America’s Most Desperate Landscape 2018


Hello, DIY/AMDL! 

We are Marvyn and Celeste Peralta. In March 2009, we met swing dancing at LindyGroove, the coolest swing dance venue in Pasadena, California. In September 2010, we got married. We both love outdoor concerts, artisanal food, and swing & salsa dancing.

Celeste is a communications assistant at UCLA. Marvyn is a pediatric echocardiographer. In other words, he takes pictures of baby hearts. During our marriage, we’ve experienced job losses, health issues, financial setbacks and ailing parents. We also rejoiced in a small greeting card business, travel adventures and musical endeavors.

For the past 7 years, we’ve been trying to have a baby. No luck. After much soul-searching, we recently decided to begin the process of adoption — a journey in itself! In addition to high costs, there are several applications and forms, formal interviews, workshops, setting up resumes & profiles, learning CPR — all before you’re even formally selected as adoptive parents. 

Another requirement for the adoption process is to have a home that is child-friendly. Our backyard is definitely not. As you’ll see in our video, there are so many things wrong: no shade, overgrown weeds, rocks, ditches and more. The yard is hazardous and not a space for a young child to play. 

We admit it — our backyard is our “dirty little secret.” See for yourself:

Right now, the yard is not an oasis after my daily 120-mile work commute or a place to entertain friends and family. If you select us for the backyard makeover, it will be. We’d meet the requirement for a child-friendly backyard and home. Plus, we can finally have loved ones over and absolutely celebrate Marvyn’s 50th birthday next year — in swingin’ style!

Please help us make our 2018 dreams come true. 

Thank you for your consideration.

A confirmation upon receipt of this email is appreciated.


Celeste & Marvyn Peralta