As I sit down to write this letter, coffee in one hand, pen in the other, I take a moment and listen to the silence. The silence in my home is a contented one, marked by my twins’ even breathing, but it takes me back to a time when the silence in my home was heavy, empty and dark. It was a silence magnified by the lack of wholesome kids’ squabble, a toddler’s pitter-patter or an infant’s soft babble. But more than the silence I remember the loud questions. “So, how many children do you have?” (None!) “Do you have any children?” (No!) “Oh, so who’s looking after the baby?” (What?! What baby? No baby…) or “You wouldn’t believe what my baby did today… oh, she’s just so adorable…”
I was in the midst of a long and painful journey toward meriting a child of my own. I didn’t mind the physical pain, it came and went. What I minded was how people related to me. This was a lot more painful than needles of any size. I have learned (the hard way) that asking questions, inquiries and even providing too much information can sometimes be very hurtful. If you’re not sure what stage in life the person you’re talking to is at, don’t assume anything! And don’t ask unnecessary questions just for the sake of conversation and small talk.
In my late twenties I married my husband, and we happily started off the first year of our marriage, not dreaming that, for us, the waiting game was not yet over.
It was after a couple of years of marriage that we made the decision to turn to Bonei Olam, an organization that assists childless couples. Bonei Olam walked us through every little step of the way. My fears and questions were met with reassurance and guidance. When I was uncertain how to proceed or where to turn next, I was just one phone call away from getting all the answers I needed.
One example of the amount of chesed this organization does/did for me is demonstrated in the following story.
My husband and I were sitting in the hospital discussing the next stage in our medical treatment with our doctors. As the discussion developed, it became clear that I would have to start a new treatment that very evening. My panic slowly began to rise. I was in the middle of a working day! There was no way I would have enough time to call my insurance company, get the approval for purchasing the appropriate medication and find a pharmacy that had this type of medication in stock (since most of them, understandably, do not)!
The panic levels reached new heights when the nurse quoted the cost of this specific procedure (which not one insurance company in this country covers). What to do? The nurse was waiting for an answer. If I said no, there goes another month—and I was not getting younger. My husband was getting more nervous by the minute. “How can we possibly afford this?” he kept repeating. “And even if we could, how in the world are we going to get the medication before tonight? I’m sorry but I think it’s just impossible…” But I was determined not to lose another month—I’d wasted enough time! As I was pulling out my phone to call my counselor at Bonei Olam, the phone rang with none other than my counselor, Moishe, on the line. “Don’t worry,” he said. I just spoke with Rabbi Bochner and he decided that this whole treatment will be funded by us. Don’t delay anything due to financial constraints; it has all been taken care of.”
“Thank you so much, Moishe,” I answered, “but I’m supposed to begin the treatment tonight and there is no way I can get the medication on time.”
“Not to worry,” said Moishe, “call this pharmacy in Boro Park and they will sort it out.” And that’s exactly what happened. Not only did they have the medication I needed but it was delivered straight to my door (which is not in the proximity of Boro Park)!
The amount of chesed Bonei Olam provides knows no bounds! How could I possibly feel alone in my struggle? The amount of support, advice and assistance that my husband and I received from them is what enabled me to keep my head up and remain hopeful during this bitter and painful saga.
After many procedures and heartrending tefillos, Hashem blessed us with twins!! We finally experienced the indescribable joy of their tiny fingers curling around our own. Every day we bask in the warmth of their smiles and the sweet sounds they bring forth, as they learn to crawl and discover the great big world that is our home. But each day, as they grow, so does my ache for those who are still waiting, those waiting for the sounds that have become so dear to me.
I take this opportunity to appeal to you. Please, help Bonei Olam. Bonei Olam is an organization that eases the financial burdens associated with infertility and tries to cover the costs of testing and treatments. The costs of testing and treatment are sky high. It can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $35,000 for a full IVF treatment and other treatments begin at $40,000 and upwards. Many childless couples do not have the funds to invest in this kind of treatment. They remain childless, and hoping all along that some miracle will happen and enable them to afford this kind of treatment. Please, be their miracle!
Please open your hearts to give to Bonei Olam and together we will open the gates of Shamayim.
Bonei Olam is a not-for-profit organization renowned for providing financial support to childless couples enduring the agony of infertility. Bonei Olam offers a variety of programs to assist with various forms of infertility including fertility assistance, advanced genetic testing and research, fertility medication, insurance coverage and advocacy, high-risk pregnancy care, Bonayich interest-free loan program, Bonei Olam without Borders, Embrace-a-Child Adoption Program and cancer fertility preservation.
Except for its minimal office staff, the entire operation is run and managed by volunteers. Virtually every dollar raised is directly applied to medical help. More importantly, these dollars work. To date, Bonei Olam has helped bring over 5,800 new babies into the world, providing joy, fulfillment and a sense of restored purpose and serenity to hundreds of couples around the globe. And these precious babies provide a most heartfelt realization to those who are not yet blessed with a child of their own that miracles do happen!
Please join us and show your support for the Bergen County for Bonei Olam event on Sunday March 20, 2016, at Keter Torah 600 Roemer Ave Teaneck NJ. Enjoy a lavish meat buffet by Five Star Caterers and be entertained by master mentalist and Magician Oz Pearlman. Your support will have a dramatic impact on the lives of local Bergen County couples. To learn more about Bonei Olam, please check out our website at www.boneiolam.org.