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Where we are in the Adoption Process

Well, first of all….we are NESTING!  Maria and I cleaned out her entire room, every nook and cranny–she is kind of a sentimental hoarder, so it was kind of a thing.  It was amazing.  We bagged up all the clothes she is just flying through, she is growing so fast, and divvied it up to so many friends welcoming hosted little girls from orphanages this summer.  Things that were donated to us, now passed on to others in our same shoes, to more little girls given a chance and the love they so deserve.  It was so, so fun to do!  She was begging to share a room with her sister, but I told her it would be best to be separate so sister can nap and early bed, and her focus is being a student right now, she needs to be able to do school work, have access to her desk and books.  She understood, and told me she could just play with her, always when she is awake. 😉

She and I are working hard this summer to get her up as close to grade level as possible, she is eager and so willing to make it happen with me helping.  Such an awesome girl, pushing through so much.  She was never properly educated in her past, everything is new, yet she continues to press on, work hard, not discouraged.  She was never pushed to try before, but we see how smart she really is.

Also, can I just brag for a second about what happened here?  This is for language arts, in a language still so new to her.  Ok, sorry, I’m done now 🙂




Classic beginning of adoption: It flooded under our house, and our dishwasher broke, flooding our kitchen.  We borrowed a dehumidifier, cleaned everything up and it was all fine.  We watched YouTube and fixed the washer ourselves, ’cause we can’t afford a plumber.  All that means is we get to learn new skills, our motto is to always find the good.


Where are we in the process?  Are we just starting, are we…?


Last week, we finished our homestudy!  The same day they mailed it to us, we overnighted it to USCIS, yay!

Our social worker was amazing.  He came over on a weekend and just hung out with us at first.  We were doing play dough with the kids, making Elsa, Anna and Olaf.  He just kind of stood there for a while until he said, “This is my free therapy.”  He explained he worked for CPS during the week and spends his time taking children out of terrible situations, and works with adoptive families on the weekends.  “I need this weekend work, it’s good for my soul.”  He said most of the kids are ready to just leave when he shows up on behalf of CPS.  We had such a good conversation with him, awesome guy, knowledgeable and kind.


Yay!  Goodbye homestudy!  Godspeed!

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It was so different this time around, we knew just what to do:  Call and make medical apps. first for all of us, and we went that day to get our finger prints done.  THEN we switched homestudy agencies, because we found one with immediate email responses, then had to re-do the fingerprints…it was still worth it 🙂  We had to tell our old agency we were breaking up with them for that reason, sorry, but baby girl is waiting!  No hard feelings, but each month in the orphanage es no bueno.

Last time, I remember we geared ourselves up for the fingerprints for a week, and lost all hope (dramatic) at how much they cost, what are we doing!? we kept thinking.  This time they were done the same day, and we moved onto the next thing.  (Side note, should we write an e-book for sale, cheap about adoption stuff to help as a fundraiser, lemme know if you’d be interested)

This means, we are moving SO FAST, which is everything we could hope for, but it also means we are at a place where we are in huge need of quick fundraising.  We’re not losing sleep over it, yet, but we need to move fast.  I took a poll on our fb page and we are ready!  God called us to this child, and we will hold nothing back to be able to provide her with the family, and life and love that she needs.  We will sacrifice and work to make it happen.

If you would be willing to donate to our little girl, you will forever be a part of an orphan’s life change.  You will be the connection to creating an entirely different future for her.  It’s not the kind of investment that most financial planners would recommend, it’s a different kind of investing, the one into a life, an investment of love into the world, one less forgotten little girl.  In return, we will love her, provide for her, have so much fun, ensure her best education and life.  Forever:  http://www.youcaring.com/adoption-fundraiser/bring-little-c-home-/186162?utm_source=widget (You can change the amount towards the site from 5% to 0% if you would like!)

Cutting Back:

-Maria has decided between her two extras, she would do only piano, no gymnastics for now.  We will be doing surfing for free as a replacement this summer.  “It’s just temporary, honey,” I told her.

“It’s ok, mama, I want baby sister home!” she told me, helping me feel better about it.

-What better way to take our garden hobby, and turn it into something real.  We have researched and found ways to harvest our own seeds so we don’t need to buy them.  How to save on water and yield more crops.  Right now the goal is to eat mostly from here, and who knows, maybe sell crops as well.  We were very inspired by this incredible documentary:  Back to Eden.  It was about gardening, but it actually even put my heart at rest about fundraising as well.  It’s pretty cool.

photo 1

We are thinking about setting up a trade co-op with other homesteaders.  Friends from our growth group just gave us two chickens as a gift, they are so cute and fit right in.


Here is what we are planning now: As we prepare for the big cost of $11,000 in the next two weeks so we can get our travel dates:

-A poker night, Come one, come all, live music and fierce competition for a cause!

-a Cluck Fest here, and we will explain all the details of back yard chickens to everyone in our community for a small fee.

-making and selling organic avocado seedlings to sell from our own avo seeds

-having a market place here of things with items we believe in that can help us fund our adoption; essential oils, etc.

-DIY Kombucha kits to sell so you can start up your own batch on your own, it will be self sustaining after you start.  Bring on the heath and share it.

-You can shop handmade, unique jewelry made from artisans being lifted out of poverty here: Noonday Collection, which will help artisans and our adoption, plus nothing is cuter or more beautiful.   Anyone local who would like to host a trunk show, email me!  Super fun.

-Andrew is willing to pick up nights and weekends IT work for any personal or small business user, local or anywhere.  He can help ANYONE in the world and fix your computer issues remotly big or small, forget about geek squad, just email us.  We’ll fix you up in exchange for an adoption donation.  He’s the best: Contact Him Here  – www.buddyit.com/contactus.html

-If you are a business or blog looking to boost your readership/sales, we are willing and able to sell advertising space for a very small fee.  We hope it will help you as well as our little tiny one.  Email me: amy@tinygreenelephants.com or click the advertise link for more info.  Click Here to see how!

– I will do photography sessions for local families for a donation.

-We will help you set up garden boxes so you can get going on free food at you home for a donation.  Boxes, soil, drip lines, veggie planning and best tips, you know you want it!  Hit us up!  The kids can play as we get you going.

-Savvy Spaces:  It’s my secret dream to be a personal organizer. I love cleaning out people’s rooms or houses and making it look peaceful, calm and easy to relax and find things in.  LOVE IT.   If this is a need of yours, gimme a call, I’ll trade the work for an adoption donation.

– we’re coming up with maybe the coolest give-away ever, like I wish I could win it, stay tuned.  We’re hoping it will target even people who could care less about adoption, orphans, poverty, etc.  Break it open to all and any!

We’ll hug your cat for you, if you need.

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Please share this.  We would love for this adoption to benefit more than one little girl.  You may not need photography or garden beds, but your sister, aunt, friend or neighbor does, please share!  We hope to help and bless others as we work hard to bring home our daughter out of an orphanage.

Thank you friends,

So much love from our family.

P.S.  Which of these offerings would you be most interested in?  What should we add?  We would so love your thoughts, ideas and inspirations.  


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  • Maryam S. June 7, 2014, 4:11 pm

    I have been thinking about all of you and the adoption of your little girl since I found out on FB! I wish we lived closer so I could take up some of your offers. However, I have an idea of my own that I hope will allow me to send my small gift of donation (I’m just working on it and will email you soon)! I want this so much for your family and pray that the end result will be a fabulous success. Keep believing <3

    • tinyteam June 7, 2014, 9:27 pm

      Thank you sweet Maryam, you have such a kind, encouraging and open heart and bless so many

  • Kelly Bryson June 7, 2014, 4:21 pm

    I said this on your Facebook, but I think the idea of a book sharing your experiences and wisdom about the foreign adoption process would be a real service to a lot of overwhelmed people. You are such a wonderful writer, and I know it would be a comfort and encouragement to parents. You also have so many great fundraising ideas here — wish I still lived in Escondido and could take advantage of more. But I will hope you do more auctions on Facebook. And I’ve sent a donation to RR. You have a blessed little girl coming into this wonderful family!

    • tinyteam June 7, 2014, 9:26 pm

      Yes, i think we may do an auction. I did one for four friends a few months ago, I can gear up and do it again soon!

      Thank you for the encouragement about the e-book, if anything, how cool would it be to help other families?

      • Kelly Bryson June 9, 2014, 12:35 pm

        Yes, I bought several items from your auction last year for your sister-in-law, and now the kids are home – yay!! It’s a great idea. And yes, I have several friends/relatives who have or are currently going through the international adoption process and I KNOW your book would be helpful. You are a great writer, Amy! I’ve never met you and yet you make me cry all the time …. what’s with that?! ha ha~

  • Rebecca Spotswood June 7, 2014, 4:36 pm

    You have SO MANY great ideas for fundraising! I would TOTALLY buy the ebook!

    • tinyteam June 7, 2014, 9:25 pm

      Ok, I am starting it now 🙂

  • Julie June 7, 2014, 4:39 pm

    I would do lots of these if we were local–personal organizing, kombucha kit, photo session, garden boxes. But we will find another way to donate to you soon–we were so happy to be a small part of Maria’s adoption fundraising, and would like to support you too. I think online auctions/lotteries are great to attract long distance donors. Also, I’m assuming this isn’t possible, but I know you know that it helps attract donations to have a picture of the child so they have a face to make it seem more real and person. I’m assuming that you’re not allowed to post pictures of her at this point?

    • tinyteam June 7, 2014, 9:25 pm

      I wish we could share her picture, if we could, I think it would be so much easier to fundraise, she is really just cute as a button. Thank you for everything you did for Maria, you helped change her whole life

  • Julie June 7, 2014, 7:52 pm

    Sorry for the typos above, but hopefully the meaning is clear!

    • tinyteam June 7, 2014, 9:24 pm

      I dont notice typos, lol!

  • Lucy June 7, 2014, 9:19 pm

    These are all wonderful ideas, but I hope you won’t have to use them all! Your blog has been an encouragement to so many people that I bet if we all just chipped in $10 you’d be fully funded overnight. I’m going to pray that you will be overwhelmed with support from people anxious to give back as a small thank you for the blessing your blog has been to us.

    • tinyteam June 7, 2014, 9:24 pm

      This made me cry, thank you

  • Kristi Carreon June 8, 2014, 1:16 am

    I, too love the garden boxes and the organizing but i am not local either 🙁 more web based/national fundraisers would be nice. I agree with Lucy. How many readers do you have. Could you do a challenge or request or whatever you want to call it where a choose a date some time in the future that you heavily advertise in social media as a give day and ask everyone to give $1, or 3 or 5 depending on your readers and the amount of money you need left. And , I don’t know, say watch it grow or something slick. If one buck from every reader would help then who wouldn’t donate a buck right ? But I don’t know how many readers you have. But you could ask all your mom friend bloggers to do it with you. Then a dollar a reader certainly would make a difference ! God Bless you

  • Marrina June 8, 2014, 1:31 am

    I’ll be home this summer from school. I would love to see you and if there is anything I could do or help with please let me know!

  • Megan June 8, 2014, 3:25 pm

    I would definitely buy the adoption ebook! Not local enough to take advantage of the services, but if I was, I would! We’ve been trying to get a garden going, so I’d buy a book about that too!

  • Chelsea June 8, 2014, 7:13 pm

    I would buy the ebook! We’ve wanted to adopt for 4 yrs but every time we start it’s too overwhelming for us. We don’t know what to do next!

  • Tiffany June 8, 2014, 7:47 pm

    I would totally buy an adoption e-book! I’m sure you know just how hard it is to find information! The the most valued information is from people who have already made the journey before!
    I think all the fundraising ideas sounds fabulous. Might I suggest handing out ziplock sandwich bags at church for people to fill with the change in their cars and you guys could collect it as they exit the parking lot? My husband always has at least $7.00 change in his console. Change adds up!
    PS- I do graphic design work, and I would love to donate some prints or e-prints for people to download for donations (like on etsy) of cutesy quotes or pretty things, if you’re interested. Let me know 🙂

  • Miriam June 9, 2014, 1:07 pm

    Congratulations! I’m a bit behind on the announcement but I’m so delighted for you all! 🙂
    I’ve been following your blog since just before you adopted Maria & Elijah and its been beautiful watching them blossom and seeing you parent so lovingly and wisely. I’m excited to watch how God will use your family in another little girls life & her in yours!

    If I lived anywhere near you I would take you up on SO many of your offers, particularly organising! I have a chronic illness which means that I can’t do much housework so I would happily pay someone to come in & do some spring cleaning/organising/decorating for me, and from talking to friends with similar illnesses & disabilities I know I’m not alone! Maybe you could try advertising with some local support groups or doctors offices, I think they would be a good target audience for your Savvy Spaces services.

  • Tania June 11, 2014, 9:06 am

    YAY!! this is such exciting news! congratulations guys! We’ve been so emotionally invested in everyone’s EE adoption journeys, i am really looking forward to seeing this completely different story unfold.

  • Erin Skrobot June 11, 2014, 3:18 pm

    I can’t wait to hear what the big giveaway is going to be! ; D

  • Kelly Bryson June 12, 2014, 6:12 pm

    Amy, you probably know about these, but they’ve been super easy ways I’ve been able to contribute to two other families adopting from Reece’s Rainbow. One is iGive.com, and the other is amazon.com – both of which can be linked to you so that when people are shopping online, part of the proceeds go to you. Such an effortless way for people to help. Sorry — you’re probably an old pro at both of these but I hadn’t seen you post anything about it so I’m just mentioning it!

  • Alicia June 19, 2014, 10:28 pm

    Amy! We have been on vacation and I am just now catching up. I am so so so excited for you guys and will be praying for you guys for sure. I’m sharing and will be praying how our family could help yours.

  • Sarah Heath October 20, 2015, 12:28 pm

    The eBook! Yes! Bring it on! You guys have absolutely given us a place to start with our dream of adopting! God bless you! Wish we lived closer so you could set us up with gardening stuff.