So we intend on making this Q & A post a recurring post for whenever we get reader questions...but this is the first edition.
Thank you for reading and while you're here, let's conceive hope together!
UPDATED: Fundraising is now complete! Thank you to everyone who read and shared this post while we were under a tight timeline to raise funds for this training. This FAQ post will remain on the blog, but the donation button has been removed.
We've been doing some fundraising for the past week for my FCP training at the St. Gianna Center (it starts in just a little over 2 WEEKS!! (....gulp!). Lots of questions* have been flying in on the contact form, via email, and in facebook PMs. We're going to do our best to attempt to answer them here. If we receive any additional questions in the comments (here on the blog or on facebook), we'll update this post to include them here. And in case you missed it, read the blog post that inspired this Q&A.
*If you want to know the answer to the popular *why* question (i.e. why I'm doing FCP training!), you can skip to #9 for the roughest story I've had to tell on this blog yet...
1) How can I make a donation to your FCP training fund?
UPDATED: We have removed the "Donate" button from this page as promised because fundraising is now complete. Thank you to everyone who so generously contributed.
The education program is divided into two parts: EP1 and EP2. I am fundraising *only* for EP1 right now. The program costs, without travel expenses or lodging or meals, just for EP1 training itself total $4,000. Here's the breakdown of that against what we've received in grants/donations so far:
$4,000.00 EP1 training costs
-$1,000.00 Scholarship from OSV
-$3,000.00 private donations (UPDATED)
$ nothing left to raise (UPDATED)
4) What is CrMS, what is an FCP, and what are you training for?
You have lots of questions about the C.reighton Model and I love them!
Here's the "what" question answered.
Here's a great introduction on the history of the method.
Here's a great outline of the education program, what it entails, and the timeline involved for training.
5) Why aren't you using a GoFundMe page to fundraise?
We researched all the methods for collecting donations and the button above takes the smallest percentage of YOUR donation. If you make a $20 donation to us for example, we get $19.94 of it using this method. Places like gofundme and carebridge and all the other "crowdsourcing" platforms take MUCH bigger chunks of each donation before they deliver the funds. Some of them will take a full 10-20% cut off the donation before they deliver the remainder to the recipient days later. I won't begrudge a business their need to make money on a transaction for providing a service and processing a credit card....but there is no reason for your hard-earned money to be lost to exorbitant merchant fees.
Yes, gofundme might be prettier than what we opted for here...but let's keep the money you intend to be spent on this CrMS education program...to be available for this training and not just a means to support a crowdsourcing platform.
6) How will donations be spent?
100% of all donations will be spent on EP1 tuition, which must be paid up before March 20th. Y'all - I don't mess around with money. I was an accountant for years and years before I became a programmer. I run a tight budget and I demand accountability for every dollar spent. We will continue publishing the total donation amount as it grows (please, God). I will also make sure to publish a careful accounting of how every dollar is utilized. I'll be taking pictures and blogging about the training experience itself, so you will have complete transparency on this journey with me!
7) What will you do if you receive extra money?
UPDATED: The "unlikely" I mention below of needing to remove the "Donate" button happened. We caught the donations at $5 under our total funding need. Y'all, I've got that last $5 in pennies, nickels, and dimes - so we're good to go! We LOVE your optimism!!
8) What will you do if you don't raise enough?
UPDATED: No need to answer this question anymore, we raised everything we needed!! We are going to get there one way or the other. I'm dog-sitting and house-sitting and babysitting and open to sitting on anything else you need me to sit on in this attempt to raise money. While you are busy prayerfully discerning your contribution - we're doing our part to try and raise as much as we can through any means available. We are literally selling our belongings to make way for this. Kitchen equipment, the bed, the armoire, a computer, it's all out the door to raise more funds for this. Who needs material belongings anyway? :)
9) What made you want to become an FCP?
OK, so things are about to get SUPER personal for me here. Bear with me, I'm answering this question with tissues in hand. Last year (February 2014), I was working as a programmer for a marketing company. I had enjoyed 3 years' tenure in the position and enjoyed that challenge each day brought with it. I was up for a raise and a promotion, so I knew it was going to be a good month. Reviews had just been completed, so it was just a matter of time before I saw the good news in my paycheck that I had already been promised.
And just like that... one Saturday morning I got a +HPT. We were overjoyed and all seemed to be going well in our world. After a sea of medical interventions though (I have low progesterone)....no amount of shots or pills was enough to save our baby. We lost her not even halfway through the first trimester, despite every effort to save her.
As you can imagine, it was a rough time for us. I was in pieces. I asked for a few days off work for bereavement leave (and was so grateful my company allowed for that!). Not only did I feel incapable of sitting in an ultra-modern office building in a WHITE LEATHER OFFICE CHAIR while I was bleeding and physically living through the loss....but I just knew I wouldn't be any use to anyone and I'd be a messy spectacle of tears. It was a sorely needed break. I was quickly granted written permission from my supervisor, took my three days, and that was that.
Fast forward to that good professional news I was expecting. When I was back at work the next week, I was called into a meeting - with HR, my supervisor, and her director. Instead of being offered the raise and promotion I had been promised, I was told that I had improperly used bereavement leave. My miscarriage was not an "appropriate use of company bereavement leave because it didn't involve the death of an immediate family member". No one cared about my written permission from my supervisor and no one wanted to discuss anything. I was caught completely flat-footed with my jaw hanging open, as you can well imagine. I was told that I was being terminated effective immediately, that my desk would be cleared out for me, that I would not be allowed to say goodbye to my colleagues, and I would be escorted to my vehicle to leave the premises immediately.
My brain was spinning. I was being treated like a criminal in a place I had devoted the past 3 years of my professional life to! It was surreal and profoundly painful all at once. I'll never know how (Holy Spirit, ya'll!!) I found the grace to tell them all that I forgave them and that I would be praying for them in that moment. When I look back, it seems an impossible way to react. I was angry, hurt, red-faced, and completely crushed...and yet the love of Christ came out of my mouth. Maybe there is hope for me...
And that's how I became unemployed and a new journey began. As you can imagine, I was wrecked for weeks...months?...and that wound left a deep scar. I began this blog as a way to process some of the intense emotions I felt regarding infertility, our losses, charting, and all the medical interventions and treatments we underwent. The seed for becoming an FCP was planted along the way as I realized how much God had used that terrible work situation to powerfully form my heart and my conscience on the topic of personhood, the dignity of marriage and family, and the innate value of ALL life from conception. And God has continued to use that tiny seed with fertilizer and water and the warmest sunshine He can muster.
No one deserves to live through what I've had to with my last miscarriage, but it was that situation that helped me recognize that there is a larger calling in my life to support the pro-life movement now. The best way I know how to honor my family - and the lives of the children that we have lost - is to put myself to work in a profession where the kind of thing I just described can never, ever happen again. I want to be a part of the solution. If this testimony (which was hard to write) speaks to you in any way - please let us know you are supporting us in prayer. And if you are able, please (UPDATED: fundraising is not complete!)
I hope that answers the big "why" question everyone is asking us. It's a painful "YES" we're giving on this one...and we are indebted to everyone supporting us in answering God's calling in our life on this very personal topic. And yes, y'all have been nagging me for MONTHS to do this... so you've definitely carried me on your shoulders through the tough parts of this journey to get where I am today!
10) I have other questions...
We will answer them the best we know how - just leave us a message in the comments section or drop us a line on the contact form at the top of the page and we'll be in touch ASAP. If it's a private and specific question - we'll answer you directly in private. If it is an FAQ kind of question, we'll post it here for everyone's benefit.
***In case you missed the post that inspired this Q&A, you can read about My Big Fat Tuesday here.***