Family Stories

Shkendie and Jon

Picture of 2023 Grantee couple

Shkendie and I (Jon) met in a jazz club in 2019. After many date nights at the Chicago Symphony, we quickly made a life together based on mutual respect, shared values and a love of travel, nature, food, art and music.

From the beginning, it was always easy to talk about the big stuff, i.e. family planning, religion, and our age gap. We knew we were right for each other and that if we wanted a family we ought to move quickly.

So our engagement was brief and we were married in 2021. We squeezed as much travel as we could into our first year of marriage. Then, we began our family planning journey in fall 2022. Since then, we’ve learned a lot about our bodies and the field of fertility. We experienced a chemical pregnancy in February 2023. We had one unsuccessful round of IUI in May. We got pregnant naturally that August, only to suffer a miscarriage at eight weeks.

As a non-profit worker, a musician and new homeowner, fertility treatment is not in our budget. Just when the dream of growing our family seemed dashed, the Chicago Coalition for Family Building came to the rescue with the JUF Path to Parenthood Grant! IVF is in our future. We know it will be invasive and uncomfortable, but it’s our best shot and we are beyond grateful for the opportunity and for the family that I know we will have.

Shkendie and Jon are recipients of the Path to Parenthood Grant from the Jewish United Fund – Chicago.