Thursday, August 18, 2011


I recently received a link to a video from Tyrone Howard. I don't know Tyrone personally. He found me through my blog, and he sent me a copy of a short film he had done that he wanted my opinion on. He also hoped I would share it with my blog readers if I found it appropriate. "Unforeseen" was actyally designed to illustrate a life of second chances. However, Tyrone found that it was gathering good support amongst individuals who lost a child before he/she was born.

After watching the video, I can see why. While I have never experienced pregnancy loss, I do believe my history with infertility allows me to be a fair judge of the appropriateness of this video. I am asking my readers, especially those with a similar history to mine, to watch this video and help provide Tyrone with some feedback. Butbe forewarned that if you have faced pregnancy loss or even infertility, it may make you quite emotional. It is incredibly well done (in my opinion) and I believe very accurately portrays this difficult part of life. Please leave a comment that I can share with Tyrone -- either positive or negative. Here is the link to the video. We need more individuals opening up dialogue on this part of life, and I think Tyrone's video is worth your time.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I am so excited to have my second piece on the Hannah's Prayer Blog: Held* Please hop over and visit by clicking here. If you missed it, here is the link to the previous piece I had featured on their website. As most of you know, infertility and adoption are my passions, and I am so blessed to be a part of this ministry.

*Held is a blogging outreach of Hannah's Prayer Ministries* and is here to offer support and encouragement to families seeking peace through infertility, pregnancy/infant death or adoption loss, and to provide a resource for our extended families, friends, church communities and larger support networks. If you are a married Christian woman dealing with the heartache of any of these fertility challenges, we also invite you to join us on the Hannah's Prayer Community Forums.

Monday, July 4, 2011

My testimony

I received an email from a friend going through infertility treatments right now. I often have many women that I am connected with via Hannah's Prayer, email, or in-person. This friend had read these words in a devotional and she shared it with me. I was so blessed to read these words. I often wonder who I am right now. What is my mission? I don't feel like I really fit in with mom groups. I feel like I will always be slightly different. And yet, obviously, I am no longer a part of infertility cycles, technically speaking. This email from my friend reminded me that my testimony is part of who I am. Infertility and adoption are my passions. They always will be. Just because I am a mom now doesn't change that. Thanks friend!
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Have you ever read a really good book? I mean a really good book? One that you can’t put down? You envision what every character looks like, what they sound like when they speak, and even how they walk. You feel like you know them! When you get so engrossed in the story you block the outside work and immerse yourself in the story line. There’s nothing quite like a really good book!
Did you know you are an author? That’s right! Sign your name at the bottom of the page, for you, my friend, are a writer! What are you writing? You’re writing your testimony.
Infertility can really take a toll on your life. It can consume every waking moment, every thought, every interaction. You may find that you are surviving trials that you never would have imagined you were strong enough to conquer. How has God worked in your life? How is God working? Who are the characters in your saga--people who have said really stupid things, or those who wrap their arms around you and understand? Have you learned things about God through your battle with infertility that you never had even considered before? Maybe you found yourself searching Scriptures for answers--and actually found them! Infertile couples have to figure out new ways to communicate and make decisions. Who knew when you stood at that altar that day that you’d have to make decisions like how many embryos to freeze or where the money would come from for all your medications? So many twists and turns in the plot!
Infertility changes you. When you’re in the midst of the battle you cannot see how you are better for it. It helps when someone who has been there understands what you feel, and shares with you how they coped and survived. Do you realize you can be that someone to another person? One day, infertility will be a part of your past, and not your every waking moment. You’re learning things now in infertility’s classroom that you never even considered before. Every trial you face, every month you survive, you are writing your testimony. Every time you pick yourself up and face another month, you’ve written another part of your testimony. You pray and ask God to help you--and He does. There’s another chapter. Another story to tell of how God provided again.

Someone needs to read your story. Someone somewhere is going to need to hear how she is not alone in her battle, and that someone with a similar struggle has survived. You may be in the midst of your fight today, but one day, your story can encourage someone else. Maybe you can see how, maybe not yet. But the day will come when someone new to infertility will look to you for answers. Your story may just be what gets them through that month, or that day.

When you share your story of how God sustained you through trials, you are lining up beautifully with Scripture. Comforting someone else with the comfort you received. Telling someone else, “I know it’s hard. This is what helped me,” is being the hand of Jesus extended.

Perhaps your story is not ready yet. It will be. One day, God can use your story to heal the wounds of someone else. Maybe today, you need the healing. Wherever you find yourself, know that God is working and moving. And writing your testimony with you.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Infertility in the Media

Last night while I was falling asleep, Julie & Julia was playing. I loved this movie because it combined blogging (something I love) with cooking (something my husband loves) while also so perfectly including infertility and living life as a tall woman. Only her being an athlete would have made this movie more fitting for me.

I had written previously about this movie on my blog here. And while I could not find a copy of the exact two infertility clips that really moved me in Julie & Julia, I was able to find a video on youtube that did have the clip, albeit no dialouge can be hard.

On the video below, check out the fourth and sixth scenes that come up in the montage. The fourth scene shows Julia and her husband, married many years, receiving news that Julia's sister, who had just married, was expecting a baby. Julia Childs (played by Meryl Streep) so perfectly demonstartes how it feels to be not have children and watch those around you receive that gift. I don't know who wrote this scene or how Meryl did it, but I felt someone had been spying in my own living room when I received pregnancy news over and over again while our own womb stayed empty. Julia is happy for her sister but finds herself crying out of sadness. An incredible mixture of emotions done unbelievably well.

In the sixth scene, Julia and her husband are walking down the sidewalk. They pass a baby carriage, and she glances back and then tries to compose herself. Her husband pats her hand without a word shared between them. Again, the movie portrayed the feeling of infertility perfectly.

After watching these scenes again last night, I realized how beneficial they were to the cause of childlessness. These scenes educate the public on how infertility feels. I decided that I wanted to try and compile a list of positive media sources for infertility and adoption. This can be "famous" people who struggled with infertility or shared their journey. This can be books or movies that portrayed this part of life positively. I really don't want to put up limits as to what I am hoping to compile. Adoption can be included as well -- although I would really like to focus more on the infertility aspect as it is a lot easier to find positive adoption language and concepts than it is infertility.

Can you help? Please leave a comment, or, if you feel more comfortable, you can email me at Thanks everyone! I look forward to developing this list with help from you and research of my own.


  • UP: Recommended by many readers for the opening montage about life without children.
  • Baby Mama: Has many references to infertility although there is a surprise pregnancy at the end that can be difficult for those in the midst of infertility
  • Meet the Robinsons: Older child adoption
  • Immediate Family: Some harsh language but an infertility movie
  • Maybe Baby:
  • Funny about Love:
  • Serious Moonlight: Dark comedy with frustrating ending but good infertility plotline.
  • Did You Hear About the Morgans: I saw this; not a great movie but it does show what infertility can do to a relationship. It also has the "happy ending" that isn't always very realistic. 
  • Facing the Giants: Infertility storyline, although ending was a little bothersome.
TV Shows
  • Giuliana and Bill: features E host Guliana and Apprentice winner Bill's journey through IVF including their subsequent miscarriage.
  • The Little Couple: Chronicles fertility journey including IVF and surrogacy. Click here or here or here for video clips of their struggle.
  • Grey's Anatomy: About 4.5 minutes into this scene, you see Meredith have a conversation with her husband in the elevator showing, quite accurately, the feelings of jealousy that often accompany infertility.
  • Friends: Chandler and Monica's infertility and adoption
  • King of Queens: Infertility
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Brothers and Sisters: Contains an IF storyline
  • Celion Dion
  • Nia Vardalos

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Myth: Adopt and you'll get pregnant

My friend Amy participated in the "Bust a Myth" Infertility Challenge sponsored by RESOLVE just like I did a few days ago. It's funny, but I was just contemplating the wording to write nearly the exact same post when I hopped over to Amy's blog and realized what I was thinking had already been said.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

It's funny hearing this coming from Amy and then from me since we both have two little boys one year and less than one year apart. I met Amy online (In fact, it was through Amy that my friend Stebbs and I met each other before either of us relocated to Turkey) while we were knee-deep and needles and doctor's appointments. Failed IUI's. Failed IVF's. A turn to adoption. For both of us.

And then, pregnancy.

But the truth of the matter is, while it may seem like women who adopt get pregnant all the time, it is actually the exception. I've written about this before. How many times have you told my story to someone else? Now how many times have you told the story of another friend you have that adopted and never did go on to have other children? My story passes quickly. Stories of adoptions that do not result in pregnancy do not generate as much "buzz." That's really what it boils down to.

I especially liked when Amy wrote the following:

Soon the comments began. "You hear about this happening all the time," and "See, you relaxed about having a baby and then you got pregnant," and "I knew this would happen." I know people mean well, I really do. I always pray to respond from a place of grace.

I pick my battles. Sometimes I say, "Yes, it does happen," and sometimes I cite the statistics, "
Actually, only 5-10% of parents who adopt due to infertility go on to conceive and bear children." And sometimes, perhaps not often enough, I present the answer I believe the strongest.

I believe that we were able to conceive after years of infertility and adoption because God meticulously planned it out just so.

AMEN!Amy, I totally agree. You completely echoed my heart. I hesitate to tell our story because I know what is coming next. JB corrects these people all the time. I correct them most of the time. Sometimes I just don't feel like it. Sometimes they are Turkish, and I know the language barrier will prohibit me from saying what I am thinking.

But either way, the truth is as follows:
  • Adoption is awesome in and of itself.
  • There is no proof to indicate that adopting results in pregnancy.
  • The 5-10% statistic is actually a lower success rate than what a woman who tries on their own faces during any given month.
  • No one can say for certain whether a woman who gets pregnant post-adoption would have conceived anyway.
  • Telling your friend who is adopting "Watch and you will get pregnant" is NOT recommended. In fact, it can be hurtful (even though that is not your intention). It implies that adoption is not good enough and the "good enough" will come after the adoption.
  • Repeating my story or Amy's story to people is great. It shows the Lord's blessings. But please help educate people when you tell it. Please inform people that this is the exception not the rule.

For more information on infertility, please click here. This blog post is part of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association's National Infertility Awareness Week® (NIAW). Click here for more information on this organization, the largest nationwide non-profit improving the lives of people diagnosed with infertility. This post is part of RESOLVE'S"Bust an Infertility Myth Blog Challenge."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

To be fruitful

While working through Beth Moore's Breaking Free Bible Study, I was touched to discover that she was going to devote an entire day to infertility in this study. I wanted to take the opportunity to summarize some of what I learned during this study for those of you who haven't take it before.

Every little girl has at least four main dreams:
  1. To be a bride
  2. To be beautiful
  3. To be fruitful
  4. To live happily ever after
Of course, for those of you have been following my blog for any significant portion of the six years I have been writing, you know what my focus is going to be on. Number 3 it is.
Beth Moore actually writes: "Without a doubt, some of the unhappiest women I've ever known have been those who wanted children and were unable to have them." She goes on to say that Shame is Satan's game and that her friends dealing with infertility have asked themselves questions like "Why me? Why my husband? What did I do to deserve this? Is this my punishment for sex before marriage? Is this my punishment for having an abortion? Would I have been such a terrible mother? ..."
Beth goes on to make four fantastic points regarding barenness:
  1. Barrenness does not imply sinfulness. Here she uses a scripture from Luke 1:5-7. How I travelled the infertile road without ever seeing this scripture, I have no idea. In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old. This was incredibly powerful to me! Elizabeth and John were walking with the Lord and barren. There was no sin that caused this.
  2. Hearts not surrendered to God can seldom be trusted. Beth Moore writes that, "Until we surrender our hopes and dreams to Christ, we really have very little way of knowing what would fulfill us." She goes on to explain that if we are relying on a circumstance to make ourselves happy, we may end up bankrupt. Unhappiness is not solved by any one thing (marriage, baby, job, etc.)
  3. God created every life to be fruitful. Beth Moore encourages us to remember that the dream of being fruitful is more than just one of physical offspring. I do believe this is true. I believe we are called to the widows and orphans. We are called beyond what our womb can bear.
  4. I believe our girlish dream to have babies represent even more than the obvious. I love the way she explains this. She writes: "[Dreams] represent a desire to have fruitful lives, to invest ourselves in something that matters. Something that affects. Something that grows. It not, wouldn't God be cruel to allow any woman to dream of children yet disable her to have them? I don't believe God allows surrendered hearts to continue to long for things He will not ultimately grant in one way or another. Our disappointment with God is often the result of our small thinking."
Another thing Beth Moore mentioned that I never really thought of, is that one day, all of us will be barren. In other words, I will reach an age (soon in my case) that I will not be able to physically have children anymore. Am I to assume that at this point my fruitfulness ends? So true!***

I have been thinking about this. One day my boys will not need me. It's hard to believe that now. But they will lead their own lives. In my case, I feel lead to be a mother for a long time. We see ourselves adopting for many years to come. What about you? How will you continue to be fruitful when the time for physical fruit has passed?***

... just a few notes to share with you that ministered to me. I hope you find something in these words that minister to you.

***A note which I left out prior but might be helpful if you have done the study. I did find that Beth Moore (and other women in our group agreed) trivialized infertility in the sense that she felt that it could be "replaced" by a role of a spiritual mom. I decided not to focus on this in my outline here on the blog and instead just focus from what I did take. That being said, there was quite a bit that I had to leave behind that just wasn't accurate.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Infertility: The Disease We Need To Start Talking About

Silence might be golden in some circumstances, but in the case of infertility it has been downright destructive.
Recently RESOLVE, one of the only organizations dedicated to infertility, made a bold announcement on its website: "People with infertility are being ignored." I always knew that insurance coverage for treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) is scant at best, and that many doctors still don't treat infertility as a major health issue. I've learned that blatant misconceptions persist when it comes to our reproductive health. And it's no secret that the media doesn't cover this subject as often as it should.
However, what I didn't realize is that infertility patients' reluctance to discuss their struggles and advocate for change is directly preventing those affected from getting the support and funding they deserve. As Barbara Collura, executive director of RESOLVE, explains, "Infertility is not being discussed in the general public health realm -- it's not taught in health classes, it's barely touched upon in medical schools, and it's not a priority of any government entity. Yet how can we expect health care providers, educators, our government, and insurance companies to pay attention to infertility when the patients themselves aren't even talking about it?"

Why the silence? People battling infertility are certainly not alone -- a staggering one in eight couples face it -- yet many feel like it is an extremely personal matter not to be shared with anyone but anonymous women and men on message boards. Some say they feel shame for not being able to procreate or for having faulty plumbing, so to speak. Also, in our somewhat still Puritanical society, we've been brought up to believe that sex is a private matter. Discussing it in some circles, even when it pertains to a medical condition, is taboo.
Of course, not everyone feels that way. For instance, while plenty of celebrities would never admit having gone through IVF (even when so many give birth to twins in their 40s), Giuliana Rancic has helped break the mold by publicly sharing her fertility battle via her reality show Giuliana & Bill. "We had signed on to do this show and when we started having trouble getting pregnant, we decided we were going to be honest and reveal what was really going on," says Rancic, who suffered a miscarriage last year after undergoing IVF treatments.
The result of her candidness was both surprising and inspiring. "I started getting up to 100 emails a day from people telling me that I helped them because hearing my story made them feel less alone and ashamed," Rancic explains. "I was shocked by the fact that so many people go through infertility because so few talk about it. And while experiencing it myself has been more difficult than I could have ever imagined, I've found there really is a comfort in numbers."
However, Rancic is still in the minority: It seems that for most men and women facing infertility, it's easier to deal with something so emotionally, physically, and financially draining without having to field questions and opinions from every well-meaning friend, co-worker, or family member. Such comments like "Just go on a vacation, relax, and you'll get pregnant," or "You can always adopt," are far too painful to even acknowledge, so people figure that by remaining silent they'll avoid opening themselves up to such commentary in the first place.
It doesn't help matters that there's no general consensus on how to label infertility. In 2009, the World Health Organization officially defined infertility as a disease. Yet many individuals, organizations, and insurance companies still say that having children is a lifestyle choice and that infertility is not a serious medical issue. Some even liken fertility treatments to cosmetic surgery. But ask the millions of couples desperately trying to get pregnant whether or not having children is a necessity. Why would they subject themselves to months or years of such turmoil if, to them, it weren't essential that they try?
Certainly, there are plenty of valid reasons while this secret exists, but it needs to end. Thirty years ago, breast cancer was where infertility is today -- women just didn't talk about it (a topic I touched upon in a recent blog post). There weren't countless support groups, fundraising walks, and an entire month enveloped in pink. Women battling breast cancer did so in silence and, in turn, many felt isolated and ignored. However, now because there is such an international dialogue about the disease, breast cancer receives multi-million-dollar grants each year in research funding and patients are inundated with an outpouring of support and understanding.
Other cancers, AIDS, and many other illnesses follow the same path from shame to global support and advocacy: Once people start talking about it, the awareness, funding, and answers follow. "The silence is one of the key reasons why the infertility movement is not where it should be," says Collura. "By people speaking out and letting the world know that these are real issues affecting real people, that would impact advocacy, public education, and public policy."
What will it take to bring infertility out of the closet, so to speak? Possibly it would help if more celebrities like Giuliana Rancic came forward and if the media started covering the topic more extensively (as SELF magazine did with a groundbreaking piece on the subject). Maybe we need thousands of infertility patients and advocates to come to Washington D.C. for their Advocacy Day on May 5th rather than a few hundred like in years past. Or perhaps we just need the domino effect -- once a few people experiencing infertility open up, more will follow suit.
I don't know what the magic ingredients are that will take infertility from an issue no one talks about to a banner "pink ribbon" type of cause. The bottom line is that far too many people are suffering. But by suffering in silence, the stigma persists and the advances we need to overcome infertility will never become a reality. As Collura points out, it starts with those struggling with infertility saying, "We matter."
And when they do, the rest of the world must start listening.
Dina Roth Port, a freelance writer for publications such as GlamourParenting, andPrevention, is author of Previvors: Facing the Breast Cancer Gene and Making Life-Changing Decisions. Visit her website at

Monday, January 17, 2011

Turkish Infertility

I continue to be blessed by the presence of women in my life travelling the road I have previously travelled. I say blessed because their presence reminds me that our own journey through so many difficult years of infertility had reason. It had purpose. They may think for me for standing along side them, but truly, I find I have so much to thank them for. While I was blessed with many people who stood alongside me despite not knowing at all what infertility felt like, the people who can minister best in the darkness are the people who have been in that darkness and know all too perfectly what it feels like. It isn't pain that can ever be explained.

So many women have said to me, "Wendi, I watched you go through it. I felt for you. But I didn't get it until I did it myself." That is very true. Just like I cannot understand the loss of a child, the loss of a parent, the grief of a divorce -- so only those who have walked this road can truly understand the devastation of being barren.

Two of the women that I am praying and joining with in this journey are here in Turkey. There is no REI (Reproductive Endocrinology) department on Incirlik. In fact, if you remember, there isn't even an OB department (thus my departure to Germany in June). These friends are having to traverse the world of a Turkish REI Clinic -- a whole new ball game! I was honored to accompany one of my friends to her appt. prior to her first procedure and will be visiting the Clinic again with another friend who is beginning the search for answers.

Never, ever, did I think I'd find myself in an infertility clinic in Turkey of all places!

A few things jumped out at me during my first appointment:
  • There is definitely a language barrier. There is one doctor who speaks very good English, but even that English is accompanied by a thick accent that can make deciphering difficult at times. But how blessed these ladies are for this one English-speaking doctor. Attaining a translator can take up to two weeks of paperwork. Not really possible when you are playing a spur-of-the-minute game like IUI and IVF. There is also a gal who speaks English who works at the front desk. However, despite how kind she is, I have to wonder what defines something as being able to speak English. Her definition is a stretch!
  • The Clinic is sparse, as is most Turkish architecture, but very clean, and very comfortable. The one major difference was that on our tour of the facilities, we noted you were to remove your shoes prior to going into the operating room. This was how it was in Nigeria too. There continues to be more of an emphasis on feet than hands when it comes to germs.
  • The cost is incredibly less than that in the USA. One round of IVF in the USA runs approximately 10,000USD. One round here in Turkey, closer to 3,000USD. Quite a big difference.
  • Childlessness and the desire to fix this issue is a problem everywhere -- around the world. This is a country that looks lightly on abortion and uses it as a means of birth control. People often only have 1 or 2 children with many years inbetween. And yet the desire to have a child is overwhelming, suffocating, and real enough to fund this many floor building in down-town Adana where people who make only $10,000 a year are spending $3,000 of that in trying to have a baby. Adoption is also not done here. It is very rare. I often do not even tell people I am adopting here. They view me as some sort of angel who did a favor to someone. Oh how untrue that is!
  • The lingo and protocol is nearly identical to my years doing IUI and IVF. I was amazed at how quickly all the words and phrases came spinning back into my head. Every word he was using. Every phrase. I knew these phrases. I knew these words. I lived these words. Being able to speak the lingo, to understand the lingo, is incredibly helpful when living this journey.
I want to ask you to join with me in prayer for these three friends. Two are here in Turkey. I am standing along side another family friend who is currently at a stand still in their journey. There is the couple we are sponsoring with Because of Isaac. I have another friend waiting for her son via adoption to come home. I have two friends who have been unable to get answers for their issues due to financial setbacks. I don't want to share names as these journeys are intensely personal for some. But would you add these women to your prayers? Please pray for answers. For peace. And, for miracles.