In 2013, after the launch of FFCG-Richmond, Virginia, a woman told me that I had a book inside of me. I remember telling her that I would like to write, but I needed some time. I knew I had a story, but I wasn't ready to share it. At the time, in addition to marriage, ministry, and life, I had just launched Fertility for Colored Girls in the midst of wrestling with my own infertility struggles. I also felt that I needed to spend more time in the presence of God and hear the stories of other women/couples who struggled with infertility. Over the next two years, God allowed me to do that and more. I bathed deeply in God's presence. I encountered many black women and couples across the U.S. who struggled with infertility and hurting in shame as a result of infertility. In addition, I spoke with people who were in disbelief that black women struggled with infertility. I also experienced, first-hand, the grief and isolation of infertility, and fell into a deep depression that pushed my strong faith in God to its limits, as I clung to one of the most powerful and human of emotions to fight for my dream to become a mother: hope.
After 7 years of struggling with infertility, my husband, Earl, and I would eventually get pregnant and give birth to our daughter, Shiloh, in 2014. Not too long after Shiloh was born, God spoke and said, "It's time to tell your story. It's time to share your story and the stories you have heard. Women/couples need hope, healing, and to know that they are not alone. They also need to know, that if they trust Me, just as I have provided for you and others, I will also give them the strength to hold on to hope through it all."
I heard God clearly, and I began to move forward. Now, after much prayer, sweat, and many sleepless nights, as well as God's grace, in March 2017, Hold On To Hope: Stories of Black Women's Fertility, Faith, and Fight to Become Mommies will be born.
The tragedy of infertility affects some 7.3 million women in the United States today—with African American women suffering it at twice the rate of white women. Infertility is a taboo topic in the Black community because most people think that Black women do not struggle with fertility challenges because we are perceived as hyper-fertile. As a result of a number of myths and misconceptions surrounding infertility in the Black community, many Black women and couples live in much shame and silence, feeling alone! This is why I wanted to write and compile, Hold On To Hope! I wanted to raise awareness. I wanted Black women to see ourselves and know that we are not alone! I wanted to give someone hope who feels hopeless.
Hold On To Hope is a collection of stories from Black women and couples sharing their personal fights with infertility. With fertility commonly being portrayed as a white issue, this powerful book unveils the silence and shame surrounding it in communities of color. This is a stark contrast to the celebration and joy associated with pregnancy, leading to depression and even questioning one’s faith. Filled with stories of hope, humor, and heartbreak, Hold On To Hope is a reminder that no one is alone and that miracles can happen, even in what feels like the very darkest hour.
The stories shared by the courageous women in this book are powerful. They will warm your heart, bring tears to your eyes, and give you hope! At the same time, Hold On To Hope reminds you to offer compassion, love, and grace to all you encounter because you never know what a person might be going through!
My hope is that that you will grab a copy of this book when it is available to purchase! A portion of the proceeds will go to Fertility for Colored Girls, NFP. Consider subscribing for updates about pre-orders/orders of the soon-to-be-released Hold On To Hope: Stories of Black Women's Fertility, Faith, and Fight to Become Mommies! I promise it will bless you!