“Um, no seriously you guys, seriously, you guys don’t want to see two grown adults cry, do you?” I asked, trying to lighten the mood since we were feeling kind of pushy, but this was big.
At the hotel, I texted two of my friends to pray that we could get our kids the next day, and they both prayed with their husbands right then (I know, I’m blessed)
That night, I emailed them late at night, “Please, please, what if we woke up at 6? What if we go really early, I am bringing the clothes and food no matter what, just remember, you guys don’t want to see us cry, right?” (They’re Russian, they don’t 😉
They agreed to go early, but not to picking up the kids. We ran so many errands our heads were spinning, picking up decrees, picking up all sorts of things all over town.
“Oh, and can we also stop by the baby store?” I mentioned, they just looked at me, I was making their jobs harder. I sat in the car, and prayed, watching all the lovely Russians walk past me in their beautiful fur lined coats in the bright, cold day.
After an hour at one stop, Sveta got in the car, just getting off the phone, “It was Elijah’s director, they said if we make it by three….”
“YESSSSS!!! WE CAN!! LET’S GO!”
“We have to buy a cake, it’s tradition.”
“Are their diapers we can buy there?”
I saw Elijah’s orphanage across the street as we parked and ran in to the tiny market to buy a cake. Then, I spotted them. A couple shelves of baby supplies. Without asking, I grabbed a cart and with my whole arm, scooped the supplies into the cart, “Andrew, help me,” I whispered.
“We don’t have time…”
“I know, I know,” all the Russians were staring at the weird, young couple buying more baby supplies than anyone would ever need, filling two carts. As we hoped in line, and they started scanning each item, I went back and bought some fresh fruit and vegetables. It was then we realized we had never converted out money to rubles.
The securtiy guard, and the two workers were trying to help us, without looking at us, the other shoppers were staring, and the baby shelves were all empty when it was time to scan the card, each item painstakingly swiped, every tiny jar of babyfood. The total was over $750 worth of rubles.
She swiped the card.
The card swiped 6 times, nothing I took my jacket off, I was sweating, our baby waiting, we still hadn’t picked up our girl, I started imagining putting each item back after making such a big ordeal in this tiny, quiet store…
“Wait,” Sveta said, and walked outside. There are no ATMs here, imagine going back in time many decades.
We sat their, twiddling our thumbs avoiding eye contact with the workers, all our items bagged as the two women stared at all the stuff they just bagged, Dasha was staring at her watch.
“Oh jeez, Andrew…”
“I know, we’ll see.”
10 long minutes later, Sveta came back in with $750 worth of rubles, and handed it to the tellers.
We threw everything into the car to pop across the street. “I have a relative who lives close,” she mentioned–of course.
We gave that director that darn cake, and filled her office with bags and bags of baby supplies, wipes, cream, diapers, food, formula, crackers, cereal, fruit, potatoes, you name it.
She raised her eye brows, which is Russian for, “Wow,” and maybe even thank you.
But we do want to thank each person who donated, even if you feel like your donation was small, it will bring so much aid, relief, nutrition, and hopefully change by example, by the outpouring of love to so many little ones. Thank you.