AUTHOR: Carolyn Savage | POSTED: February 19, 2011 | COMMENTS: 29 Comments
CATEGORIES: The Book, Tags: book signing, challenges, compassion, connecting, Inconceivable, lessons
When our publisher proposed the idea of a book signing to us, I admit, I was apprehensive. I just couldn’t imagine why anyone would take their precious time to come out on a cold February night, to listen to Sean and I talk and sign their book. We aren’t celebrities or famous politicians. We are just ordinary people who have been through an extraordinary situation.A few weeks ago, we met with the manager of Barnes and Noble to discuss the details of the book signing. I went to the meeting with …well…kind of a bad attitude. The whole event just seemed absurd to me. When our planning meeting agenda turned to “crowd control” I darn near spit out my Diet Coke. I remember saying, “Seriously?!? You actually think people will come to this?” They all assured me people would, but to say that I was skeptical is an understatement. I actually had visions of buying a carton of books and standing outside offering them to people who drove by. I figured that way the store would make some money, and some unsuspecting soul might have a book to read that night.
Imagine my surprise when the people started to come in droves. They were there early too. Wanting to talk. Wanting to hear what Sean and I had to say. The turn-out was stunning and I was shocked. When we finished our talk, and people lined up to have us sign, I was even more touched to hear each of them tell us why they had attended. We heard stories from those that loved life. I talked to a mom who had one precious daughter and four miscarriages. She had tears in her eyes as she shared her anguish. I met another mom who was waiting to find out if her latest embryo transfer had resulted in a pregnancy. I could see the hope for success in her eyes, and I heard the fear of failure in her voice. I met a 93 year old woman, a spitfire of a soul, who thanked us for loving Logan enough to let him live. I asked her if she knew Logan as you would have thought after talking to her, that she did. She didn’t. She just loves kids and was grateful that he had the opportunity to grow. At one point I was so choked up by the heartfelt support we received I had to abruptly leave the signing table while I was chatting with an old friend that I used to work with. I thought my nose was going to run down my face. (When I tear up, my nose runs. Next time I do one of these events, I’ll bring a box of tissues.) My poor friend– she must have thought I’d lost my mind.
The best part of the night was when we met a very special woman. I noticed her waiting in line long before she got to the table because she was different. Young, maybe in her early twenties, she had multiple piercings, a few tattoos, and kind of a “goth” look about her. I was taught long ago not to judge a book by its cover, but I have to admit she sparked my curiosity. She didn’t look like our “target market.” I was wrong.
When she came to the table, she quietly said, “Thank you for giving me a voice.” I stood as soon as I realized she was tearing up and grabbed her hand. She explained that she had given her son up for adoption not too long ago, and although she missed him, she was glad that she had given him life. She said that reading our story — hearing me talk about how hard it was to care for Logan and then give him away—helped her. She felt the same way about her son. I walked around the table and gave her a big hug. I was so moved by her words and even more impressed by the strength she had. She gave a great gift but was also hurting.
Thursday night, before I nodded off to sleep, I said a prayer for this birth mom. I hope that she knows that her gift of love—her courageous act of compassion towards her son – is a gift. She may not realize it for a long time to come, but if she feels better because we have given her a voice, than everything we have been through was worth every second!