Sara Connell’s surrogacy story is incredible

I am delighted to welcome Sara Connell here at Choices today to discuss her writing and coaching life. Her memoir, Bringing in Finn is indeed an incredible surrogacy story. To win your free copy, please leave your comments here. I’ll announce a winner, picked randomly, on Monday, December 2.

Book Summary and Details

Bringing in Finn by Sara Connell is an incredibly moving story of surrogacy and how it created a bond like no other between a mother and daughter.

In February 2011, 61-year-old Kristine Casey delivered the greatest gift of all to her daughter, Sara Connell: Sara’s son, Finnean. At that moment, Kristine the gestational carrier of Sara and her husband Bill’s child became the oldest woman ever to give birth in Chicago.  Bringing in Finn: An Extraordinary Surrogacy Story tells this modern family’s remarkable surrogacy story.

BringinginFinnPaperback!! (1) is an achingly honest memoir about a couple that wanted nothing more than to have a family and a mother who would do anything for her daughter. After unsuccessfully trying to conceive naturally, years of fertility treatments, miscarriage and a late term loss of twins, Sara and Bill Connell were emotionally and financially depleted and at a loss as to how they could have a family. When Kristine offered to be their surrogate, they were shocked; but Kristine was clear that helping Sara become a mother felt like a calling, something she was inspired to do. When Sara opened her heart and mind to the idea of her sixty-one-year-old mother carrying her child for her, the three embarked on the journey that would culminate in Finnean’s miraculous birth and complete a transformation from an at-one-time strained mother-daughter relationship to one with a profound bond that blossomed between mother and daughter as a result of their unique experience together.

Paperback:  336 Pages
Publisher:  Seal Press (October 8, 2013)
ISBN-10:  1580055419
Twitter hashtag: #BIFinn
Bringing in Finn is available as a print and e- book at Amazon.

Here’s Sara.

My Writing and Coaching Life

In college, my most secret and deep desire was to move to England upon graduation and be a writer. Perhaps like many people, I did not immediately follow my dream.  My father reminded me in certain terms that I would be supporting myself when I received my diploma. My mother worried that I would be destitute if I pursued my dream.  I would like to make it about others but in truth, I don’t think I believed I could do it. The idea of being a prospering artist was not a concept that people in my life – or I – had a lot of faith in.

When senior year graduation arrived, I took a job in advertising – a creative field that I thought would give me a salary I could live on.

Unsurprisingly, I was not ultimately happy in my new field. I was a shadow artist – working alongside creative people but not actually writing- the projects that were most deep in my soul. I grew more miserable as year one turned to two. When I approached my third year, without a real plan for what was next, I resigned from the advertising agency and committed that I would follow my passion from then forward.

Synchronistically, I had the opportunity to move to England- with my then fiancé. I leapt at the chance, packed our things, settled into a row house near the Thames and began writing. I was thoroughly self-taught and actually sitting down and writing- and then sharing my work required far more discipline and support than I envisioned.   In exploring this, I discovered life coaching. I began earnest training in both paths and that is where my current career of writing and life coaching took form.

Today, I am truly blessed to do these two incredible things that I love.  I do not take doing so for granted – ever. The coaching work I do is such an honor. In the ten years I’ve been in practice, I’ve been to seven weddings of clients, at dozen baby blessings, seen businesses and creative projects launched and entrepreneurial and corporate visions achieved. My clients are continually brave and honest and real and working with them calls me to be the same. My coaching work informs my writing- keeps me committed and allows me to give from real experience to my clients. Since becoming a mother, I do my private practice 1-2 days a week and write during my son’s naps and on the days that he is in pre-school.

I wrote my first published book – a memoir – about the seven-year journey my husband and I took to have a [our] child, a wonderful, amazing and at times almost sci-fi experience that led to my sixty year old mother offering to and then successfully carrying our biological son Finn into the world.

My new book [in progress] is a novel [fiction] in which large sections are set in 1300-1600 France (that part of the book is about a female secret society – who followed the tradition of the Goddess Isis and whose mission was to embody and keep alive feminine power).

They haven’t said anything, but I think my family is relieved. They no longer need to fear conversations and memories showing up in the pages of the new book. My mother and grandmother are even assisting with the character development and research.  Writing fiction however feels like new territory.  Every time I feel doubt and a pull to listen to those voices that say, you don’t know what you’re doing, you can’t do this, I think of all the clients in my practice – who hear those same voices and persevere regardless.  So much of fulfilling a vision is to keep going- to use the coaching phrase- to keep showing up. A gift of this work- being a writer and a coach- is the realization that we never have to do anything alone. More and more, my life is becoming a village experience. And instead of seeing this as a weakness, this needing other people- to write and publish a book, to pursue a dream- to have a child! – I am coming to see as the richness of life, and most certainly, a gift.


Author Bio and Contact Information:

Sara Connell Head ShotSara Connell is an author, speaker, and life coach with a private practice in Chicago. She coaches and speaks to individuals and groups nationally and around the world.  She has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, NPR, The View, FOX News and Katie Couric. Sara’s writing has been featured in: The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Parenting, Psychobabble, Evolving Your Spirit, and Mindful Metropolis magazines. Her first book, Bringing in Finn; an Extraordinary Surrogacy Story (September 4, 2012 Seal Press), was nominated for Book of the Year 2012 by Elle magazine.

Sara’s Website:

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  1. Wow. looks like a great read. Nice to see others working in non-fiction and fiction, like myself and you Madeline.

  2. Madeline Sharples says:

    Thanks for being here, Heather. Yes, we are branching out. I think dabbling in different genres is a good thing. xoxo to you, Heather.

  3. Madeline, thanks for hosting Sara today. We were just together on Tuesday at my blog for an interview. Sara is an amazing young woman in so many ways.

    Sara, thanks for sharing yourself and your family with all of us through your book and this tour.

    • Madeline Sharples says:

      I certainly agree. Glad she’s getting around to all my favorite bloggers. Her story needs to be read. Thanks, Sherrey.

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