Posts Tagged ‘Pride’

Fertile Kwanzaa – Ujamaa: Cooperative Economics

Originally Published 12.29.10 @ 1:27pm 

Habari Gani!?

Ujamaa!  The principle of today means cooperative economics, as well as social and economic development.  The focus of the principle is that African-Americans should support and promote other African-American businesses and institutions.  The reason for this thrust is based on the belief that of all other cultures, African Americans have the least amount of cultural identity and resourcefulness.

As I thought about how to relate this particular principle to The Egg, I continuously hit a wall.  You see when I first thought about it, I planned to promote other blogs and infertility resources that catered to African-American patients.  Then I remembered… LOL

While the field is growing, it surely isn’t the largest.  However that is no reason for me to not share with you guys the outstanding Fertility blogs and resources that I have found which are either founded or written by African Americans.

Books:

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

More Info on Why I’m Special!

Visit The Quest for the Nest on Facebook

Purchase The Quest here!

Check out the blog for Lena Arnold, author of For This Child We Prayed: Living with the Secret Shame of Infertility.

Check out Joshua’s Coming by Rhonda White

Blogs And Social Media:

For a list of other blogs that are written by African Americans who battle infertility check out the BrokenBrownBlogs page up top! (If you have one and would like to be added, send me a message)

Facebook Pages & Groups:

Let’s Talk About it

My Adoption Chronicles

Family Acuity

Luck and Baby Dust 

The Rare Soil Project

African American Fertility (Facebook Group)

Fertility/Family-Building Organizations Created by African Americans

BlackWomensHealth.Com

The Center for Family Formation

Family Acuity

The Tinina Q. Cade Foundation

Other Great Causes I’d like to mention, also founded by African American women:

Cosmopolitan Kids – Raising children to be global citizens through cultural awareness and activity (co-founded by one of the Egg’s board members!)

ChocolateBrides.com – The Premiere source of inspiration and sisterhood for the marriage-minded woman of color

So, that’s what I came up with!  Not a lot, but still SOO much.  What’s your Ujamaa today?  Shout out a business or resource that I may have missed.

BBE Rewind: The Fertile Kwanzaa: Ujima!

Originally published 12.28.10 @ 8:36am

Harambee!!

Habari Ghani? (What’s the News?)

Today is the third day of Kwanzaa.  Today’s principle is Ujima: Collective Work and Responsibility.   This principle is one that I love because it is the very reason for The Egg.   The purpose of Ujima is that we are to “build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together“.  That is what this very blog has been based upon.

The greatest compliment that I receive from the infertility community is in regards to my transparency.  I say what you want to say but are too shy/afraid/embarrassed to.  I rant and rave when you can’t, and I try my best to let it all, (or most of it), hang out.  This is what drove me to start this blog, and later the organization.

Many have called me flighty or unrealistic for it, but from the time I was a very young girl, I have always believed that people would treat one another better if they only took the time to see where the other person was coming from.  That if we were all as honest as we could be, we would have no way to hate or mistreat because we’d get to the bottom of what is making us tick.  I was always the kid asking bullies why they were bullying me, or the person in the clique who would say, “hey guys, cut it out, she has feelings too”.  It’s just who I am.

Actually, it’s who my grandmother made me to be.  When I think of this principle today, I think of her, actually, as she’s been on my mind since my aunt gave us restored photos of her for Christmas.  My grandmother was a lover of service and a believer in collective work and responsibility.

My Grandmother As a Teen

My grandmother at 17! Ain't she purrrty?!

Her home was open, which is very much a part of where I get my philosophy on how adoption is a relative term. If you needed a mother, aunt, sister, etc., she was that. She was always willing to pick up a cause, and her own issues didn’t really take up much space in her head.  Getting breast cancer, made her an advocate for breast cancer awareness and support.  Though she died of complications from that cancer on my birthday, fifteen years ago, I can remember that even as she was sick, she couldn’t help but care for other people who had less of a support system or who were just in need of someone to talk to.

She was a housewife by all accounts, but she used that to her advantage, often using me as her legs and hands to pick up donations for others, or to drop off gifts to sick and shut-ins.  With that example, I had no choice but to learn how to serve and make others feel comfortable even in their ailments.

Because of her, I actually have a low tolerance for people who complain but DON’T serve or cause change.  I can’t help it. From what she taught me, I find that every disparity we think we have, is an opportunity to encourage someone else.  Every trial is a testimony in disguise.

The issues of the world are MY issues because I’m a part of this world.  On a smaller scale, it is what makes me such a big part of the infertility community.  To know how I feel to see that period every month, or to hear that same wretched report from my doctor, or to feel the way I do as a wife or daughter, I cannot help but to think of how YOU feel.  I can’t help but to want to help YOU find your voice.  I can’t help but to want to HELP.

Your problems are my problems.  Through this blog, and the connections I’m allowed to make because of it, I pray that God allows me the opportunity to help you solve some of yours.  And by what we both learn, I pray we are also given the opportunity to help our younger sisters and brothers so that they don’t have to start from scratch.

Because of this, I work my hardest to never censor myself here.  I work hard to make sure that you feel safe here.  I will continue to work hard to make sure that you have a place to sound off.  And I hope that through my example, you do the same for someone else.  It’s about ALL of us.  Sometimes, it takes a Village to MAKE a child just as much as it does to RAISE one.

I know this post went a bit more serious than I’d originally planned, or than you expected, but the point of it all is that I hope you find your own ways to relate to the principle of Ujima!  If you blog about something dear to you that you wish to share, you’re doing it.  If you speak up to someone who needs to know that what they’re going through is okay because you’ve been there, you’re doing it!  I’m already proud of you, feel free to share.

The Important Part is Past the Fear

So, I was having a pretty rotten evening at work last night.  Not completely rotten, just one of those times where every parent that visited the library seemed to be one who just didn’t need to be a parent.  Yelling at their children, or just being verbally harsh.  Letting their toddlers play without supervision so they could troll Facebook.  Etc…You know, stupid crap.
I’m tired, irritable, and more than a bit ready to go home when one of our regular patrons, a young boy, comes in with his father.
(more…)

The Journey

So, to tally…I’ve had
four doctors,
Five changes of thyroid meds
Two ultrasounds
Three misdiagnoses
One cycle of Clomid
Two cycles of Metformin
A husband being diagnosed with diabetes
One referral
25lbs lost
12 lbs regained
Three books read
One blog
800+ fans
and three 1/2 years of this journey.
I wonder how many bouts with infertility have been prolonged because of fear.  Just because things haven’t worked yet, doesn’t mean you should stop trying.  I totally understand that often the discouragement is intense, but you have to keep moving.

I owe a great deal of my peace of mind to my blog,…

This experience has been a sky-dive with a parachute that has a small hole in it. LOL I dip and fall and coast and float and scream, and smile, and yell….but for the amount of women I get to help…I wouldn’t trade it. At all.

But I’ve come a long way.
I still have my small hurdles. Holding other people’s babies, thinking of myself as a mom,etc. But I’m getting better.

The peace of mind that I have is a direct result of understanding the purpose behind all of this. I truly believe that God gave this fight to me so that I would pick it and speak about it.
I am constantly humbled when I’m reminded of the people who have come out of this thing either sucessfully with children, or childless by choice, etc., but still won’t speak about it. The reasons are many, but primarily, nobody wants to be “defined” by their fertility. Nobody wants people feeling sorry for them. A few don’t want their baby to know how hard it was for them to get here. Many are actually ashamed.
I’m just floored that people feel that way, but also grateful to God for finding yet another way to tell me how brave I can be when I need to be. For a while I joked that I was unwillingly becoming the scapegoat for all things black infertility. And I laughed.
Now, I don’t laugh.
I’m proud.
I’m proud that I have this courage.
I’m proud that I have this ability to change a part of the world.
I’m proud that my words could actually bring LIVES into this world for other families.
I’m humbled and extremely grateful for this experience. As weird as that even sounds, it is soo very true.

The World is Watching…well Black America at least!

So…my apologies, Eggshells.  I have not been myself lately, and I OWE you guys some serious updates!  First and foremost, as I begin this week of updating, I want to share a rather large announcement.  When this news originally came in, I was actually a bit too humble to share so I very quietly added it to the Egg’s “Buzz” page a month ago.  Yesterday, I was very gently reminded…(thanks bosslady), that sometimes humility is equal to selling yourself short.  Also, because I believe this accomplishment to be yours AND mine, it was downright selfish not to share it more boldly!

So what is this grand decree, you ask?

I made THE ROOT 100!

THE ROOT 100, is an exclusive list that honors one hundred individuals, aged 25-45, who represent the new generation of emerging and established leaders in the African-American community.  The list is developed first by nominations, and then weeded down to 100 by a panel of THE ROOT‘s editorial staff, including editor-in-chief Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who is more often known for his work as an African-American historian and scholar.  (One whom I deeply respect) My honor is The Egg’s honor, because the entire reason for my nomination is a result of the work done here.  My being listed is  a catalyst for people who visit that list to come and see what WE are trying to show the world through The Broken Brown Egg.  YOUR stories and our mission are what people will begin to learn about as they investigate who I am and what I’m about.  And I’m about YOU.  For those reasons, I ask that you celebrate with me, and accept my apology for not being more bold about this great feat.    Take some time and check out the entire list!  There are some awesome people on there and I’m greatly humbled to be among them.  So to everyone who lurks, comments, and supports The Broken Brown Egg, you have my sincerest thanks and hugs.  

The Root 100 press release_Regina Townsend

Dear Sherri Shepherd,

Dear Sherri,

I just finished your book a couple weeks ago, and I immediately knew I’d have to pen you a note, like the one I sent to Angela Basset.  You see, while the story told all about your permission to be yourself, one of the greatest lessons for me was in your openness about the journey to motherhood.  I am grateful to you for the honest look at the feelings and insecurities behind infertility and the pain and fear of miscarriage.  For sharing these feelings with the world, you should be applauded.  For being a black woman, sharing these feelings with the world, I salute you.  Thank you for giving hope to those of us who need to write ourselves a few “it’s okay to cry”, slips, and a couple “You can be a mom, if you believe it will happen”, slips.  I know I’m not the only one who needs a few.

As the only woman of color with an infertility story to share on The View’s award-winning Infertility episode, I was proud to see you.  Thank you for letting the world know about the COST of infertility treatments, and for shattering the idea that it is somehow less demanding on celebrities and television personalities.  Thank you for calling out the fact that insurance companies do not always cover infertility.

Ms. Shepherd, your perspective brought that show around for women like me who were sitting on the edge of our seats, waiting to see a reflection on the screen.  You were that reflection.  For the woman somewhere who is terrified about whether her past abortions are punishing her now, you provide bold proof that this is not so.  There is a courage and honesty in the way your deliver your story that numbs me.  Not many would be as fearless while on a stage with Barbara Walters and with the world watching.

There are very real strains that infertility places on marriages.  There are sexual dysfunctions that come from trying to be the best wife, keep the best house, and conceive a healthy family.  You flawlessly explained and dissected those feelings.  As hard as it is to understand them for ourselves, how much harder still it must have been to put them on paper and send out for the rest of us to read.  I’m grateful to you for using your life as an example, and for telling some woman who’s marriage has not survived their infertility, infidelity, or depression, that things will get better and being a two-parent family, doesn’t always equal a two-parent home.

I thank you for not being perfect.  For fighting diabetes and hating what it has made food for you.  That honesty and humor helps me fight PCOS and others fight the very same diabetes diagnosis.  Your humor is such a calming gift.  So many feelings of despair and utter hopelessness are evaporated with that familiar warm smile,that says, “Hey, we all go through some stuff”.  While many may not agree with you about many things, it should not be denied how important a voice such as yours is.  One of my professors made a comment the other day that fits perfectly, “if a voice is important to just one person…then it is an important voice”.  Your voice is important.

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