Posts Tagged ‘spreading the word’

Fertility Fundraising & The Willingness to Help Others!

Fertility FundraisingA few days ago, I witnessed a discussion on FB about people using crowd-funding sites.  Most of the comments were based around the idea of people who have taken to posting “Go Fund Me” pages for things that others have deemed frivolous.  Pay for me to go to hair school, or help us fund my sister’s babyshower, are some of the topics I’ve seen across my Facebook feed through the last couple of years.  For the most part, I tend to ignore the ones that I know I can’t (or won’t) fund.  No harm, no foul.

In this discussion however, my spidey senses began to tingle when someone’s response was close to saying that it’s “tacky” to ask others to help “fund your dreams”.

In theory, yeah, okay, I can see that on some level.  But then, as with most things, it made me think about those of us in the infertility fight, and how sights like GoFundMe have actually helped some of us do just that.  Is growing our families a “dream” that others should scoff at helping us fund?

Crowd-funding sites have helped many couples on the infertility journey find a way that they can allow family and friends who previously felt helpless, assist them on their way.  For many, the sites have given them the opportunity to take their own first steps into self-advocacy and find their voice.  Even if no one ever clicked the donate button, for a lot of couples, this was their way of boldly announcing just what their years of struggle had entailed, and how hard they’d been trying to work towards it.  I’m sure that countless individuals were able to at least send a message of support that was like a drop of water to someone dying of thirst.

Over the past few years, I’ve built up my skills at design.  When it was time for me to suck up my pride and work on raising funds for my own IVF, my husband and I decided that the best way for us to do that was to use my designs toward our dream.  I am also blessed to live in one of the few states that includes fertility treatment in health insurance.  Many times, however, I wonder what I’d do if I didn’t have that skill or that health benefit.  How devastated would I be if I had no money to start from scratch, AND no tangible thing to use as a fundraiser?

I can only imagine.

As people continue to exploit these sites for all kinds of reasons, that many will no doubt judge, I’m sure that those who were already debating whether or not they should move forward with fundraising for infertility will decide to go back into the shadows.  There is a personal fight that many of us have when financial issues come into play in infertility.  It is the fight that whispers, “If you have to raise money to even do this, maybe that says you shouldn’t do this”.  We cower behind it, and swallow our sorrow, and retreat into defeat.

I don’t want you to do that.  I want you to have a safe space to shout from the rooftops, “I’m struggling, and I would like some help.”  Even if you never get a dime, I have always been about empowering others to self-advocate.

Fertility Fundraiser Fridays, will be a weekly promotional kickstart on The Egg, where I will share an idea for a cool Fertility Fundraiser, or a link to one that stands out.  We’re in this together, and I hope your dreams come true.  Allow me to be your platform, and please, if you can, reach back and help someone else by sharing theirs.

Fertility Fundraiser Fridays

 

Mission In Progress. The Egg’s 5th Birthday!

It’s Tuesday.  And around here, Tuesdays are RealTalkTuesdays.  Today, though, there’s more than just the normal affirmations on my mind.  Today, I’m thinking about the five years that have gone past as this blog has grown, and just how monumental it actually is.

Five years ago, when I started my blog, it was out of a desperate need to do something.  My husband and I had fought our way blindly through this forest of uncertainty and I’ll just admit, shame, and I just wanted to do SOMETHING that would make me feel less than defeated.  I wanted to kick a door open, turn on a light, make the smart-ass comment that would get the classroom talking.

Five years later, I’m proud to say that the door is open and there are people walking through and towards their healing.  Not all of us have become parents, and not all of us are done fighting, but all of us have a place and a voice now.  A place to shout, and a place to be heard.  A place to be quiet, and a comforting silence to wrap us up in.

Five years ago, I was unemployed, uninsured, frustrated, and feeling hopeless.  I was barely getting people to visit my blog, let alone comment or even let me know I was making a difference.  Five years ago, when I started this blog, all I wanted to do was shout.  Five years later, I’m glad to listen.

I don’t take it for granted.

And I don’t want YOU to take it for granted either.

You should know, that five years ago, organizations such as Fertility Within Reach, Fertility For Colored Girls, or A Family Of My Own, did not exist and it was very hard to know where to start.  Especially if Resolve felt overwhelming.  So many groups have formed in these past few years, that it’s easy to forget how vast of a wasteland it once was.

You should know, that I felt lost in the sea of infertility blogs that I did find, because I saw absolutely no reflection of myself, and that the ONLY fertility related blogs for women of color that I could find, had either stopped being updated, gone in a different direction, or were morphing into parenting blogs.

You should know, that in the past five years, there have been ENORMOUS strides made in the growth of reproductive awareness in general, and attention to infertility in the African-American and minority communities.  So many people have responded to me, and told me how valuable this site(or the Facebook page or the Facebook group) mean to them, and it is humbling.  To know that people are choosing to allow me to walk with them through the most painful and private ordeal in their lives, is extremely humbling.

You should know that I am grateful.

You should know that I am not done.

What do you need?  How can I help?  You let me know.

I’ll be here.  Birthday

Guess Who’s Back!

Calm down

And with a new attitude, and a new look to go with it!

So I had to take some time away from The Egg in blog form.  You’d think, being a writer, that writing would get me through one of the hardest experiences I’ve had to face since starting on this journey, but in truth, I wanted nothing more than to just be silent and allow myself to come down to a simmer.  I have never been so angry, and hurt, and confused as I was the first half of this year.

Our kinship adoption fell through, and with that, came the hell of kinship foster care.  Now, let me say, that in the ideal situation, both of those scenarios can be beautiful and thriving for everyone involved, and that my personal situation should not be the reason for you or anyone else you know to not take the opportunity if it comes your way.  I was hurt, yes, but if Doc Brown came by with the Delorean today, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.

Why?

Because despite the ignorant adults and bureaucratic cronies we encountered, this was never about any of them.  It was about one little person, who didn’t ask to be born, but who needed to be loved when she was.  We did that.  We did that impeccably.

So to God be the glory.

I’m not over it, but I’m through it.

And I’m back with a vengeance.

In about 8 hours, I am going to my third visit with Fertility Centers of Illinois, to undergo a saline ultrasound, and as uncomfortable as that is going to be, I couldn’t be more excited.  It’s like my birthday present to myself.  PROGRESS.  It’s the best gift I can give me.

That ultrasound, symbolizes that I am moving forward.  It is one more way that I am boldly telling the universe that I am reclaiming my year.  I am reclaiming my time.  I am reclaiming my hope.

And if there is one thing you NEVER want to let someone get, when you want them to be stagnant, is their HOPE.

I got mine.

And I’m determined as hell, to help you get, keep, or maintain yours.

So the Egg is back, refurbished, and refocused.  I am dedicating myself to taking you with me on this journey, as I’ve always done, but also in thinking forward into the success I plan to achieve, I want to also ensure that there is a legacy of information, collaboration, and awareness begun.  I am aligning myself with individuals and organizations who seek to empower infertility patients, put information in the hands of those who need it and don’t yet know they do, and stand on the front-lines of our legislative needs.

Are you with me?

Good.

Because I am definitely with you.

Let’s get it.

 

Mailing Hugs!

Four years has gone by so fast.

I am honored and proud to be considered a voice in the infertility community.  When I began The Egg, I was attempting to get my own thoughts out while also making it plain to the world at large that African American couples were in dire need of courage to speak about our reproductive health.  As the years have progressed, the individuals and now even families who follow me here on my site, and also on social media, are of all colors, all backgrounds, and all situations.

Straight couples, lesbian couples, single women, divorced women, engaged women and young women have all reached out to me in some form or fashion just to say thanks for being a voice, and I am humbled.  I thank YOU.  Every single day, for the past four years, I have been able to talk to someone and have my feelings heard. I have been able to speak about what matters to me and where I want to see us grow. (more…)

Real Talk

I’m gonna say a shitload of things.

Now, before I start on them, I want you to remember these four words okay:

I’m Not Going Anywhere

No matter how it sounds.

No matter what you think I’m trying to say.

At the end of this post, I want you to go back and remind yourself that I already told you those four words.

Okay?

 

Okay.

Now, let’s talk. (more…)

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.

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