Parenthood is an amazing thing—not for everyone, but certainly for me. I’m a sucker for pregnant bellies, babies and toddlers, but I don’t discriminate; kids of all ages bring me joy. Which is good, since I’ve brought five of them into the world. And even though my experience is changing as one-by-one they’re heading to, or graduating from, college (something I’m admittedly struggling with), I never lose sight of how generous biology has been to me; easy conceptions, easy pregnancies, easy deliveries, a not-so-uncommon feat for many women, yet impossible for others. A fact I consider every time I start to fret about my eventual empty nest status. Having five kids’ worth of parenting memories, and more to come as they reach new milestones, is a gift that I don’t take for granted. Because I know that many, many women, and men, would trade my lament for the chance to bring even one child into the world with such ease.
It’s heartbreaking to watch friends and family struggle with infertility. Equally so, with adoption, a word filled with possibility, but also with uncertainty. After months of failed infertility treatments, “uncertainty” is a very difficult state to sustain. I know, because I have looked on helplessly as several of my friends have navigated the path of uncertainty with mixed results. Adoption can be a beautiful alternative, but it’s far from smooth-sailing. And though not everyone chooses adoption because of difficulty conceiving naturally, those who do, are emotionally and physically tapped out by the time they reach that decision.
What these men and women need most, is a strong support system, friends and family who will share the ups and the downs of their journey optimistically and lovingly. Who can help them vet resources and find creative ways to pay the bills.
One such resource is Help Us Adopt, a financial assistance grant program that provides qualified couples and individuals (regardless of race, religion, marital status or sexual preference) with grants of up to $15,000.00 towards their adoption expenses. Since filing as a 501(c)(3) in 2007, this dynamic, New York-based nonprofit has awarded $770,000 to 91 families. Grants are awarded twice a year, in June and December. The most recent awards were just announced last week: $10,000 to 10 families—two LGBT families, five heterosexual married couples, and three single women. Continue reading