Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Company in Misery

No one wants to go through tough times. Even all the b.s. about hindsight and growing from difficult situations doesn't make painful experiences any less painful.

I believe whole heartedly the obstacles that are thrown in our way are what makes us who we are. Or rather, how we handle those obstacles is what shapes us. But sometimes wouldn't it be nice to think of smooth sailing?

It would be at this point that the figure of optimism pops up on my left shoulder, not unlike the angel equivolant and says," Every difficult thing in life can be turned into a positive. It's all in how you look at things."

In the next second the pessimistic downer frowns and proclaims, "No. This just sucks."

Sometimes it simply takes too much energy to think positively when your spirit is crushed.

Hopefully the gift of time can allow perspective. It did for me, thankfully.

In the past week I have been reminded several times of how many wonderful people have come into my life since starting PFM. Infertility and all it entails has definitely been awful.
But my perspective has changed and I do not struggle so immensely to understand why "having" a family created such a devastatingly difficult experience.

I am still amazed at how sharing a similar struggle strikes an instant commonality. Misery doesn't love company, but it sure as heck can make you feel better. Knowing you're not alone in anything somehow takes the edge off. Perhaps it's because you see that someone else who is struggling with the same predicament is still getting by.

They are still waking up in the morning, going to work, laughing, eating pizza rolls, folding laundry, and putting one foot in front of the other. Maybe being around someone who is struggling or has struggled from a similar situation is helpful because when you are down, their companionship through understanding can get you by. And, when you're both hearing the voice of pessimism at least you don't have to expend much energy explaining why things suck. It's simply understood.

What I'm trying to say is that I am grateful for all of the people I have met. I hate that there are so many people struggling and feeling pain because having a baby or babies has posed such an unpredictably hard endeavor. But without infertility and motherhood through adoption I would be missing out on some really great friendships- relationships on all levels that have played such a poignant part in the re-shaping of my presupposed adult life.

Infertility changed my path. It does not define me, however it is hard for me to picture any life other than this one. The one where I get to fulfill my passion for writing ( I tried to get a book of poems published at age 8. Thanks Mrs. T!), develop the career that I love, see my baby grow every day, appreciate the little things in life, and understand that tough times are just one part of life.

Here's the optimistic chant for you: things do work out. Some how, some way.

I'm still figuring it all out and I'd like to think that I will have the foresight to realize that if I'm still figuring it all out in my 80's, then I'm still learning- about myself, others, and the wonderment of life.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Get To Know

Dawn Davenport

Dawn Davenport is a leading expert on adoption, infertility and orphan care and host of the top-rated radio show on adoption and infertility in the U.S.— Creating a Family: Talk about Adoption and Infertility.

She is the Executive Director of Creating a Family, a nonprofit providing education for adoption and infertility. Creating a Family has won awards for excellence from both the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption. The radio show won the International Infertility in the Media award in 2010.

Davenport is the author of, The Complete Book of International Adoption and has published in national and regional publications, including Conceive Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, and USA Today. She is interviewed frequently on radio and TV. Her research has been featured on CBS News 60 Minutes and People Magazine. Ms. Davenport has served as a background consultant to CBS News 60 Minutes and ABC News Primetime Live.

Q: How did Creating a Family begin? And when?
A: The radio show, Creating a Family: Talk about Adoption and Infertility, started in Oct. 2007 and the website Oct. 2006.

Q: Are there many people who work for Creating A Family?
A: We try to run a lean ship to make the best use of our resources. We have 4 people who work in varying capacities—most part time and one person completely volunteers his time because he believes in our mission.

Q: How do you receive your information and resources for radio shows, etc.?
A: We are never at a loss for show ideas. If I’m curious about something, I figure others are as well. More and more of our show ideas are coming from our audience.

Q: What is the biggest challenge of running a nonprofit?
A: Money. I’m sorry to say this, but it’s true. As much as I’d love to run Creating a Family just on our passion to help, it does take money. The biggest challenge is finding this money.

Q: What are your goals for CAF?
A: Our goals are to continue to reach others who are considering adoption, or have already adopted, or are in the midst of infertility. Our mission is education and support. The more people we reach with our radio show, videos, or website resources, the better our mission is being accomplished. We try to be the one place where people can get unbiased accurate information on the different ways to create a family.

Q: What is your favorite part about running CAF?
A: I love doing the radio show. I am a curious person and getting to ask questions to the biggest experts in any field is like eating an ice cream sundae for me each and every week. I also really love talking with people individually during a consultation. Education can be on the macro level, such as our radio shows and videos, or on the micro level, such as a one on one consultation. I enjoy both forms of education immensely.

Q: Do you have a particular memory of when you remember the mission being fulfilled? A: Many people have been very kind to send email or letters thanking us for what we do. I am touched deeply every time I receive one. We include some of these on the right hand side of the Radio Page and Consulting page.

Q: Have you seen an understanding of adoption and infertility grow in our society?
A: I do think we are getting our core messages out on both adoption and infertility. Families formed through adoption and adopted people still face prejudice and ignorance, but the more we educate, the less they face. The infertile also face such ignorance and lack of understanding, but again, at least they have a community of support at Creating a Family so they do not have to face it alone.

Please visit the Creating A Family website for further information and radio show topics and times.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Grant Cycle 2011

Parenthood for Me is now accepting grant applications for the 2011 grant cycle.

We ask that you please read the FAQ page before requesting an application.

Click here to read specifics about each type of grant.

Deadline is May 1, 2011.

*Please note that you cannot apply for both a medical grant and an adoption grant from Parenthood for Me in the same grant cycle.


PFM is thrilled that so many people across the country are aware of our mission.

We look forward to awarding more grants in July of this year.

Please keep in mind that without the help of donations we cannot continue to offer grants to prospective parents. Any donation, no matter how small makes a difference.

Click here to reach our donation page.

You can help in other ways as well.

We will assist you in holding a fundraiser in your community.

If you have someone in mind who may be interested in a Partnership Package (sponsorship opportunity) with Parenthood for Me, please email us-

We are a 501 c(3) tax exempt charity.

Donations are tax deductible.

"What a difference it makes to come home to a child."

-Margaret Fuller


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