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Amazing Grace // Elijah is TWO!

Amazing grace

How sweet the sound ,
that saved a boy like me
Новости о русских сиротах

Американцы берут в свои семьи брошенных детей
I once was lost
Усыновление русских детей американцами
But now I’m found
Was blind
But now I see
Русские дети в американских семьях



Through many dangers, toils and snares…
we have already come.
First night away from orphanage



First dinner in Moscow


Second night in Moscow


T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far,
and Grace will lead us home.
First moments after we stepped off the plane in the US, we made it!
The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures.
(Like a couple of inadequate parents : )
He will my shield and portion be,  as long as life endures.
Dear Elijah,

Who are you, boy?  Seriously, no, I don’t even recognize you.  Where is that skinny, grumpy, dry skinned baby who avoided eye contact like the plague and thought cuddling was a US form of torture? Cause that’s the little boy we brought home.  Who is this daring, chubby, loving, funny charmer, who honestly is a better listener than your older brother at times?

Oh, and can swim.

You see, all you needed was to be let out of that crib, because once you were out, you started to unfold and showed the world who you are,

You are brave


A life lover

And are so funny

And today  you are two years old, Hurray!  Elijah, never in my life have I witnessed, felt, experienced someone change more in 6 months, than you–it has been remarkable.  When I look back on pictures, I don’t recognize you.  But in every way you have changed in body and spirit, you have changed the hearts, the purposes and lives of your family, your parents more.  And with tears in my eyes, I can tell you, boy, that you have changed us for the better.There is nothing that compares with seeing a child come to life before your very eyes.

We were told many families from your country looked at your file, only to move on to the next, well we are here to say they each missed out.  Like major.


To love you in an honor beyond compare, to watch you change, to grow is our joy.  You have taught us the true meaning of love.
Sometimes, little one, even though we love God, we get influenced by our world, and believe love is this beautiful, flowing, flowery emotion, one of mostly getting and feeling, even though what we believe in our essence paints a different picture.  One of blood and tears, and gruesome and hard, of giving past the point of hurt, but in this example, is where we find true love; with less of us, and more of giving–until you find something beautiful, you.
I used to read that people’s adopted children change their lives, and change them for the better, and would think, “awww, that’s a nice thing to say about them,” thinking it’s just what people say… but I didn’t know they meant it literally.  I mean, literally, Elijah, you, all 24 pounds of you (up from 16!), have changed our lives, wildly, for the better.
Those first few months, you cried and wailed, you fought and were lost, and now the words keep slipping our mouths, “We lucked out with this boy, this good, sweet boy.”Elijah has a speech therapist, an infant educator (both for free, at our house 🙂 and both of his teachers love him.  Its funny to see this boy, totally ignored for so long to have so many people investing, caring, loving.


Now Elijah, this is important.  This is a story, that in your heart, you may not have known was true, but I want to speak these words to you today, because although you didn’t know it at the time, although your tiny body and heart may have felt rejection on that day, God was already making his way for you, making room for you in more people who would love you, than those that would leave.
So Elijah, this is for you, take it deep in your soul, these words are true:

On the night you were born
“On the night you were born,
the moon shone with such wonder
that the stars peeked in
to see you
and the night wind whispered,
‘Life will never be the same.’
Because there had never been
anyone like you…
ever in the world.”
So enchanted with you were the wind and the rain, that they whispered the sound of your wonderful name.
It sailed through the farmland high on the breeze…
First day home
Over the ocean…
And through the trees…
5 months later
Until everyone heard it and everyone knew of the one and only ever you.


For never before in story or rhyme (not even once upon a time) has the world ever known a you, my friend, and it never will, not ever again…
Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born.”

-On the night you were born, Nancy Tillman

Thank you, Elijah, for teaching us what is important in this life.  For showing us a good use of our time and effort.

 We love you, ya big, chubby two year old!!!
*Kisses and pinches on your cheeks*
Amazing, amazing Grace.
Русские сироты в Америке

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
     and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61 

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  • Cari June 5, 2013, 2:49 pm

    Happy Birthday Elijah!!! we love you over here in Phoenix, Arizona <3

  • Angela Bailey June 5, 2013, 4:53 pm

    Simply AMAZING!

    Happy birthday, Elijah! You are a miracle.


  • Kate June 5, 2013, 5:10 pm

    Happy Birthday Elijah – you got me crying again Amy! So so thankful you guys were able to bring them home <3 Praise God!

  • Katie June 5, 2013, 6:05 pm

    WOW! just WOW! he is such a different kid now – look at him! he’s a REAL boy now! WOW! BEAUTY and JOY and LOVE and HOPE and LIGHT just RADIATE from that boy! this lifted my spirit so much today. he is incredible! (as are his parents!) God bless! ~Katie

  • amy jupin June 5, 2013, 6:28 pm

    i love him.

  • daniellem02 June 5, 2013, 6:55 pm

    WOW! Thank you for letting your readers follow this beautiful journey. What a change

  • Jennie June 5, 2013, 6:57 pm

    That boy’s eyes are the most beautiful eyes. They made me sob when you first posted pictures of him – they looked so sad and so deep and serious. Now they are as bright and happy as they were sad. I can only imagine how amazing that must be to witness in person!!!

    • The Tiny Team June 10, 2013, 3:45 am

      fo sho, I can’t put it into words adequately enough

  • Gina June 5, 2013, 7:27 pm

    Happy birthday, beautiful Elijah!

    And Amy: when the heck are you going to write a book? You have an amazing gift for writing–for shifting from humor and goofiness to deep, powerful emotion and back again, all the while in a style that is like a letter from a good friend. And you always leave me in tears!

    • The Tiny Team June 10, 2013, 3:44 am

      Awww, Gina, that means so much…I would so love that, I just don’t know what I would write about…but thanks for saying so, I would love love to some day, even though it would be totally weird that I did. Actually, I had ONE english teacher, who believed in me, my others wouldnt believe it 😉

    • Gina June 12, 2013, 3:23 am

      You don’t know what you would write about? You write about it all the time! These amazing kids, your amazing family, adoption and how it transforms lives…you have a talent, girlfriend. Your blog already touches so many lives, you could practically have a book with what you’ve shared already!

  • Rachel from Redeeming Her June 5, 2013, 8:37 pm

    Hi, I’ve read your blog from time to time through Jayma’s posts. I am so encouraged by today’s stunningly beautiful post of celebration! I also just shared some of my story of redemption today and ended with the same verse. Would love to share it with you now: http://redeemingher.blogspot.com/p/welcome.html

  • Kym June 5, 2013, 8:58 pm

    So beautiful!!! 🙂 Happy birthday Baby boy!

  • Heather S June 5, 2013, 10:50 pm

    It is really amazing to see such change. He is beautiful. Thanks for sharing so much!

  • lizzielou June 6, 2013, 12:53 am

    What an incredible change…he looks so scared in the crib in his orphanage, totally different look on his face….sweet little angel. Love to all of you as you celebrate His wonder xoxoxo

  • kate June 6, 2013, 2:10 am

    Elijah, we’re all so glad you were born!

    (I love your Russian subtitles. I hope they attract many-a-search engine. GREAT idea!)

  • Betty June 6, 2013, 3:33 am

    Oh my goodness…Happy Birthday Elijah! Beautiful, beautiful post.

  • Anna Alexandrova June 6, 2013, 9:09 am

    Gorgeous post! And a great idea to have Russian subtitles. But i have a feeling you used an automatic translator so they came out wrong (except for the first one), just about comprehensible but wrong. If you want I can give the correct version by email.

    Very best! Many thanks for this blog!

  • Jet June 6, 2013, 10:12 am

    Happy Birthday Elijah! Thank you for this beautiful post and your insightful words.

    I would be interested if you were to ever write more about those first months of transition for Elijah. You elude to those difficult times–his crying, the adjustment, etc. My dh and I are considering toddler adoption, and I would love to hear your experience of those more difficult times that you had to just keep on working through. Thank you for sharing your family’s beautiful and amazing journey! I feel so inspired by your blog.

    • The Tiny Team June 10, 2013, 3:48 am

      I think about it sometimes, but I think time still has to pass so that I can adequately think and draw conclusions of what works, you know? Our daily reality is shifting now, and I think I will soon be able to look back and better see what we did specifically and how it worked….if that makes sense.

  • Amanda June 6, 2013, 5:26 pm

    I’m just in tears, how redemptive and healing is love and good care!
    I’m so glad you guys followed the call to add him to your family.
    Thanks for sharing with us!

  • pat June 7, 2013, 1:17 am

    Happy Birthday dear one. I have so enjoyed watching you become the boy we see here now. You and your family are blessed.

  • Carla June 8, 2013, 3:57 am

    Happy Birthday Elijah! So incredible to see how much he has grown in such a short time. Such a handsome little man.

  • JaneC June 9, 2013, 4:28 pm

    A very happy Birthday to Elijah! Thank you for sharing the miracle of Elijah (and Maria too). Watching them learn to be part of your family gives me more understanding of God’s adoption of us.

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