Almost ten years ago, my husband and I decided we were ready to start a family. Very quickly we realized the old fashioned way wasn’t working and obtained medical help first through my gynecologist and then with a Reproductive Endocrinologist. The months marched by with no positive pregnancy test. After one too many pregnancy announcements from friends and families I realized I needed to find a support system. I joined a mind body support group offered through my fertility clinic and quickly was absorbed into a loving and nurturing community.
I also gained something I didn’t expect from this group; four of us were Jewish and we decided to seek solace from our religion, both text and tradition. We would gather to learn and practice Jewish rituals to strengthen our souls and bring us closer to our future children.
I was fortunate to have a beautiful daughter in 2008. When we started trying for another a year later, I again realized the path to parenthood is not an easy one. To aid me in my struggles this time around, I volunteered to lead a RESOLVE support group. I was again reminded of the power of a group coming together to support and rally for one another.
At the same time, since having a child, I was becoming more involved in my own community. I constantly noticed the parade of swollen bellies and celebrations geared towards children and families. However I did not see a real place for those who so desperately wished to have a family of their own but had not yet been blessed with their own children.
It is stated in Genesis to “Be Fruitful, and Multiply.” Having children is central to the continuity of the Jewish people. While our community must celebrate life it is integral to create a sacred space for Jewish people who struggle to create the miracle of life. We must acknowledge that those on their fertility journey are not alone. Concurrently we must create a community both to grieve loss and celebrate all our hopes and dreams for our personal and collective future.
After many years of contemplation and personal struggle, last year I launched The Red Stone. The Red Stone is an initiative for fertility support in our Jewish Community. This program supports people hoping to have Jewish children; aiming to provide emotional, spiritual and financial support. Additionally, The Red Stone strives to create awareness and sensitivity towards those on their journey to becoming parents. It is my dream, that while the struggle will continue, we will be strengthened by the work of The Red Stone.