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Donations for the babies

We landed in Vladivostok in the middle of the afternoon on Monday, so ready.  We wanted to picked up the kids on the way home from the airport to the hotel, but they said we couldn’t because we had so many errands to run the next day, in fact, we may not be able to pick the kids up tomorrow, but on Wednesday on the way to the airport…”What?” We asked.

“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….”


“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.


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  • Farm School Marm November 29, 2012, 11:55 pm

    I just came across your blog a couple of weeks ago – so I’m not a donator and am not making any suggestions. I just want to raise my eyebrows. 🙂 And say, “AWESOME!” I loved reading this post!

  • Chelsea November 30, 2012, 2:29 am

    I don’t know if you saw this on the RR group, but I definitely had a dream about Kate a few nights ago. I dreamt that she got a family and you were telling Maria: “Guess what, Maria! Guess what Kate has now!” I woke up before Maria guessed. I’m praying that Kate’s family finds her soon.

  • April November 30, 2012, 2:38 am

    I didn’t donate, but have prayed for you since coming across your blog so very long ago. I think it is wonderful that you want to split the ‘extra’ among two sweeties!

  • Katie November 30, 2012, 2:42 am

    Maria reminds me so much of my Alivia… who isn’t home with me right now, but she was for the better part of seven years. She has that joy. I love it. Our girls would be friends. What you said in the post about coming home, her reaction to her closet, the dresses… oh boy, I definitely have one of those girly girls. We live in Ohio so we had to invest in a large amount of leggings and tights and boots so she could wear dresses year ’round.

    Anyways, I just want to say I love your blog and the kids are precious, beautiful pictures. I have to ask how you came up with the name of your blog. I ask because elephants are sort of a special thing for Liv and I… her lovey is an elephant, and I bought two so that whenever we were separated we could each have one to hug, and remember that the other person is hugging theirs and missing us too. I sleep with mine every single night and I’m a fully grown woman. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for elephants thanks to my princess.

    I’m so glad you followed your hearts to bring these kids home. Reading about them and seeing their sweet faces warms my heart.

    • Kim Yeatts December 3, 2012, 4:58 pm

      Katie, I saw this in the F.A.Q. post…

      “Chelsea asked: I’ve been meaning to ask this one for a while. How did the Tiny Green Elephants blog get its name?

      Well Chelsea, prepare yourself for the deep nature of the name, and perhaps the spiritual nature involved with our decision: Finley has green elephants on one of his crib sheets. And it just kind of stuck…so there you go!”

  • Deanna November 30, 2012, 5:50 pm

    Our hope in donating was to help the children still waiting for their family. However you feel accomplishes that is fine with us! So overwhelmed with your beautiful story and pray for your family and the children still waiting every day. God bless!

  • Kristi November 30, 2012, 10:44 pm

    Kate will not spend next Christmas alone, I just know it!! Thank you so much for all you’re doing, to show the world this precious, precious child!

  • kate December 1, 2012, 12:33 am

    Did you meet Marjorie or is her picture just calling to you? Would love to know more about her…Will be praying–for her and for Kate!

    We left a best friend in the orphanage, too. When we tried to go back for her, we found she’d *just* been adopted. We met up in France six months later. It was a blessing to see her in a family!

  • Squiggly Rainbow December 3, 2012, 2:59 am

    I think splitting it between the girls is a great idea. We sent off our email here to become Foster Parents, the first step! Exciting times. Please pray for us. Love to everyone xx

  • Women for All Seasons December 3, 2012, 12:38 pm

    Are you the one who made Marjorie’s adoption fund jump up so quickly? I nearly fell out of my chair last week when I saw the increase. (Yes, I check her page at least three times a day! Love her!) Regardless, you are an awesome advocate!!!

  • Elle Bee December 4, 2012, 7:44 pm

    Amy, I am so fine with however you choose to use the money!! I love your heart and I love these kids–all of them. I feel blessed to just be able to give, however it is helpful.