Back to School: Newbie Mom Firsts

elaina avalos, foster care, this is foster care, boy mom, mommy blogger,

Monday is my {foster} son’s first day of second-grade. The other day we attended his Back to School night. We met his teacher, saw his classroom, and turned in paperwork. I was a little overwhelmed. I’m not going to lie.

But as we took a photo in front of the PTO’s “selfie station,” and I talked with one of the parents about volunteering, I had this overwhelming sense of gratitude.

I never dreamed that being a mom would mean starting my parenting journey with a six-year old boy who is not mine and yet, may be.

But picking out his first day of school clothes, getting his backpack, and buying his school supplies, I am overwhelmed by the beauty of this time, in spite of how . . . mundane it all could be under slightly different circumstances.

I’m not sure I’d ever be a good helicopter mom. There are just some things I think he’s got to experience – even in failure – on his own. But I’m fiercely protective. In case you’re wondering if the mama bear thing only happens with children you give birth to, it doesn’t.

I worry over this year for him. In just a few short months, the court could decide that reunification efforts will be ceased. His plan could change to adoption. In just a few short months, it may be very clear that he will be with me forever.

I want him to have people in his life who will see how sweet and precious he is – even when his behavior is sometimes rooted in trauma. I want them to invest in him, in ways that so many kids just don’t experience. And so, as this school year begins – a year that could change everything for him, I pray that his teacher will invest in him.

I pray that I will know how to support him. And I pray that those who are part of the team of professionals that provide additional support, will know how to help him {and me}.

Here’s to a new school year – and hopefully soon – the permanency that my little guy deserves so much.

Are you ready for your kiddo’s new school year?

Thankful,

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Chasing Dreams – Book Anniversary

Chasing Hope, Elaina M. Avalos, novel, indie author, fiction, novel, Beaufort NC

One year ago today, my novel was published. It was a long time coming. I started writing this book so long ago. Like all of us, as we grow and change over the years, it changed too.

But it was always about family, adoption, and love. To celebrate the anniversary of finally chasing my dreams . . . the book will be on sale, starting June 12th!

You can read an excerpt, here & here. You can find it on Goodreads, here. You can find the Amazon reviews, here.

What dreams have you been chasing lately, friend?

Huge Sale!

Chasing Hope, Elaina M. Avalos, novel, indie author, fiction, novel, Beaufort NC

My novel, Chasing Hope, is on sale! The Kindle version is 80% off and the paperback version is 50% off! The sale is for a limited time only. Find the book, here.

You can read what some of my readers have said here, here, or here.

To read excerpts, go here, here & here.

 

 

 

Chasing Dreams – Chasing Hope

free amazon download

I am a writer. I have been creating stories and putting them on paper for as long as I can remember. I didn’t call myself a writer, however, until a history professor at Biola University handed me a graded research paper and said, “You know you’re a writer, right?”

Uh . . . yes?

I am a writer. I started writing the novel Chasing Hopein 2005. It was called something else way back then. In fact, the title has changed a few times over the years. It’s the not the first novel I wrote. But it has been through many incarnations over the last twelve years.

What made me decide after all these years to finish this book? Hope. Dreams. Waking up to the reality of turning 41, with countless years “wasted.” I let my dreams wither on the vine while I tended everything but my writing.

But it wasn’t just the writing. It was the dream of being a mom and adopting, too, that languished, too. When I decided to pursue being a foster parent {and independent adoption}, last year, a door opened unintentionally.

I thought I was finally taking a leap in that one area of my life. What I didn’t realize, was that it would change so much. It ignited the hope that had been burning way too low, for way too long. As I started to pursue that one dream, the others came back into view. I started writing again. And as I researched adoption, the cost, though sometimes seemingly daunting, didn’t deter me.

But I needed to find a way to pay for a private/independent adoption, nonetheless. That’s when Kindle Direct’s self-publishing option started to make sense for me. So here I am! My book was live on Kindle June 10th.

Kindle Direct gives authors the option to use a free promotional period so my book is FREE on Kindle until June 15th! FREE! You can click the photo above, or go HERE! If you download Chasing Hope, please leave a review on Good Reads and on Amazon. The downloads and reviews will help me long term as I work towards raising funds for a private adoption.

Overall, this year so far has been about chasing dreams. But more than that, it’s about not letting your calling in life slip through your fingers as you get caught up in day to day adulting. 😉

I know, I know. You’ve got bills to pay. So do I. I know – you have a family that needs and wants your time and attention. Well, I don’t have that, but I do have a demanding job. You have circumstances that get in the way – maybe it’s your health, or maybe it’s people in your life that don’t believe in you.

I get it. I truly do. The time I’ve wasted over the years is evidence of that. But your unique stamp on the world through your writing, art, that business you have always dreamed of starting, etc., won’t write/paint/start itself.

Today is the day. So I’m chasing dreams. I’m chasing hope. I hope you will too!

Nothing Will Fall Out As You Expect

north topsail island, topsail beach“Nothing will fall out as you expect. Your guide will keep to no beaten path. He will lead you by a way such as you never dreamed your eyes would look upon. He knows no far, and He expects you to fear nothing while He is with you.” – Streams in the Desert

I’ve been reading the Streams in the Desert devotional on and off for many years. I don’t read it everyday anymore. Sometimes I open it on the exact day, in the exact moment, that I need to read it. Today, I opened it to the April 16th entry and it met me right where I’m at.

Nothing has happened like I expected and certainly not how I “planned.” There are days when this overwhelms me with grief. Today started off that way. It’s a holiday. That usually happens on holidays. I watched a video on Facebook {this one} and that threatened to take me a little further down the path to being overwhelmed.

I cried. I’m not going to lie. I started to wander down that ugly path that takes me to the inevitable end: wondering why it is that this life I’ve always wanted and dreamed of still remains so far off. Usually when that happens I don’t come back very quickly or easily. It takes me awhile to work my way back from the hurt.

But something different happened entirely. The sadness happened for the briefest of moments. And then I turned my thoughts towards what God has for me. The questions were there . . . why is what I want so far off? Why do You – God – keep all of this from me?

Something stirred in me though. Something different. The reminders of what I don’t have, were met with reminders of those who clung to hope, and their faith, long after it made sense to do so. The verse that goes along with the April 16th devotional is Hebrews 11:8. Hebrews 11 is always described as the faith hall of fame, in one way or another.

By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. – Hebrews 11:8

Whether it was Joseph {his story always means the most to me}, Abraham, Sarah, or Moses, yjey clung to promises long after reason and logic would tell them to do so.  They didn’t know where they were going. They didn’t take hold of the promise within an amount of time that seems reasonable {to me anyway}. And yet, they held on.

Holidays are always the hardest. I miss what is missing {obvi} and on these days I fear that it will always be this way. But today, against reason and logic, I know it won’t be. I know I’m just gearing up for the next adventure. My prayer today has been – lead me to the next adventure, Lord.

I’m ready.