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Bringing in Finn: An Extraordinary Surrogacy Story

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  249 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
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 is the incredible story of one woman’s hard-fought and often painful journey to mother
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Seal Press
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Oct 20, 2012 Jill rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!! I couldn't put it down. I read it in a week, and I never read books that quickly.

One aspect of the book that really stands out is the author's sensory descriptions of Chicago's weather extremes. I could almost feel the gusts of cold winter winds hitting me as she described them. The oppressive heat of Chicago summers also hit home.

Of course the book is much deeper than just its setting. The author really opens her heart in describing the joys and pains she experienced throu
Aug 12, 2012 Doreen rated it liked it
Shelves: elle
Incredibly moving tale of a 61-year old mother who offers to carry the child of her daughter and son-in-law, who've had great difficulty carrying a pregnancy to term. I sympathized very much with Sara Connell: my own relationship with my mom was fairly distant, and it did improve vastly after the birth of my first child. Ms Connell charts the trials and emotional upheavals of finally bringing Finn, her child, into their lives with an honesty that is compelling and raw.

And yet, and yet. While I f
Elizabeth Moeller
Aug 22, 2012 Elizabeth Moeller rated it really liked it
I was totally prepared to hate this book. The tabloidy premise, which is a non-fiction account about a woman who has difficulty carrying a pregnancy to term and uses her mother as a surrogate, could have gone horribly wrong in a lot of different ways. However, what I discovered was a very thoughtful account of the desire to mother that led the author to this very unusual decision.

The author is a life coach and speaker by trade which is probably why the book is so grounded in terms of her abilit
Susan Bazzett-griffith
Sara Connell's journey to become a mother was fraught with difficulty and heartbreak and eventually healed by her own mother's selflessness and offer to be a surrogate for her daughter. That was the best part of this book-- the epilogue with the interview with her mother. That said, there is nothing particularly wrong with this memoir other than the fact that although, I too, have suffered infertility and losses, I was not able to identify with this author, who is very into "signs" and holistic ...more
Jul 23, 2015 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bringing in Finn is one woman’s true account of her struggle to get pregnant and have a baby. After countless heartaches, lost pregnancies, and IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatments, Sara and her husband, Bill, knew they still wanted to have a child, despite having no success as of yet. Eventually, her 61 year old mother became a surrogate and carried their son, Finn, to full term for them.

This was a fascinating story. Not only was it incredible that Sara’s mother became a surrogate for her ow
Nancy Brady
Mar 18, 2013 Nancy Brady rated it really liked it
This is a very interesting story of a mother being the gestational host of her daughter and son-in-law's child (Finn). Following Sara and Bill's issues with infertility and all the trauma that they went through before her mother decides to become the surrogate for their IVF baby makes for compelling reading. Not only is this particular part of the story compelling in that sense, but it also shows what brought them to this. For anyone contemplating in-vitro fertilization or other infertility issu ...more
Kathleen Pooler
Nov 07, 2013 Kathleen Pooler rated it it was amazing
The idea that one’s own mother would offer to be a surrogate for the child you can’t have seems insurmountable, especially since the mother is in her 60s. Add to that the conflicted relationship with this mother. Sara Connell tells her remarkable, true story of surrogacy in a believable and heartfelt way. It goes beyond surrogacy though as it addresses how a conflicted mother-daughter relationship transforms into a strong, loving bond as they prepare for the birth of this long-awaited child. It ...more
Nov 20, 2013 Sherrey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
Bringing in Finn is not just a story about a couple who desperately want a child. Nor is it a story intended to only detail their struggles, disappointments and attempts to conceive. It is about so much more than that.

Sara Connell brings to the page a story of extraordinary love that encompasses and bridges a conflicted relationship between a mother and her daughter.

Connell's desire for a child is reinforced by her husband's mutual wish to grow their family. What seem like insurmountable odds wo
Bllu Catalano
Mar 01, 2013 Bllu Catalano rated it liked it
A touching read to share with family, especially mothers and daughters, Bringing in Finn, delves from an unusual angle into family connection. For most of the story we follow Sara and Bill as they navigate the road to having children. They begin like most married couples, full of hope and simple dreams. Starting a family seems like a wonderful, essential step in their evolution. Yet, harbingers lie in the background, ignored or unknown. Sara comes to the table with ghosts that sneak out; now tha ...more
Crystal Otto
Oct 08, 2013 Crystal Otto rated it it was amazing
Book Review: Bringing in Finn: An Extraordinary Surrogacy Story
by Sara Connell

Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

Bringing in Finn is truly an amazing story that many women and couples can relate to. Around half of all fertilized eggs die and are lost spontaneously, before a woman even knows she is pregnant. Once a woman knows she is pregnant, the miscarriage rate is more like 15-20%. These statistics seem staggering, but yet very comforting. As a woman who has experienced several miscarriages, I
Nov 07, 2015 Becki rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
Definitely extraordinary story. While I did not love the writing style and some of the spirituality was a bit out there for me, it was definitely an interesting read.

As someone who dealt with infertility, the stories of others who have walked through the same always intrigue me. Although we never got to the point of IVF or surrogacy. The idea of a grandmother carrying and delivering her grandchild is amazing to me. It is awe-inspiring all the crazy things our bodies are capable of.

On the down
Lisa Eirene
Mar 07, 2013 Lisa Eirene rated it liked it
I had mixed feelings about this book. I liked it, but there were things I didn't like about it. My comments are of a personal nature, so I'm sure I'm bound to offend SOMEONE.

1) I am a very much pro-adoption. I kind of feel like if you can't have children naturally, adopt. There are so many kids that need homes and need out of foster care.

2) On the flipside, I am pro-science and I liked the amazing progressive science this book addressed.

See? Mixed feelings.

The book had a lot of emotional parts
Sara and Bill Connell have invested time, energy, and thousands of dollars into trying to become pregnant. After hundreds of hormone injections, stillborn twins at twenty weeks, and a miscarriage, they are not sure they can continue to try. And then, Kristine, Sara's 59-year-old mother, shyly and surely offers to become their gestational host (a.k.a. surrogate).

This is their story from start to finish: beginning with Sara's amenorrhea and ending with the birth of Finnean Lee, Sara takes the rea
Feb 02, 2014 Angela rated it really liked it
I learned about this remarkable story on Oprah at least two years ago and was so touched by it I bought the book immediately. I don't know what took me so long to read it, but I just started it this afternoon and I'm already 235 pages in!
Victoria Brinius
Dec 08, 2013 Victoria Brinius rated it it was amazing
This is a must have tissues read. I highly recommend it for all mothers and daughters. A mother's love is like no other love and Sara's mom gives her the gift of her womb. She also took with it all complications of a pregnancy. I can relate to some of the information in this book, and I was drawn to this family. I felt an instant connection. I also want to thank Sara for telling her story. In the beginning of the book she describes some medical terms andsituations. This is a great asset and ever ...more
Literary Mama
Sep 17, 2012 Literary Mama added it
Shelves: memoir
In Bringing in Finn by Sara Connell, ties among parents, surrogate, and baby remain close, eternal. They are, after all, family: Connell's mother is her gestational surrogate. Like Cindy Reutzel in this month's news, Kristine Casey gives birth to her own grandchild. Reactions to this scenario most likely range from horror to amazement to aspiration, and indeed Connell experiences a full gambit of feeling. Thankfully for readers, Connell's writing is up to the task; her prose swells with emotion ...more
Jamie Thorn
Dec 29, 2012 Jamie Thorn rated it it was amazing
I recall seeing this story in the news and I thought it was fascinating, so I was delighted when I found out this book was written. I was sure that the story would be interesting but feared the cumbersome autobiographical account of what was sure to be an amateur writer; I was pleasantly surprised. Although I felt that the story dragged on in some places and wasn't so thrilled about all of the new age ramblings this was a solidly written book. I was leaning to 4 stars but found Sara's prose so r ...more
Oct 16, 2015 Becko rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and it's author. I so related to the author and cried multiple times throughout the book. What a gift.
Jun 28, 2015 Ann added it
This courageous 61-year-old mother gives her daughter an incredible gift.
Aug 14, 2015 Joy rated it it was amazing
Remarkable story!
Denisa Howe
Feb 18, 2013 Denisa Howe rated it liked it
A Nice read. The beginning is of a daughter at slight odds with her mom. The struggle to have a child the daughter and mother re-connect in ways most couldn't even dream of. The photos really put faces to the characters and the people of the story bringing a sincere feeling for her struggles and then the uplifting joy. A lot of medical information is also included so the reader truly understands all.
I do appreciate receiving this free book from goodreads and the opportunity to read it.
Sep 13, 2012 Belindamaree rated it really liked it
So touching. I dread to think how much mental, emotional and physical pain it would be to experience something so primal being taken away from you. It is my worst fear that I possibly may one day have to face similar pain. I for one could not bear the heartache.
They say God only gives you as much as he believes you are strong enough to handle. I hope it never comes to the places this family has endured.
Much love goes out to the author and here amazing family. xxx
Oct 15, 2012 Roxanne rated it really liked it
The author is obviously not a Christian woman, so all the references to the Divine Mother and other New Age ideas are off-putting. Aside from that, I appreciated her honesty with regard to her feelings and learned more about IVF than I ever wanted to know. No mention was made about the unused fertilized eggs. That apparently was not a concern to her. Most satisfying was the teamwork in which she, her husband and her mother engaged.
Apr 13, 2013 BA rated it liked it
Such an incredible true story! I saw the author, Sara Connell on a talk show, and downloaded the book right away! The story is about a couple struggling with fertility and then the author's 61-year old mother offers to be their surrogate. Extremely inspirational and amazing...not only due to the fact that this is medically possible but also that the author's mother was so selfless in offering to do this for her daughter.
Nov 11, 2012 Jenn rated it really liked it
Very interesting and moving account of the trials Sara faces trying to have a baby. It was full of IVF details and raw emotions. I, personally, do not get into the 'Great Mother' and meditation/vision aspect of her journey, but appreciate it as her version of (what I believe to be) God's hand and influence in her life. What a heart wrenching and amazing story. I enjoyed it.
JoAnn Althaus
Sep 26, 2012 JoAnn Althaus rated it it was amazing
This is such an amazing story! I may be somewhat biased as I know Sara and Finn, however the book was so well written and the story is so beautiful, I would think anyone would enjoy it just as much. I would definitely recommend to anyone, it was just wonderful! Much love for Sara, Finn and the whole village it took to bring Finn into this world :)
Stephanie Lancaster
Feb 10, 2013 Stephanie Lancaster rated it it was amazing
I started and finished this book in one day. I lived the science, the spirituality, and the emotional journey detailed by the first-person writer. More than just a surrogacy story, this book seems like it could inspire a reader to find his true calling and to follow his heart, whatever the details of his personal tale.
Oct 12, 2012 Betsy rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful on a Grandmother who decides to help out her daughter and her son-in-law. After years of inferility and thousands of dollars spent by them, the Grandmother decides with her own husband's agreement to carry her "grandson". It is such an insight to surrogacy in the closest situation.
May 13, 2013 Julie rated it liked it
It has been a long time since Shel and I went through the process of trying to have a baby. I think it will always be hard to read about other peoples experience with infertility. Having said that,I thought this was a cool story and the fact that Finn's grandmother carried him is AMAZING.
Jean Brazil
Jan 26, 2013 Jean Brazil rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
An interesting story of a woman whose mother serves as her surogate. Detailed description of all the infertility treatments and final decision to use a surogate. Unfortunately, lots of a little bizarre new age philosophy thrown in.
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