Here I was, stressing about coming up with a fourth silver lining and you guys brought the list to 48. I'm still moving comments into the list (condensing ideas that appear more than once) and I have many more to add when I get a second today. Keeping adding them as you think of them. In my more bitter moments, some of the entries have made me snicker. In my lighter moments, it's nice to pause on the fact that I probably would have never met any of you--in real life or online--if not for infertility and loss. This community is a real silver lining to it all.
Today also kicks off the second installment of the International Infertility Film Festival. My entry is above this post. Click over to the festival site (run by the amazing Bea) to see all of the fantastic entries. The theme this time around was spring. I submitted my two-part filmaphor. It's a metaphor via film. A filmaphor. Or a cinemalogy. A cinematic analogy. Whichever you choose. The first, Mother Earth's Flower Shop, showed a month or so ago and it explores the multitude of ways people build their families (as told via singing flowers). The second installment is a bit less campy and happy. In fact I cried a lot making it. I cried while singing it and you can probably hear that when my voice cracks. What the Gardener Knows is a song about loss and failed cycles. An explanation for those who wonder if your mood is something they caused or who don't understand how it feels to spend a summer trying to coax life into a garden only to still have an empty plot of land come fall. I hope you enjoy them--and if enjoy isn't quite the right word for the second film, I hope it at least touches you and helps you when you're feeling alone as you stare at your garden bed.
Please help Bea by spreading the word about the film festival via your own blog.
And now kicking off the new year of roundups:
If you love Erin the Angry IVFer who is now the Red Beans & Rice Noodles chickie as much as I know you do and you've been searching for a way that you could easily contribute to her adoption fund as she switches from IVF to international adoption (from Vietnam), look no further than Lindland's Cordarounds for your next gift. This is truly the greatest fundraiser ever. First and foremost, you get baby gift shopping out of the way with just a few clicks of the mouse without having to step foot in Buy Buy Baby. Second of all, 100% of the money (yes, they are donating the entire amount to Chuck and Erin) goes to this fund so you are helping out a fellow stirrup queen along the way rather than lining corporate America's pockets (no offense, corporate America. "Why, none taken, Melissa," says corporate America back). We all deserve a fundraiser and Erin is lucky enough to have good friends who care about her and want to help her adopt. Even if you can't contribute because you have no gift to purchase, please consider cutting and pasting the blog link and sending it out to your email list. The more people who know about it the better, and what goes around comes around.
Frank, who is always a good read and he give you that ever elusive male point-of-view, at The Adventures of (In)Fertile Frank tackles this very same topic this week: IVF funding strategies. While my favourite is buskers (especially due to this little nugget: "At the moment I am pushing for the development of an two person Chinese acrobat act, basically spinning and tossing Mrs. Beans through the air using only my feet. Do we have any acrobatic experience? No. Are we even flexible? Not at all, but I really want to perform under the moniker, 'The Mexican Jumping Beans.'"), can collecting is a close second. Plus, empty cans--though bulky--are quite light and easy to ship so we can all help you with your fundraising efforts.
KD at Karaoke Diva has a beautiful post this week about a problem unique to secondary infertility: the child who longs for a sibling as much as you're longing for a child. I loved not only the sweetness of her son's question, but her thoughts on how infertility affects the family and what it makes her feel about herself touched me to the core.
J at Cheese and Whine writes about how she has been blogging about having a child for two years and now she is kicking off her first IVF cycle--a cycle she suspected was imminent for a while. She writes: "It’s somewhat surreal, and scary, and exciting all at the same time. I’m trying to be as calm and relaxed as possible, which, if you know me, isn’t all that easy. Surprisingly, I’m really feeling ok...I am trying to quell the feelings of “something good” happening here mostly to shield myself from disappointment….but, they’re there, and know what? Hope is an ok thing to cling too." Please go over and wish her luck with this cycle.
Alyson and Ford from Imagine Alyzabeth An recorded a conversation with their daughter, Alyzabeth An, this week that both broke my heart and made me smile. I especially love the idea of a baby being placed to be found and how even a hurtful term like abandon can be turned around to reflect love and care. It's a really great post.
Instead of a single post, I'd like to direct your attention to this cool project Lori from Weebles Wobblog has started called Drama 2B Mama. She knows the end of her story--she has adopted two children and she's finally parenting. But she is now tracing back all the twists and turns, all the strange coincidences she can finally see since she has stepped off the family building path. She updates the blog daily, letting the story unfold. We're still back in fertility treatment land. It's a very cool read for anyone who needs to glimpse someone's light at the end of the tunnel.
Line-of-the-Week. The line that made my heart sigh: "I am really thankful that infertility didn't kill my empathy for her" (from Serenity Now!). Please go gather around Serenity and wish her much luck--her beta is this weekend and she needs the support of her fellow stirrup queens.
Now go over to the International Infertility Film Festival and view to your heart's content (and let me know what you think of my entries).