Random

I have a lot on my mind. I’m not sure what to share so here are a few random thoughts about things:

  • My foster son is African American. If you doubt racism exists, I can confirm for you that it does. Go ahead and stay in your safe little corner if you disagree. But, I’ll also tell you that it exists across all lines and cultures. I’ve been looked at with disdain by people of a few different colors, when we’re out and about. The kids in the neighborhood don’t care. His favorite friend is a little Caucasian girl that’s in the same grade. They became quick friends. It’s sad that adults are so f’d up. I wonder sometimes if our culture is beyond healing.
  • In brighter news, today I took FS6 shopping. DSS provided me with a voucher for some clothing, shoes, and personal items. On top of some summer shoes & clothes, I bought him some hair care and skin products. I read up on skin care and hair care for African American children. I still haven’t picked out a barber for him though. Anyway, the checker at the store was an older African American woman. She looked at the lotion and hair products I bought and though I’d spent some time reading about them she said, “You’re not really sure what to buy are you?” I said, “No.” Honestly, I’m not. I’m just trying to find the best things for his skin & hair. She said, “See what you do is, you find a barber near home. You take him there every two weeks and let them take care of his hair and show you what he needs. They’ll teach him how to comb it and care for it. If you like the first one you go to, ask him to be your personal barber. He’ll take care of him, for you.”
  • I was touched, to be honest. It’s one of the first times that anyone has kindly given me advice (versus looking at me with disdain). She talked a bit about her own daughter. At one point, my FS6 was acting up a little. Not much, because he’s a good kid, but he honestly didn’t listen to me. Well, she took care of that and told him to knock it off and act right. 🙂 He sure did. To be honest, one of my prayers right now is that if he’s with me long term, I will know how best to keep him connected to his African American community. I so appreciate her kindness.
  • She also told me she thought about fostering at one time. Many people have told me that. It’s not easy to step out and do it. Frankly, it’s not easy once you’re in it. But if it’s on your heart somewhere, it’s worth pursuing a little until your figure out your place in the world of fostering.
  • Maybe you’re not meant to foster. But if your heart is with those who do, maybe finding a way to support organizations or families who do, is a great place to start.

For the random people that run across my blog because of foster care, one word of advice I’d offer the single women – particularly if you’re over 40 like me. Take a long, hard look at where you stand with your own journey with having biological children. If you’re still grieving the life you don’t have, maybe hold off on fostering for a bit.

It’s not a life that is without pain and grief. My gut feeling some time back was that if I wasn’t going to be given the gift of biological children, perhaps I should adopt an infant before becoming a foster parent.

I can tell you that this is absolutely what I should have done. Being 42 and knowing that your chances to have a biological child are fairly non-existent is a grief that isn’t easy to process. And as such, foster care isn’t the right answer for that kind of grief. It doesn’t mean it’s not part of my calling. But I do know for a fact now that rushing myself through these painful feelings was not good for me.

And it makes fostering, which is complex and filled with some sad and painful moments, that much harder. Actually, if you’re a couple struggling with infertility, I’d probably offer the same advice. Make sure you’ve really processed through the complex feelings regarding having bio kids, before you jump in.

It’s not that it won’t ever be right for you. It’s that maybe you need a little time to work through what won’t be, before you’re fully ready. I was not fully ready. But here I am so . . . I keep movin’.

My FS6 is a sweet boy and for however long he needs the safety and stability here, he’ll have it. I pray in the meantime God hears my prayer for healing and…for a baby. When I’m feeling really cray cray, I ask for the opportunity to give birth. But that’s probably getting really crazy. 🙂

All In

For the longest time, I tried to make excuses. I figured that there had to be more.

Why? Because nothing made sense. I lived everyday with this confusion hanging over my head and the belief that somehow, somewhere this would all make sense.

But I’m tired of making excuses and I’m tired of trying to make sense of that which will never make sense.

The man I need in my life is all in. He chases me down and won’t let go. The man I need in my life is careful with my heart and doesn’t run over it.

The man I need in my life won’t lie to me or hide the truth from me. The man I need in my life will cherish me. The man I need in my life won’t continually hurt my heart, even after I’ve asked for a reprieve.

Relationships aren’t easy. Marriage will take work. I am a romantic at heart but I know it won’t always be easy. And there will be days and weeks when choosing agape love for my husband will be hard – when the romance and feelings wane.

But, even still, there are some basics I can’t and won’t compromise on. I made excuses for so long. I can’t make them anymore.

The man who will choose me, will choose a woman who will love him unconditionally, fiercely, and find new ways to build him up when he feels knocked down.

I know what I bring to the table. So I’m tired of making excuses and chasing down any man that’s not all in for me. The one who is, will never regret that. But until he’s all in, he’s not the one I’ve waited and prayed for, for so long.

So I’ll keep waiting & praying.

Things I Would Like To Do . . .

elaina avalos, romance, love, relationships

Where are you, Baby?

Still somewhere choosing your words carefully, I presume?

There’s a hole here in this big house. It feels even bigger than normal.

There are things I’d like to do with you.

I’d like to cook an extravagant dinner with you, music playing, and candles burning.

I’d like to argue debate pointless & meaningless things with you because you make me laugh when you’re trying to be right & stick to a point for no reason.

I’d like us to unwind from a long day on the back porch, drinks in our hands, and a fire burning in the fire pit.

I’d like to raise some kids with you.

I’d like to find new ways to find each other, when the romance wanes and life gets hard.

I’d like to feel safe with you.

I’d like to curl up next to you, in our big bed – settling in beside you – the only person I want to share a bed with, for the rest of my life.

I’d like to camp with you, beside the ocean or in the mountains. I grew up doing this and there is nothing better than to wake up on a cool summer morning, the scent of our campfire still clinging to the air.

I’d like to make you laugh for the rest of my life. Or at least until I turn into a senile old lady (haha). But more important, I want to laugh with you. It’s the way we will get through.

There are so many things I’d like to do with you.

Let’s start now.

 

Things I need

  1. Sleep. More sleep.
  2. To eat meals when I’m hungry.
  3. To see the way you look at me sometimes. But just…all the time.
  4. Your arms around me.
  5. Someone to tell me it’s going to be alright.
  6. To know there’s a reason and a rhyme for how I ended up here, heart so tired and broken.

Babies & White Picket Fences

 



One day you wake up and you’re no longer young. I mean young, young. As a woman, you near a certain point where you begin to be more and more certain that you will not give birth to a child.

Some women go through adulthood with that desire a distant thought or a “Eh. I don’t think I want kids.” The thing a woman like me is often annoyed to hear from her fertile friends with white picket fences, “I never wanted to have kids. I don’t even really like kids. But here we are.”

I am not that woman. I have wanted kids as long as I could daydream about it. But I wanted the whole picture – the husband, the family, the dog, the picket fence, and a rolling hillside.

The truth is, recent months have shown a light on this truth for me – I am not happy. I am happy. But I’m not really happy. There’s an ache and a hurt in my heart that my life looks nothing like I planned.

The healing is not close. It seems far off in the distance. And in the rush of needing to fill this quiet space, I threw some lipstick on that pig and tried to parade it around like I had it all figured out and wasn’t brokenhearted.

I don’t have it figured out. And I am brokenhearted.

The truth is, I am angry at God that countless people have child after child they can’t and don’t care for and I am alone. I am angry that my prayers have gone unanswered for so long.

I’m angry that barren women have miscarriage after miscarriage and woman have 5, 6, or more children and leave them to raise themselves – abandoning them to raise another generation of lost children, themselves.

The truth is, I want to be pregnant. I wanted to. The truth is, I want to give birth, or pick up my newborn from the hospital – as an adoptive mom. I want to raise this tiny one, from day one.

I want to share parenthood with the love of my life – my truest companion. But, as time ticks on, I stand here with 42 a little over a month away, and the sadness floods me. This was not the life I dreamed of.

But it’s not just the dream. It’s actually what I saw as my calling. I saw my family as part of the ministry God was calling me to. So how do I understand all of this now?

I probably can’t understand it. But I can pray for healing. And trust my gut and God’s timing. I make my greatest mistakes when I rush through, without prayer, and try to fix my own heart.

I can’t fix my own heart. Only He can.

So . . . if you’re anything like me . . . and you tend to run off, headlong, at full speed ahead and try to fill the pain and emptiness in your heart, with ideas, theories, or frankly, anything other than Jesus, you’re probably gonna end up like me.

Sitting in some of the deepest pain I’ve ever known, I regret how easily I run ahead of Him. It’s not so much what I got into – it’s the timing of it all.

I can’t fix my own heart. Only He can.

I can’t make happen, in my own way and timing, what He ordains for my days. And so I seek His face for healing, forgiveness, grace, and wisdom. And I pray for strength for the days ahead.

I used to listen to Fernando Ortega’s “Hymn & Meditations” album over and over again, years ago. It has been a quiet comfort in some stormy moments in the last week and a half. The hymn above fits my heart tonight, as it has so many other times in the past.

Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let that goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

“Bind my wandering heart to Thee…”

My wandering heart, prone to leave, is going to take a step back, admit my folly, and wait for His answer.

Desperate for Grace,

Elaina