National Advocacy Day-Because It Matters

There are (many) days that I wish I wasn’t part of the “sisterhood”- that of the infertile sisters. (and brothers if I am being even more specific) But wow, what an amazing and POWERFUL sisterhood to be a part of. It took me years to accept this as a strange blessing but the lessons I have learned from my infertility are countless and still unfolding; in great thanks to God, my sweet angel babies, my husband, my support system and my fellow sisters who fight for their chance to complete their families each and every day. (Literally-every day of the cycle counts for something!)

It’s not just the stress of trying to get pregnant and feeling inadequate that you can’t. It’s not just the embarrassing conversations with your boss about why you need X,Y & Z off of work at exactly A, B & C time of the day and week. It’s not just the sheer pain of defeat after defeat after defeat. It’s not even just the overwhelming loss and grief many of us endure at some time on our journey to parenthood.

It’s also the astronomical financial burden it places on families. It’s the head-shaking-shock regarding what insurance companies will and will not cover for this medical, yes-medical, diagnosis. It’s the unjust reflection of tax reimbursements regarding fertility treatments and adoption. I could write a book or two if I went into detail but trust me, it’s heartbreaking for the majority of families.

Luckily, we are Americans. This means that we have a fighting chance to make change and have our voices heard. Each year, a couple hundred people head off to Capitol Hill for National Advocacy Day to bring forth awareness to Congress for legislative issues about infertility that need attention. This group is called RESOLVE. They are fierce and passionate women who fight for change, so that many others can have the chance, that-they-so-deserve, at starting a family.

We can’t all be there in person. But we CAN do our part. Our voices are heard in numbers and in politics, this must be on PAPER! So I am asking for your help. ANYONE who is reading this can help, infertility or not-we need your voice to help raise ours.

The other night, I was speaking with one of my favorite advocates’ and dear friend. Candace and her husband blog at Our Misconception about their infertility journey, the heartbreaking news of Candace needing a hysterectomy before having the chance to carry a child, their adventures through fundraising, surrogacy and now parenting their miracle baby. I asked Candace how she had the strength to keep fighting so hard for something that feels like a dead-end-issue in politics and her response was “Because it matters. Because I don’t want my daughter to have to go through what I did to have a family one day.”

BAM. Now that’s a powerful sister.

Within ten minutes I had eight letters ready for Advocacy Day to fight for change.

So I will ask you this, do you have a female in your life of any age that wants or will want a family one day? Maybe a daughter of your own? Grand-daughter? Cousin? Aunt? Niece? Friend? Neighbor? Co-Worker? Friend at church? Honestly, nobody can deny at least ONE of these.

Then it matters. We don’t know what our paths will look like, but we can be the hope for those who will join this sisterhood for years to come. With the current statistics being 1 in 8 couples facing infertility, there are unfortunately a lot more to come. I can confidently assume you know someone who is struggling this battle, even if you are unaware.unnamed (16)

If you still can’t think of someone-I can help you. ME!!!! Now, you know someone!

So please, please don’t “X” out of this blog post and forget about it. Please take 10 minutes and help make the change we need in this world. I will make it SUPER easy for you.

You can click HERE for a pre-drafted template letter. Then you can click HERE to learn who represents you in congress based on where you live. Simply add their names to the document, add your name at the end and email it to me at myhopeafterhope@gmail.com. You can do one letter for each representative and don’t forget to draft one from your spouse/roomate if they agree as well! (Double up the letters!) If you have a personal story you can add it to the letter but you don’t have to. Your letters will then be HAND-DELIVERED to Capitol Hill on Thursday, May 14.

These are the changes we are fighting for this year

1. Please Co-Sponsor: The Women Veterans and Families Health Services Act, S 469. This bill would provide increased benefits, including access to in vitro fertilization (IVF), to veterans who experience a loss of fertility directly related to their service to our country.

2. Help Re-introduce: The Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act. While the Adoption Tax Credit was made permanent, the Credit is not refundable. This bill puts back the refundable provision so that the families who need the credit the most to adopt children receive it.

3. Support the National Action Plan: It has been a long time coming but the CDC has finally recognized infertility as a public health issue. This is a pro-family plan that was published in 2014 as the “National Public Health Action Plan for the Detection, Prevention and Management of Infertility. It will proactively help the CDC, non-government agencies, healthcare providers and others to ultimately help struggling couples pursue their dreams of having children!

I appreciate you and thank you in advance for your support because I just know my inbox will be flooded in the next few days with letters (hint, hint)!!!

Seriously though, we need your voice…

Because it matters.

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