“Thank You for Giving Me a Voice”

AUTHOR: | POSTED: February 19, 2011 | COMMENTS: 29 Comments
CATEGORIES: The Book, Tags: , , , , ,

Carolyn Savage

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!

29 Comments on “ “Thank You for Giving Me a Voice” ”

  • Tracy | February 19th, 2011 3:23 pm

    Okay so as I read I too have tears in my eyes…See you are amazing!
    Hugs,
    T

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  • Carolyn | February 22nd, 2011 11:13 am

    Thanks, T. It was a really special moment! Carolyn

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  • Jackie | February 28th, 2011 2:32 pm

    Carolyn,
    I just wanted to, “drop by” and say hello and to let you know I’ve ordered my copy of your book and look forward to reading it. Wishing you peace and blessings.
    Jackie
    Always Mom of 4

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  • Carolyn Savage | March 18th, 2011 10:04 am

    Jackie – Thanks for “dropping by” and please pardon my tardy response! I’m still learning the ropes of this website. Have you read the book yet? Would love to hear your feedback! I’ll check out your blog! C

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  • Bonnie | February 28th, 2011 3:39 pm

    Carolyn and Sean,

    Your strength and commitment to your family and each other is so admirable. Your words in your book are so honest and heartfelt. God bless you and your beautiful family.

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  • Ani | March 4th, 2011 9:21 pm

    I ended up with 4 cats because I couldn’t give away the kittens that were born in my bedroom closet. I can’t even begin to imagine how in the world you could have found the courage to give Logen away. This can only be done through the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

    Living is a couragous thing to do. God bless you both and your children for being so strong.

    Best wishes,
    Ani

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  • Carolyn Savage | March 18th, 2011 10:01 am

    Ani, Your note made me laugh out loud! (I’ve been known to stop traffic to puch a box turtle out of the road with an umbrella….love animals! I can see where giving kittens away would be REALLY tough!) You are right, the Holy Spirit works through us….through all of us! Blessings to you and yours and thanks for the kind message! C

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  • Julie | March 9th, 2011 1:20 pm

    I just finished reading your book and all I can say is, wow. You have such strength and love for humanity it really chokes me up. I too suffer with infertility and over the past 6 years have faced many ups and downs (partially due to the unending fertility meds). But your story gives me hope. Your story has reminded me that even in your darkest hour, you have to remember to be strong in your faith.

    May the Lord continue to bless you and your family!

    Sincerely,
    Julie

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  • Carolyn Savage | March 18th, 2011 9:59 am

    Julie, I am so sorry you are enduring an infertility struggle. It is rough (especially the drugs!) I am so glad to hear that our story has given you hope and reminded you to stay grounded in your faith. I hope and pray that the Lord bestows blessings on you! Keep us posted! C

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  • Michele | March 13th, 2011 8:48 pm

    Dear Sean and Carolyn,

    I just finished reading your book and I think I cried from the time I opened the book. My husband and I suffered from infertility and all though our stories are not the same, I am sure some of our pain is. Years of unsuccessful attempts and fertility treatments help bring us our four amazing children. After the birth of our last child I wanted to do something special to thank GOD for what He gave us. This is when I investigated surrogacy. I knew surrogacy was my way to give back. I am very blessed to have found three wonderful families to have carried for. I have 7 extra special surrogate children in my life that make my heart smile every day. My heart truly breaks for both of you. No one deserves what you had to go through. You both are such wonderful selfless people to give this sweet baby life and put him and his parents above your feelings. Because of you, our world is blessed with a special child. Because of you, your children are learning the true meaning of love. I hope you know how special you are…even to those who you don’t even know.

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  • Carolyn Savage | March 18th, 2011 9:57 am

    Wow….what an amazing gift you have given. I can feel the joy in your heart regarding all of the children you have brought into this world when I read your message to us! Thank you so much for your kind words! We feel very blessed to have our three beautiful children. Bringing Logan into this world was a privelege! Thanks again for reaching out! C

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  • Dana | March 21st, 2011 12:30 pm

    Dear Carolyn and Sean,

    I think your book was the fastest book I have read in my life. I just couldn’t put it down. What a journey to go through and what an amazing couple you are to give the gift of life and the best gift to a couple you didn’t even know. I have been through years of fertility treatment as well and going through IVF was so scary to me but it also brought us the joy of a second baby. Your story touched my heart beyond belief because I was pregnant with our baby while you were about to deliver the greatest gift of all. I can’t tell you how many nights I stayed up thinking about you after watching your story on our local news (we’re practically neighbors:) and how strong of a woman you are. You and Sean are true inspirations and I’ll keep you in my prayers. May Jesus and the Virgin Mary bless you and your family and give you what your heart prays for! I never thought I would go through IVF because I was torn between us wanting another child so badly and my Catholic faith but I know I made the right decision. God gave us the wisdom to make the right decision. God bless you and your family and best wishes!

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  • Carolyn Savage | March 27th, 2011 1:24 pm

    Dana, Thank you so much for the kind message and congratulations on your IVF miracle. I am sure you adore every second with both of your children. Take note of my latest blog post. We are about to embark on quite a journey with the hopes of changing the Catholic chuch’s doctrine regarding IVF. It is our hope, that the church will recognize that IVF children are brought into this world within the context of intense marital love. The sexual act…well….I don’t believe that has anything to do with it. We’ll see. Pray for us, and I will pray for you too!

    Blessings and thanks for reaching out!

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  • Mary Ritchie | March 21st, 2011 5:26 pm

    Dear Carolyn and Sean,

    I am a first year midwifery student in Cambridge, UK and I have been deeply moved and saddened by your story. I read it online and actually shared it with my class this afternoon and we were all in awe of your strength and inspiration. Since returning home this evening I have ordered your book and look forward to reading your story in more detail.

    You are a strong family unit and an inspiration even though what you have been through is unthinkable.

    I wish you lots of love and best wishes for the future and you have a beautiful family.

    With love and best wishes,
    Mary

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  • Carolyn Savage | March 27th, 2011 1:20 pm

    Mary, What a wonderful message to receive. And, I commend you on such a noble choice of professions. When you are finished with school you will witness countless miracles and some heartbreak as well. When you do experience the heartbreaks, please remember that we can persevere through just about anything with a strong moral compass and faith.

    I’ll look forward to hearing your thoughts about our book once you are finished with it!

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  • Isabelle | March 22nd, 2011 11:39 am

    Carolyn and Sean,

    I read your book last night, and was so deeply touched by your story. I finished it at about 4am, and couldn’t go to sleep after because my head was filled with all the things I would say to you if I had the chance to write. Your story gives a voice to men and women in so many situations – those dealing with infertility, those dealing with the loss of a child – really anyone who has experienced any major trauma in their lives that requires them to forgive and move forward. My husband and I are a Catholic couple who have struggled with infertility now for a little over three years. Thank you for sharing your thought process on IVF and the church. This is something I have struggled with as we engage in every new procedure. I was truly inspired by your efforts to understand and accept your experience from the beginning of your infertility until after Logan’s birth. Thank you for helping me to put my own journey through infertility in perspective, and for reminding all of us of the importance of faith and family.

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  • Carolyn Savage | March 27th, 2011 1:18 pm

    Isabelle,
    I think you will find my latest blog post of interest. The Catholic church’s stance on IVF is concerning and it is our hope that eventually changed. In the meantime, I am stepping out on a limb admitting to the world that I disagree with my own chruch’s teachings about the immorality of IVF.

    I am so glad to hear you acknowledge that our story gives voices to so many people. We all face tough stuff in life, and it is our hope that through our story, people who are stuggling with a variety of issues will be inspired to persevere!

    Thank you for your kind words! We truly appreciate them….more than you will ever realize!

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  • Carly | March 23rd, 2011 12:59 pm

    Hi! I just finished the book. So amazing!
    I have a few questions…
    How did you feel when you found out the Morrells were also writing a book? Have you read it? What did you think of it? I haven’t read it yet but I probably will soon.
    How is Logan? Happy late birthday to him!
    And… Have you thought about trying for another baby? If so, how is it going?
    Sorry I have so many questions… I am 17 and so inspired by your story!
    Thanks!!!!

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  • Carolyn Savage | March 27th, 2011 1:13 pm

    Hi Carly, I am so glad you have been inspired by our story! You have asked some interesting questions! I’ll do my best to answer them!

    We were surprised when we found out the Morells were writing a book. Shannon approached me a week after Logan was born and asked me if I’d write a book with her. Sean and I considered that proposal, but were advised that it may not be such a good idea. Those that were counseling us thought that we had a tricky enough road in front of us with regards to our relationship with Logan and the Morells, and that adding a business deal (book contract) in the mix, may be a bad idea. We agreed, and declined her offer, but told them to proceed with any projects that they thought would be good for their family. The only thing we asked is that they would keep us informed about what they were working on. We found out about their book a few months later from a person who worked at Simon and Schuster (their publisher). We would have preferred to hear about their book deal from them, but in the end, it didn’t really matter. I read their book the day it came out and was fine with it. They went through a lot, and reading their book helped me gain insights into their perspective. Insights into another person’s perspective is always a good thing!

    We are told Logan is doing very well. We just received some adoreable pictures of him. He looks a lot like his big sisters!

    We are not sure what the future holds of our family. Right now, we are concentrating on the three beautiful children we already have, and thank God every day for the blessings of their lives.

    I’m happy to answer questions. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book. Stick around. I think our blog may be good reading for you!

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  • Dana | March 27th, 2011 4:47 pm

    Carolyn, thank you for your kind words as well and best of luck on embarking such a journey with the catholic church and IVF. I would love to read updates on how things go with that if you post them here. I definitely agree with you that the church should recognize that IVF children are brought into the world with much love and that’s all that should matter. God wouldn’t have given us the wisdom to come up with the science behind IVF if he didn’t want us to use it for something good. Best of luck to you guys and thank you for what you’re doing!
    Dana

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  • Sarah | March 29th, 2011 12:38 am

    Dear Carolyn and Sean,

    I just finished reading your book this afternoon and was so deeply moved, I wanted to reach out and say that I personally appreciate what you did for Logan and for the Morell’s. My heart sank each time you described the agony and despair of having to give this precious child away. Being a mother of two myself, I can’t imagine what that fateful September day must have been like for you. You are such wonderful writers, I felt like I was in that hospital room with you!

    Back in 2006, I was put in an awkward situation when my boyfriend (who is now my husband) and I found out that we were pregnant when we had only been dating about 7 months. Some of our friends and family members suggested we get an abortion but I have never considered that an option for me. I was in love with that baby from the second that positive sign popped up on the pregnancy test. I could never in a million years imagine not having him in my life. I am sure you too can relate as you loved Logan from the moment you knew he was growing inside of you.

    Thank you for being brave enough to share your story, you both are truly special people and I sincerely wish nothing but the best for you and your family!

    May God bless you and your family,
    Sarah

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  • Carolyn Savage | March 30th, 2011 9:11 am

    Sarah,

    I am so glad to hear you enjoyed the book. I am even happier to know that you chose life for your precious child. What a great decision that was, as I can tell you can’t imagine life without your son! YOur story is a beautiful testimonial as to why it is so important for people to celebrate every life.

    I hope you stick around. Our blog may be a source of entertainment for you!

    All the best,

    Carolyn

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  • Barbara Fried, smic | April 5th, 2011 1:06 pm

    I am a Catholic Sister and after reading your book I felt that I was following the story of two true disciples of Christ. You carried your cross in a concrete situation and gave witness to your experience. You teach us what the cost of discipleship really means. May others gain courage from your commitment to your Faith despite all of the inconceivable choices you were confronted with. May our God Bless you and your family abundantly.
    Thank you.

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  • Carolyn Savage | April 7th, 2011 1:02 pm

    Thank you so much for your kind comments. They mean so much to Sean and I! You have no idea! Thanks again and blessings to you and yours!

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  • Mary Ritchie | April 7th, 2011 11:08 am

    HI Carolyn,

    I am writting again as since your last message, I have finished your book and I have read your announcement on your Facebook page. It made me cry, I am so happy for you and Sean and I certainly can not think of two more deserving people.

    Your book was amazing and I honestly felt that I was taking that journey with you it was so well written and you are an amazing woman. I honestly don’t know if I could have been that brave and selfless if I was in that same situation.

    I look forward to following your progress and I wish you so much luck and love and you truly are an inspiration and you deserve all the happiness in the world.

    With love,
    Mary

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  • Carolyn Savage | April 7th, 2011 12:43 pm

    Thanks, Mary. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book. It was such a cathartic project for us to work through. It really helped us and I feel like now, with the wonderful turn of events regarding Jennifer’s pregnancy, we are really in a more peaceful place. Please keep Jennifer and the babies in your prayers.

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  • Dana | April 7th, 2011 6:02 pm

    Hi Carolyn and Sean
    It’s Dana again. Oh my goodness. I just saw your news on the news. I got the chills and still do and had tears in my eyes. You can’t imagine how happy I am to hear of the great news of the twins. God bless you all. You’re so deserving. I hope everything goes well with the rest of the pregnancy and I’ll keep you all in my prayers. I have to tell you that after I read your book, I actually prayed that it would be such a great gift if God blessed you with twins 🙂 Did you find out the sex of the babies yet? Sorry if I missed that somewhere. Again, so happy for you guys. Best wishes from the bottom of my heart!

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  • Linda | April 8th, 2011 8:46 am

    Hi Carolyn and Sean,
    You both must be “over the moon” with this newest information about the twins. Obviously, your prayers have manifested in these ultimate gifts. What bliss!!

    I couldn’t feel more compassionate with your stories of struggle and perseverence; consequently, so honored to have been a small part of assistance along the way. Wishing you continued good news throughout the pregnancy and much happiness to your expanding family. Thank you for the opportunity to reach out and express my feelings about you both achieving your ultimate goals for a family.

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  • Carolyn Savage | April 12th, 2011 10:43 am

    Hi Linda, So good to hear from you. We are thrilled by the news, but also nervous. (I guess those concerns of “waiting for the other shoe to drop” really never leave.) Hang around and hopefully we’ll have nothing but great updates to give. All the best, Carolyn

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