemingly displaying some sort of "self-soothing." Aimee and I were getting a bit nervous of where this was going to go. When we got to passport office, I picked him up and carried him across the street. There was some construction being done that was fairly noisy outside this office and he promptly covered his ears with both hands. He seemed to not like the noise at all. Aimee was carrying Julia who is still completely fine with all of this. The only thing that seems to bother Julia the most is the sunlight. We cupped our hands over her eyes and she was okay. I brought some sunglasses that will strap around her head, but I forgot them. I'm not sure she will like them, but we will try them if needed. Anyways, when we got inside, I sat him down on a bench. While we were waiting to get taken back for his picture, he was displaying the same head rolling behavior and sometimes looked like he was about to cry. He was very squirmy and could not sit still. Then, finally, I saw him pinch himself between his legs and I finally realized HE NEEDED TO PEE!!! I quickly asked Valentin to find out where a toilet was. Once found, I raced him in and the poor little guy went for about 2 minutes. He really had to go.....and was fine afterwards!! Phew : ) I was so relieved that was all it was. Now I know what signs to look for AND I know he can hold it for quite a while.
I know many of you are wondering what the time line is from here on out. The passports should arrive here on Thursday. All the paperwork will be overnighted to the embassy for it to be submitted on Friday. Then we have the three day weekend for the Easter holiday. Gotcha Day will be the Monday after Easter and we will travel by express train Monday evening. This will be a 6 hour train ride to Kiev. Tuesday we will go the embassy and take care of the kids medical and receive their visas and passports. Wednesday we have a 2pm flight from Kiev to Frankfurt and then a one hour layover (yikes....pray that this is enough time) until we fly home to Washington. Please also pray that we can get a bulk head seat with a bassinet for Julia. She does not sit up and is rigid with her back, neck and head slightly to severely arched most of the time. This will be a difficult trip if I cannot lay her somewhere flat for at least some of the time. I have been told that the bulk head seating is set aside for passengers with small children and people with special needs, but it is also first come first serve. With only a one hour layover, this in not likely if I can only request this at the gate in Frankfurt. I am going to try to request this when I am in Kiev, however, I don't know whether this will work or not.
The room Aaron and his "groupa" sleep in
Room where Aaron and his "groupa" play and watch TV
Aaron's name tag on his bed
Aaron getting dressed for our outing
All ready to go!!!!