The love between a mother and a child never ends no matter how old that child gets. No one knows that better than Kristine Casey who, at the age of 61, just gave her grown daughter the gift of a lifetime -- her womb.
Both her daughter -- her grandson's mother -- and her grandson himself grew in the same womb, a kind of generational symmetry that gives chills. Her daughter, Sara Connell, 35, had been trying for years to have a baby, and after suffering a miscarriage and losing twin sons to stillbirth, her mother made her this offer.
Connell and her husband, Bill, are the biological parents of the child Casey carried. Last Sunday, while mother and daughter held hands and prayed, Finnean Lee Connell was born via C-section. What an amazing story and what a brave grandmother. At 61, she is the oldest woman to give birth in Illinois.
When the baby first cried, Sara Connell, the first family member to hold him, said she "lost it. It's such a miracle." The doctor who delivered Finnean said there wasn't a dry eye in the crowded operating room.
Not a dry eye here, either. As parents, we want nothing more than happiness for our children and we also want our children to experience the ride of parenthood -- all the joy, wonder, bewilderment, and overwhelming love. Anyone who has ever been a parent knows that it's a love unlike any other and we want that for our children, too (as long as they want it).
It had been 30 years since Casey had given birth, but she was willing to put her body through rigorous hormone treatments to be able to give this gift to her daughter.
On some level, one has to wonder what that was like for Connell. It's hard to imagine the range of emotions she went through when her mother was able to do this for her. One has to assume that even in the happiness, there may have been a wistful longing as well. Although, if you can't carry a baby yourself, having your mother do it for you is certainly the next best thing.
I know, without a doubt, that I would do this for my daughter, too. The day she was born was the most exhilarating, exciting, and life-altering day of my whole life. I want motherhood for her too, and I know I would help her get there. This is really what family and love should be all about.
Would you do this for your daughter?
Image via Paul Schultz/Flickr