"We are born with nothing but the dreams we carry in our hearts."
12 months ago I began a new blog. It was a fresh start from my first blog, "The Fine Print" because it was meant to be so much more than a personal diary in a small, private corner of the sphere of blogs. PFM was my attempt to reach as many readers as possible, to continue on using the positive feedback that my writing was touching people's lives- strangers lives. This was unbelievable to me- still is. The fact that I have some ability to express myself "on paper" and it helps people feel better or understand infertility, adoption or whatever else I manage to write about is one of the most fulfilling things of my life. Writing my experiences may help others explain and articulate what they may be feeling. Hopefully they have passed along my words to friends or family members who have a hard time understanding or empathising with the extreme difficulty of infertility. I also write for myself. It is how I work through my struggles or celebrate an achievement even if it is about how I managed to cook a dinner without making my husband gag :)
I have high hopes for PFM; there's no doubt about that. I think it has the potential to grow exponentially because our goal is to help people fulfill their dreams of parenthood. As I have stated before having a family is fundamental to the human experience. Not everyone may want to have children, but everyone should have the option. If this can happen through ART or adoption or both, then money should not stand in the way. Misinformation or lack of information should not impede someone from becoming a parent. The real world however has put up a barrier for infertiles. The options for Assisted Reproductive Technology have exploded, but the insurance coverage and support for those who cannot pay out of pocket has not yet caught up. Dangling a carrot comes to mind.
What else can I say but that my heart is exposed. I have read so many blogs and cried so many times for so many people. I have rejoiced with news of pregnancy and birth and adoption. Sometimes it has been hard to be so entrenched in the pain of infertility when I am still feeling out my own emotions. My son is the light of my life and his very essence makes me believe that he was meant to be our son. I would not change a thing because it all led me to him. But I still falter with news of pregnancy and stumble through old emotions wondering if I will have a bigger family. No matter what I do with my experiences and thoughts at least I have a place to get support and maybe help someone else who is feeling the same way.
To take a look back on the accomplishments of PFM...
I became a member of the ALI (Adoption, Loss, Infertility) community on Stirrup-Queens right around the time I started the blog. I found Lori at Weebles Wobblog. She has been a wonderful resource of knowledge and so kind to me as I tackled the huge undertaking of building a blog. I was and still am in awe of the hard work and diligence necessary to make a successful blog. I have come a long way, but I have a lot to learn and a lot more work to do to reach people. I also met Kelly Damron at Twin Peas Blog very early on. She has been very supportive of me, helping me with PR and giving advice.
Then there are the countless bloggers who have stopped by, read my posts, befriended me, supported me and welcomed me into the ALI community. I have also met so very many wonderful people outside of ALI that have posted about my site and cause to help spread awareness. The comment on my first post gave me confidence when I really needed it.
Here are some highlights from the past year.
- Finding loyal readers that weren't friends or family. Wow!
- Getting a blog makeover. I still think it is so me and I didn't even tell them what to do
- Becoming a bonified Non-profit Corporation
- Putting together a Board of Directors of wonderful people who have been so supportive and helpful. I am very lucky.
- Officially adopting our son in March
- Our Launch Luncheon Fundraiser
- Becoming the Limerick Chick 2009 (Get ready everyone I have some good ones up my sleeve for next year)
- Being mentioned in Adoptive Families Magazine
- Meeting Mel at RESOLVE's, Night of Hope
- Highlighted on SITS. I received so much support from them.
- Getting published (in a local magazine due out any day)
Accomplishments on the horizon:
Thank you to DH and Min Man for inspiration to keep going and the lovely people who have helped establish the corporation and non profit including the Board of Directors.
Thank you to everyone who reads this blog and has helped me by writing letters, featuring me on your blog, commenting, sharing PFM's mission with others, and attending our fundraising events.
I have been told many times that projects like this can grow legs of their own (I'm sure Mel can attest to this). What starts out as an idea blossoms into something far greater than could ever be envisioned. I will continue to rely on the many wonderful people who have already devoted time and energy, and I will welcome all those who discover PFM and want to be a part of its cause.
Here are some pictures from the past year.
Kym's Sock It To Me 2009- Kicking infertility's arse
Our Launch Luncheon Fundraiser
Mel and I at The Night Of Hope in June
Purchase our signature hair clip made by my friend Lisa at Ellebows and More. $1.50 of each sale is donated to our endowment. Just click on the button.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Please visit the March of Dimes website
Please write your representatives to extend the Adoption Tax Credit.
Remember that today is International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day. Please light a candle at 7PM.
"All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on."