RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association’s 2023 Hope Award for Social Influence – And the winner is… A Childless Woman

by Brandi Lytle
Photo of RESOLVE Hope Awards on Not So Mommy..., an infertility & childless blog
Wobble Warning:  Please note that the blogs and websites linked are part of the infertility community and may contain possible triggers to childless not by choice.

On 16 August 2023, I received some incredible news.  RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is honoring me with the 2023 Hope Award for Social Influence because of my work via Not So Mommy…  I am still in shock.  Which means I’m having a hard time finding the words for this blog.  So, let me start at the beginning of this story…

11 August…

On 11 August, I received a DM from RESOLVE telling me that I had an “important message” in my inbox.  Life was (and is) crazy.  We had just gotten back from an international trip.  We are adding 500 square feet to our house.  It was hot.  It’s still hot.  And I was starting to get in a funk.  Which always seems to happen as September looms.  Because I know the anniversary of my best friend passing is on the horizon…

Needless to say, I didn’t check my email for the “important message.”

Fast forward 5 days…

16 August…

I was sitting in our office, waiting for a delivery.  In a peaceful space with my laptop open, I checked my email.  Opening one from RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, I was gently reminded that I hadn’t responded to the “important message” from the previous week.  I searched out the original email and discovered that I have been chosen to receive the Hope Award for Social Influence at RESOLVE’s Night of Hope 2023.  The gala will be held in November.

As I read this email, I was completely overwhelmed with emotion.  I quickly hit reply, apologized for the delay in my response, (of course) accepted their request to honor me and Not So Mommy…, and said a huge THANK YOU for sending a second email to ensure that I realized I was being recognized.

Telling Dane…

Then, I called Dane.  As I told him about the award, I began to cry.  After hanging up the phone, I continued to cry.  Honestly, I couldn’t stop crying.  Even now, tears are welling up in my eyes as I type.  Truly, I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that I’m going to be honored alongside Dr. David Sable, Lisa Rosenthal, Amazon,2023 Hope Award Honorees Chiquita Lockley, EngagedMD, and Sarah Ekis.  (You can read the bios of all the Hope Award Honorees (including mine) by clicking here.)  I simply didn’t feel worthy.  Don’t feel worthy?  Well, let me continue…

Telling my closest friend…

After telling Dane about the award and gala, I spoke with one of my closest friends—Jennifer’s twin.  When I told her about the award, she reminded me that it was August 16th—exactly one month before the anniversary of Jennifer’s passing.  And in that moment, I realized that I found out about the Hope Award for Social Influence on the exact right date.  You see, I was wondering why I didn’t check my email days ago, when the initial message was sent via Instagram.  Well, because I was supposed to find out on the 16th.  Because Jennifer wanted to be part of this celebration.  And that causes both heartache and joy…

The Hope Award for Social Influence

Since the 16th, I’ve received more communication from RESOLVE, as they give information about the upcoming gala and ask for my input in telling my story.  The press release about the gala is entitled, “RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association’s Night of Hope Gala Celebrates Standout Contributions to Family Building Community.”  (You can read the press release here.)  According to RESOLVE, the Hope Award for Social Influence is “[g]iven to an individual whose work through social media helps increase awareness about infertility, family building options and/or infertility advocacy.”

Sue Johnston, of The In-Fertility Advocate and recipient of the 2022 Hope Award for Service, reached out to congratulate me, telling me what a HUGE honor it is to receive this award.  Candace Wohl, of Our Misconception and recipient of the Hope Award for Best Blog, also reached out with congratulations, telling me this award is a “big deal” and encouraging me to enjoy the gala.

I’m starting to realize that my mind is trying to minimize this achievement.  I’ve caught myself wondering if I really deserve this award for social influence.  I mean, I’m only blogging about once a month now.  And though I post on social media, I’m not posting daily like I used to.  But then, I remind myself that I’ve published 400+ blogs since 2017.  I’ve also created hundreds of social media images that I have shared over the past 6 years.  My work through social media has helped increase awareness about infertility.  My work has included infertility advocacy.  Actually, my work is—to this day—increasing awareness about infertility.  My work—to this day—includes infertility advocacy.  And advocacy for the childless not by choice.

A small digression…

You know, several months ago, I met a woman who introduced herself like this…

“Hi!  My name is J.  This is M.  We have two kids, but only half the time.  We are an awesome blended family!”

I shook her hand.  But I was utterly speechless.  I’d never heard an introduction like that before.  And then, I thought…  Wouldn’t it be great if I had the courage to introduce myself like this…

Hi!  My name is Brandi.  This is Dane.  We have a fur baby, Maddie.  We are an awesome childless family!

Childless NOT Less

Too often, we infertile, we childless feel like we are less.  Less of a woman.  Less of a man.  Less of a family.  Less.

In my humble opinion, this causes us to minimize our contributions.

Well, I am determined to battle these lies.  I’m determined to push the “do you really deserve this award” doubts from my mind.  I am determined to accept this honor and stand proudly alongside my fellow Hope Award honorees, knowing that I belong there.  Believing that my work has just as much value as the next person.  Grateful that I can represent both the infertility and the childless communities.

And I’m going to go shopping.  Because even though I have a couple of things hanging in my closet that could work, my friend said it best…

“Brandi, I think this is an occasion for shopping.  You deserve something new to wear to the gala in New York City!”

Fabulous ones, THANK YOU for your support of Not So Mommy…  For your support of me.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments…

RESOLVE's Night of Hope 2023 - Save the Date

Featured Photo:  Image from 2023 Press Release on RESOLVE’s website; Edited using Canva

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Mali August 24, 2023 - 10:30 pm

Congratulations! You know that I’ve had reservations about RESOLVE in the past, but I am delighted to hear that they are acknowledging that we exist! And delighted that you are receiving this recognition.

Brandi Lytle August 28, 2023 - 11:43 am

Thank you for the congrats, Mali! 🙂

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is truly trying to educate that being childless is one resolution to infertility. I am so grateful that they have shared–and continue to share–my childless story. It’s an honor to be a voice for the infertility AND childless communities.

Sherry August 24, 2023 - 4:28 pm

You DO ABSOLUTELY deserve this honor. It is HUGE just like your contributions to your tribe. I am beyond proud!! Can’t wait to see what you decide to wear. Jen is over the moon about this. You’ll have a spectacular time and look FABULOUS!!! ♥️💜♥️

Brandi Lytle August 24, 2023 - 5:22 pm

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! 🙂 HUGS…


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