Rev. Brad and Stephanie Vos understand that men and women who wrestle with infertility need support.
Brad is pastor of CrossWay Church, a Christian Reformed Church plant in Vancouver, Wash.
Stephanie started Club Hope, a support group for women and men struggling to conceive. “Infertility is a complex issue in that it is very prevalent, yet it is a subject that doesn’t get talked about,” she explained.
She strives to create a safe and open environment at Club Hope meetings. Participants meet once a month and share about fertility treatments, adoption journeys, and decision-making processes. The meetings are attended mostly by women from varying spiritual backgrounds.
This free ministry meets in a medical center and is supported by CrossWay Church. Many of the participants heard about the support group via word of mouth or through the Club Hope website.
Club Hope also offers women help such as bringing a new mom a meal after she has had a baby or if she is bedridden from a treatment. “There is a lot of support offered amidst group members regarding simply listening, understanding, and sharing information with each other,” Stephanie said.
Club Hope participants also discuss how infertility affects other relationships in their lives. “Sometimes the infertile person can feel like they aren’t being a good wife or husband because they can’t give their spouse a biological child. It is like any loss or traumatic experience,” said Brad.
Told by doctors at a young age that she would have a difficult, if not impossible, time conceiving, Stephanie understands the painful journey of infertility and kept running into others facing the same thing. She launched Club Hope with a few female friends in October 2009.
One month later Brad and Stephanie welcomed home their daughter through a domestic infant adoption program.