My ramblings as a lover of adventure, all things crafty,art, life, and mostly bacon....

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

In a minute...

If you don't want to know what hurt looks like
--------------------------------------------do not read on.

Does this happen to other people?

It only takes a minute. The world is all pretty and just floating along and then. 

It just happens. It's like you can't take a breath.  There is no wind anywhere to be found.  You wrap your arms around yourself to keep all of you from falling apart.  You kneel down and your head falls into your lap and you just sit there concentrating on trying to breathe.

You are having an anxiety attack.  Nothing is wrong with you. You know you are totally going to be ok, but in that minute...

Something hurt you.  Something hurt your sense of what is right in the world.  Something hurt your reality and here you are.  

and here I am.
#findingelena #findingmyhope

Sunday, August 07, 2016

The reality is this.

I've never had a time in my life when I knew I was going to be alone.

Since I was a little girl my biggest dream was to get married and have a family.  I was the kid that babysat every kid in the neighborhood from the time I was about 12 years old.  I was the one that loved babies and that babies loved. I tell people I have a kid aura. That kids know that I will be good to them and care for them.  I have prided myself all my life on what a good mother I am going to be.

Now, as the reality is settling in, I can see that I am going to be alone.  I absolutely have to be. I don't mean alone as in without friends or support.
I mean alone as in without a partner.

This has never been in my plans.  In fact, it was so far from my plans that I have made steps on this journey that have taken me farther from my dream of being a mother because I wanted to do this with a man that would be the father.

Making the decision to leave my wonderful, safe, happy, sweet relationship and try to have a baby through Assisted Reproductive Therapy, has made me realize that I cannot accept another person into my heart.  Because after a lifetime of 2 year relationships, I don't trust that anyone has the same passion for my dream as I do. And this I know is probably the most obvious thing but I have never seen it as clearly as I do right now.

I'm scared and excited.  
I'm filled with anxiety.
I'm confused and seeking answers.
I cry every night and I am not always sure why.

My heart is open to what will happen next. My mind is focused on what I need to do.

#findingelena #findingmyhope

If you want to help:

Monday, August 01, 2016

The anxiety and fear are real. But there is hope.

I share because I can.
I share as an outlet and a release of all the things that build up inside me.
I share in hopes that I can soothe another heart.
I share to reveal me.

I am a visual person.  So when I am feeling particularly raw, I try to get a physical representation of what that feeling is. I make something or I write it down/blog or I look for a meaningful quote or image.  Today I wanted to see what I look like when I am sitting on the floor clinging to myself trying not to let fear and anxiety get the best of me.

As I looked at the photo, I saw that I was literally clinging to myself. I WANT TO BE CLINGING TO HOPE. I saw that I looked scared. Who is this person who looks so sad and lost. It can't possibly be me. With all the amazing things I have in my life. All the support and love I get to receive from friends and family. But today I am this person.

I can see it in my selfie.
I can see that I am wearing my turmoil on the outside.
I can see that I do not want to be this person.

It is a journey.

And my friends are on it with me.  See what my friends did...

I'm so humbled and honored.

#findingelena #findingmyhope

Friday, July 29, 2016

I am nervous

Today I am nervous.

I have taken a step towards what I hope will allow me to be a mother.  Something I have wanted all my life. That was the hard part, now the work begins.  I am going to document my journey through blog posts and videos 

First, lets talk about ADOPTION. It's not for me.

People immediately go there when they find out I have not been able to have children.  I understand that it is natural to want to provide a solution and help when someone is having a hard time. Especially someone you care about, so I don't get hurt or offended anymore.  However, at this time, I am not looking to adopt. I have done a lot of research and the realities of adoption don't fit into my life.  
Adoption is not a bandaid that soothes the empty womb.  It is an especially wonderful thing for people who are pure hearted and selfless and want to help a "needy" child. I use the word "needy" because that is the word people use with me, "There are a lot of needy kids out there that need a home."  And there are. 

But for my journey, I am still hoping to carry my own child. This is the first thing I will try.


I have a trio of friends that are championing my cause.  Marisa, Jen and Ginamarie.  I am honored that they are sistering me and being the support I need to find my Hope.  

 In March of this year, Marisa put together a Go Fund Me Campaign to help with the cost of getting started.  

It goes against everything inside me to raise money for myself.  It makes me extremely NERVOUS to put myself out there in this way and I have a great fear that people will get mad, think this is ridiculous, why should I give her money, who does she think she is, she's not sick, she's not needy.... These are just a few of the things the demons in my heart tell me. 

A few days ago when I announced the heart breaking decision to leave a wonderful life with Paul, I wrote Marisa and said, "now I'm ready"

Since then we have both been doing more research and I have spoken to countless people about the direction I want to go and I have decided that I want to try to carry a donor embryo.  This is not just a decision that I made.  I have in the past tried many many things to get pregnant. I have been offered surrogacy, sperm, partnership and none of them have worked out.  So this decision is made from experience and research and ultimately, I need to choose a doctor and find out if this is even a possibility given that I am almost 45 years old.

If it is possible for me to carry my own child, I will need help.

  1. My body does not produce enough eggs in a cycle to extract and have a viable set to implant.  So I need an egg donor.  
  2. I am single, so I need a sperm donor. 
  3. The procedures for myself and the donors will cost about $30,000 for one round of IVF. Subsequent rounds are less because egg retrieval, if successful, is only done the first round.

My wish is that the egg and sperm donors will be someone that I know. I would love to have genetic background information and a connection with the people who contribute to this life I am hoping to have inside me.

So here it is. If you wish to help, I will be forever grateful.

#findingelena #findingmyhope

Monday, July 25, 2016

Giving up something really amazing

Now, as I am about to turn 45, I am having to make some really hard choices. People always say that Charity Wings is a dream come true for me. In reality, it is an amazing thing and I wake up every day very happy to go to work and do my job, but it is not my dream come true.  Running an Art Center has never been my dream.  Charity Wings was born out of baby steps and natural progression but it is not my dream come true.

So, I have made a decision to make my real dream come true and that puts me on a path that I have to start alone.  That means without the man that has stood by my side and been an incredible rock for the past two years.  It's really hard to let go of something that is basically perfect, but ultimately takes me farther away from my dream.  

There is something in this life that I want more than Paul Malone and that is to be a mother.

This breaks my heart and fills me with sadness. We both know it's the right thing to do.  As someone that has already raised a family, it is not his dream to raise another human being and I respect that so much.  Our lives are so intertwined, its not the end of our story.  We will have an amazing friendship that will last our whole lives. We love each other and that will not change.

I am not sure of many things. I don't really believe in absolutes.  There is just one thing in this world I know without a doubt and that is that I am meant to be a mother.  I don't know how to make that desire go away. I cry for that child that my human nature and internal clock have been at war for.  If I could just let the dream go, I wouldn't have to give up on the most beautiful relationship I could imagine at this point in my life.

So for now, I will walk the empty halls of my home and mourn for the relationship I am giving up for the relationship that I have to find. 

#findingelena #findingmyhope

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Story of Buttons

I went to Brave Girls Symposium last week planning to do exactly what I do at every event, be Elena from Charity Wings and talk to people about my charity. As I was packing, I realized that I actually would really love to be there as just Elena. So for the first time in a very long time. I packed my suitcase without wings, without outfits that would make people "see me", without even business cards, and took off for Boise.
What I didn't realize I had packed was what I have not been able to unpack in years: Fear, Anxiety, Jealousy, Shame, and a host of other things that women carry around.
So off I went with my luggage and a smile, to what would be a life changing event. This post is just about the buttons but I am going to post about my journey and I am going to share, because that is who I am, and those that can must, but let me preface here that I have been at the edge of "I can't do this, this way anymore" for a few months now. And have done a ton of soul searching and self reflecting in the process. So being at Brave Girl Symposium was just literally exactly what I needed to push me off the edge and allow me to take a leap into the light that I absolutely needed to take
But this life changing experience will come out of me onto my computer in parts and this is just page one of the story....
Page 1: (the easiest to share) "Did I give you a button yet?"
I think I might have become known as the girl with the buttons at Brave Girl Symposium. I walked around handing these out to everyone I could, even guests and employees at the hotel. My friends (many of them new) would walk behind me and just laugh and smile as I did "my thing" and ask every person, " Did I give you a button yet?" By the end of the event, lots of them replied, "Yes and I love it." or "Yes, I am saving it for my daughter or friend." And I would offer them another button and say, "Then you get a bonus button!" It was so fun. I was just handing out buttons, being ME!!
These buttons were a gift in so many ways!! They were a gift from the amazing artists that donated their artwork and allowed me to make buttons out of it. They were a gift to the beautiful souls that I got to meet and give a little gift to. Some people asked me if it was my artwork, and I shared that they were original artwork donated to Charity Wings by amazing artists from all over the world. It was nice. I would say, "you can look me up if you like" if they asked more about them but basically, what these buttons and these amazing women who let me share their artwork did was allow me to be Elena and do the things I love, meet people, give gifts, and make people smile. It was a perfect fit as far as small steps go. I still got to be me.
I did talk about what I do to people that I got to know better. Like my new Council, The "Cookoo Clud."
-Reserve that for another post :) but mostly, I just gave away little gifts that make people smile and feel special.
I went to this event with a plan to open my heart to change. As I started to let down the #crazycharitygirl veil that I hide behind every day, I think I let people see part of the real me for the first time in a long time.
So I have a new hashtag for this part of my journey through this amazing charmed life.
Here we go!

Friday, June 05, 2015

I can't find the right group.

I'm trying to find peace. I've searched high and low for a local support group or network of people who have been unable to have children. I'm not talking about the people that are struggling with fertility. I've been one of those too and there are actually a lot of groups out there supporting people who are giving themselves shots every day, popping tons of pills, and forking out tens of thousands of dollars to try to have a baby. It's awful. I've done it. So I feel for those people, having been one. But now I'm on the other side of that. Not on the other side of the pain but on the other side of that journey because I can no longer try fertility treatments. I'm looking for people who have not been able Key word "able" not "didn't want" to have kids. Does anyone know of a group like that. Whatever the reason whether it be because, fertility treatments didn't work, or because they never found that special someone to have a baby with, or it just never happened, whatever the reason. I'm looking for people like me, that I can talk to who I can maybe even help through healing arts. But that definitely want and need to share.

Do you know anyone like me? Are you like me?

Please don't send me emails or messages about adoption. I am so grateful to those of you that have reached out to me in that way and shared your stories of adoption success. I think that is very special . Adoption is not something I'm considering right now.

Thanks for reading :)

Friday, May 08, 2015

When Mother's Day approaches .

It is the day to honor my mother who is the pillar of decency, hard work, goodness, support, and love, and I admire and honor her everyday.

But every year around this time I get completely schizophrenic because this is the day that I have spent years wishing could be my day too. I posted about it a few years ago. And this year with my body changing because time stands still for noone, and the hope of having my own child come out of my own body going away (please do not write me about adoption please) I see that this day will never be one where my own child writes how much they love and respect me and how much I guided and loved them into the person that they are.

It's the little things that make us the craziest isn't it. I guess for me this is just the biggest thing.
If you want to know something about what it's like to be childless on mothers day click this link.

Thank you for reading and for your friendship and support. I know I am not alone.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Adoption and the truth

I realized after my last Facebook post about infertility a lot of people have a bit of a misconception about adoption. Adoption isn't always an option for people who have not been able to get pregnant. 

Here is a list that might help those of you that want to support your friends that are struggling:

1. Adoption is very very expensive.  Some of us have spent tens of thousands of dollars on fertility treatments. For some of us, we have gone in to serious debt or spent our life savings or a huge part of it already.  Now some of you may be thinking, "Well, if you have a kid, that will be very expensive too" YES.  I know this  but getting pregnant naturally is A LOT less expensive.  and natural.  You are not getting stabbed poked and prodded and forcing what is supposed to come natural.  (ok. save that for another post) In fact, other than the money you might have spent on that vacation or those drinks, it was probably free. :)  I know kids cost money but it is very different to pay for a child's living expenses and save for a future for them, then to have to fork out another $10 or $20K to adopt a child.  I personally have paid for very "pregnancy friendly" health insurance for many years in hopes of getting pregnant. I wish health insurance would cover adoption, God knows it is a mental health issue, but it doesn't.

2. Adoption may not replace the desire to be pregnant and give birth to a child. There is something very real about the innate animal instinct to bear children. Not everyone has it, but for those of us that do and can't it's excruciatingly painful.  Having gone through the amazing roller coaster of pain and emotional stress of infertility treatments, some people are not ready to go through the emotional roller-coaster of adoption as well. For some people knowing that adoption is an option does not alleviate or replace the desire to have your own child.

3. Adoption to single parents. As a single woman, I have the hurdle of trying to adopt alone.  
  • In a study undertaken by the Los Angeles Department of Adoptions, researchers found that single parents tended to have more difficulties in completing their adoptions. Thirty-nine percent had made three or more previous attempts to adopt, compared to only 18 percent among the couples.(Feigelman and Silverman, 1997) 
Now this statistic is a little old and progress has been made but I have done my research and it is still preferable for agencies to place young children with 2 parent families.  If you want to adopt a special needs child, or an older child, this option becomes more viable, but if you are looking to adopt a new born or infant, and have the experience of having a child from birth, the percentage drops significantly.  Also, adoption is another emotional roller-coaster. You have to be prepared to be picked over with a fine tooth comb. Important, YES! but still another thing that natural parents don't have to go through and may not understand.  I think some parents should have been scrutinized before allowing them to procreate but again, that is another blog post.

4. Life still goes on.  Adoption is a process and during the time that someone is trying to get pregnant and going through the hell of not being able to, life goes on. You try to build a life for yourself with the thought that you might never have a child.  I am going to speak for myself now and say that I built an organization in the time that I was trying to get pregnant. It grew just like a child would have grown and now if I was to become pregnant, I would have to change a lot of things that I am doing to grow Charity Wings. I am no longer married and would be raising a child on my own.  I WOULD ABSOLUTELY CHOOSE MOTHERHOOD OVER THIS LIFE.  But I also have committed myself to the people I serve through this organization and deciding to adopt is not a decision I would take lightly nor could I "just adopt" as many people tell me to do.

So why do I feel sad and why do I post about being infertile?

Because there are so many people out there suffering like I do.  Just because I am not ready to go the adoption route alone right now, does not mean I don't think about it every day.

And if I am being completely honest... 

Sometimes I feel like maybe,  just maybe,  I don't deserve to be a mother. And sometimes,  just sometimes,  I feel like people look at me and think that same thing. 

These thoughts are haunting and they come from a dark place inside me. I don't know them to be true but I have them all the same....

So if you hear of someone suffering from infertility.  Just hug them and say, "I'm sorry'. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Adjusted and not destroyed.

Here it goes.

I gave myself an attitude adjustment. I strongly believe that happiness is a choice. When I am wallowing in my own shit it's my own doing. My mind is so strong. It can bring me to the deepest despair or the highest highs. So I am choosing happiness. I am forgiving myself because I refuse to be destroyed.

New attitude
New reality
New day