Weekly Smiles

AUTHOR: | POSTED: January 14, 2013 | COMMENTS: 9 Comments

Carolyn Savage

Last week was a whirlwind.  Sean and I completely underestimated the impact the re-airing our Dateline would have on us.  I had no idea how the inclusion of our happy ending on a national media stage would cause so many to reach out.  I guess we’ve grown accustomed to our story, complete with the highs and the lows.  I’ve been living in a very happy and peaceful place for about a year now, and I just assumed that those who cared knew we had landed in a good spot.  I didn’t realize that so many had no idea.

Our story is funny that way.  We’ve learned over the past few years that most people have heard about a lady that got pregnant with the wrong baby after a botched IVF, but our story permeated people’s minds in a very passive way.  Many know it happened.  Almost all of them know we gave the baby to his rightful parents.  Almost none of them know when or where it happened, and very, very few know who it happened to.  The kicker is even a smaller percentage know our family welcomed the twins and that little tidbit of information seems to have greatly impacted how people feel about our story.

Surprise, surprise.  People like happy endings.

But happy endings, to me, are more about how I choose to live the moments that are in front of me, and less about how the daily challenges that bounce into my life turn out.  I think that’s been my greatest take-away from our entire experience.  To focus on happiness even amidst the predictably frustrating moments.


First Smile…That College Decision

In early December, Drew visited Ohio University on an official NCAA recruiting trip for cross country.  It was a great opportunity for him, as OU was one of Drew’s top picks because it’s one of the best journalism schools in the country.  Our boy is definitely a newsie.  His other top choice was the University of Missouri, and he had an official visit scheduled for this upcoming weekend.  We figured he’d check out both, weigh the pros and cons of each and then decide.

Plans have changed.

After his trip to OU, an unexpected and very generous athletic scholarship offer, and getting the opportunity to spend the night with some of his potential future teammates (who he instantly “clicked with) , Drew verbally committed to Ohio University.  It appears we have a Bobcat.  Missouri trip canceled.   Scholarship offer accepted.  College decision done.

We couldn’t be prouder.

To say that the idea of Drew flying the coop in August doesn’t cause me great angst, would be a lie.  It’s a mixed bag.  I’m so happy and excited for him, but at the same time, I’m surprised how often the idea of him not being around next year enters my mind in a very sad, “please say it ain’t so” kind of way.

This senior-graduation-off-to-college-thing is going to be harder and more exciting than I ever anticipated.


Second Smile…  A Special Visit

The second Jennifer called me to tell me her pregnancy test was positive was a moment I will never forget.  As apprehensive as I was to celebrate, there was something deep down inside of me that knew this was a truly miraculous turning point in our journey.  Two years later, the gratitude we have for what Jennifer has done for our family is immeasurable.  It’s also something to be honored.  I want Reagan and Isabella to know Jennifer and understand what an important part of their lives she is.  Bridging a relationship between them is not as easy as I would have hoped, though, simply because of Jennifer’s proximity, or lack there of, to our home.  I can’t express how many times I wish I could just toss the twins in the car to drop by her house and show her what one of them just did.  Not so practical when the drive is four plus hours, and there’s two toddlers involved.  (I’ve often pictured making a road trip only to be foiled by the mere necessity of having to pee.  Going to the bathroom would require me getting them out of the car, into a stroller, into a gas station bathroom stall…that would hopefully be big enough for a double stroller…all before I wet my pants.)

I know traveling will get easier as the girls get older, but right now, Jennifer is the one who has to make the road trip. She did just that a couple of Sundays ago and it was so awesome to see how much the girls adore her.  Isabella even walked across the room for the first time just to fall into her arms.  Jennifer doesn’t think they know who she is.  I’m betting otherwise.  I think they do.  And, I know they always will.






Third Smile…Playtime Fun

This past Saturday yielded unseasonably warm January temperatures for our neck of the woods.  Although Mary Kate was sad to see her coveted snow fort shrink into nothingness, we shifted her grief to the gifts of a mid-January day that felt more like mid-May with a trip to the park.  Now, sometimes I balk at the idea of schlepping all three little ones to the park when we have a perfectly good play set right in our own back yard, but the park has something that our back yard can’t compete with…other kids.

Now I must explain something about Mary Kate.  There’s not a shy bone in this little girl’s body.  Unlike her brothers, who I used to have to work tirelessly at trying to make them play with other kids on the beach or at the park, MK will talk to anyone.  A safe trait?  Probably not and we are working on that, but for the life of her she can’t help it.  When we pulled up to the playground and saw the other unsuspecting kids running around Sean and I waged a bet about about how long it would take for her to organize all of them into a game of something.

It took ten minutes.  The game was hide-and-seek.  They all had a ball.


Ready or not, here I come!

Ready or not, here I come!


They all hid together.  Every.Single.Time!

They all hid together. Every.Single.Time!

A new friend.

A new friend.


Reagan was dying to get in on the fun, but just wasn't quick enough.  Still...to see her walking around all by herself...how did that happen?

Reagan was dying to get in on the fun, but just wasn’t quick enough. Still…to see her walking around all by herself…how did that happen?


It’s a shame adults aren’t more like kids.  These six children from four different families were quick to join with one another in a game of great fun.  There was no posturing.  No worrying about rejection or what somebody might think of somebody else.  Just, “Hey you kid…do you want to play with me?”

It seems like children just now how to seek, find and treasure a smile.

I’m working on my ability to do the same.

I hope you are too.


9 Comments on “ Weekly Smiles ”

  • Kristen Przybylski | January 14th, 2013 3:50 pm

    Hi Carolyn,
    That is so nice that Jennifer came for a visit last weekend.MaryKate sure looked like she was having a grand old time at the park.The twins outfits with the snowman is so cute.Are they both walking or just Reagan?Once they figure it out they are ALL OVER the place.Have a great day. 🙂

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  • Lori Lavender Luz | January 14th, 2013 10:02 pm

    Congrats to Drew! I bet it’s a mixed bag to have that decision made. Wow! You’ve made me aware that time passes quickly.

    Love that Jennifer got to visit with you. Happy pictures!

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  • Teri | January 15th, 2013 7:26 am

    I can’t even begin to think about my oldest going off to college. Mine is a sophomore and I supposed it’s time I do start giving it some thought. YIKES!!!

    Your posts are always beautiful, Carolyn. Thank you for sharing your them with us.

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  • Lori Billera | January 15th, 2013 12:02 pm

    Beautiful family! Congratulations to Drew!!! Mary Kate is absolutely beautiful and looks like she is such a sweetheart!!! I’ll bet she love having her 2big brothers and now her 2 little sisters to play with! I am so happy for you all! LOVE the twins!!! I have 3 sons, 2 in college and one is a junior in HS and having twin girls was always my dream ~ Sigh ~ God really did bless you for being so selfless with your gift ~ God Bless!!!

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  • Mary Vogel (Manually Imported from Facebook Comment) | January 18th, 2013 8:24 pm

    Hey Carolyn – new crafty item coming your way soon – as soon as the “crud” leaves me that is! Hope all’s well!

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  • Marion Downing (Manually Imported from Facebook Comment) | January 18th, 2013 8:24 pm

    Congratulations to Drew on making his big decision. The girls all look so beautiful, cute and ballerina like (Isabella on her toes ) and I love Jennifer’s Ellen jumper. It’s great that the girls are getting to know her and having more villagers who love them in their ‘village’. Reagan looks like a good walker too with her knees bending to lift her feet. Thankyou for the smiles

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  • Liz Martin Reeves (Manually Imported from Facebook Comment) | January 18th, 2013 8:25 pm

    Oh Carolyn!! My daughter is a junior this year & I’m already getting anxious about next year. Remind me how to live that senior year graciously & without fear next year!

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  • Kathy Emma Potter(Manually Imported from Facebook Comment) | January 18th, 2013 8:38 pm

    How wonderful that Jennifer was able to visit with you and the twins. Yes, it will be a bittersweet moment as your son takes those important steps towards independence when he goes off to college. The quiet in your heart will deafen you. You will worry. You will be relieved each time you hear from him, but know you are entering another phase of your journey, and God is on your side. Love the girls smiles, by the way. Several of my friends were discussing just today that you are not fully dressed until your smile is in place

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  • Patricia Gibson-Williams (Manually Imported from Facebook Comment) | January 18th, 2013 8:39 pm

    Oh my goodness the girls are so beautiful and they are getting so big. Your Mary Kate sounds just like my Daniel. Never met a stranger. Scary and wonderful at the same time.

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