At home in Virginia, Sara's 61-year-old mother Kris was grieving along with her daughter and son-in-law. Newly retired, Kris was also doing some soul-searching and reexamining her life. "I spent time thinking long and hard about what I wanted to do with my life and what would really, really give me joy," Kris says.
Soon after, Kris says one of her friends offhandedly mentioned a story she'd read about a post-menopausal woman who had given birth. The story sparked an idea. "I was thinking of times [when I had] that quintessential joy, and it was when I was pregnant with my daughters," she says. "Then, suddenly, it came to me that maybe I could do this again and be part of that joy for Sara and Bill."
At the time, Kris says she and Sara weren't especially close—they saw each other at the holidays and spoke on the phone every week or two—but they didn't discuss Sara's infertility.
Watch Sara and Kris describe their relationship today
So Kris says she decided to write her daughter and son-in-law a letter, which outlined her offer to carry their child. The letter read: "Somehow beyond all reason and rational action, I want to share a wish with you aloud. My wish is that I could carry your baby. Yes. Since 1987, there have been post-menopausal women who have given birth in vitro, so why not me? And please, please, please don't feel any pressure, just love. Always, Mom."
Sara and Bill's reaction to this unconventional offer was better than Kris could have imagined! "When she presented the idea, I just felt like, 'Oh, I've been given a lifeline,'" Sara says. "I was blown away. I really didn't even have words to put to it except that something in my heart said, 'Try. Go for it.'"