My Water Broke With The Call

We had been waiting for three months. Pregnant since we first applied over a year ago. Then patiently waiting for the elusive due date.

That is the limbo you flounder in when you choose to adopt. The pregnancy lasts about as long as an elephant’s (which is 22 months for those with inquiring minds). And then, you go into labor with “The Call.”

You hold onto a picture. Your only glimpse of your daughter. You treasure it. You talk to it. You put it in a frame by your bedside table. You pray to it. You cry, holding it. It is all you have.

Until The Call. Then you go into labor.

I was working as an administrator and part-time teacher at a small, private college prep school. I was in my office and my secretary said I had a call from the adoption agency. Thinking something had gone wrong I quickly picked up the phone.

My water broke.

She was arriving two days later, on Friday, April 30th at 10:45pm.

I stuttered. I stammered. I had no idea what to say. I stood there in shock. I thanked our social worker and hung up the phone. I walked out of my office, dazed.

“How soon do we have to take her to the vet?” I asked our school nurse.

My babies, before human children, were my dogs and my cat. My world was reeling. My vocabulary (and doctors it seemed) had to change.

I called the social worker back. I could hear her grin over the phone.

“I thought I’d be hearing back from you,” she said.

This time I asked all the proper questions: Flight #? Airline? Airport? How soon we’d have to take her to the pediatrician. (I’m a quick learner.)

My boss heard all of the commotion and told me to go home. Get ready. Time the contractions.

When you’re in labor it’s hard to sleep. The anticipation. The discomfort. We had nothing ready. She wasn’t due for another month. Our baby was premature. We had no crib. No stroller. No car seat.

The next 48 hours were a whirlwind. Racing to Sears and K-Mart. Grabbing whatever supplies we could find. I found out later that the hostesses of my shower (scheduled in two weeks) were thrown for a loop. They made many returns and exchanges. We were buying all the things they were going to present to us at the shower.

Seventeen years ago today and I remember it like yesterday. I’m sorry. I can’t avoid using a clichΓ©. It’s true. Who knew seventeen years later I’d have this beautiful, smart, caring, witty, fun, amazing young lady sharing pieces of herself with me? Teaching me about love, commitment, responsibility and patience. Daring me to be a better human being. Testing my limits. Pushing my boundaries.

Forcing my heart to grow three sizes that day.


Filed under children, Motherhood

35 responses to “My Water Broke With The Call

  1. suzicate

    Beautiful story. Beautiful daughter. Love is beautiful.

  2. Mel

    Dang it Jane, you made me cry! Beautiful post, beautiful words and amazingly beautiful daughter. Isn’t love grand?

  3. What a beautiful daughter! Congrats on becoming a mom!

  4. Your feelings are anything but cliche. It doesn’t matter if the pregnancy/labor/contractions/delivery was physical or metaphorical, the depth of love is the same. She is beautiful. And seventeen. I hope the two of you will always share the special mom/daughter bond. Mine are 22 and 25. I remember 17 like it was yesterday. The good, the bad, the ugly…the wonderful. I loved how you wrote this post.

  5. Holy cow! That young lady is a STUNNER. But even better than that, she sounds like a gem of a human being. Happy 17 years with her in your life!

  6. Wow! I wrote something so similar today, my son’s birthday. (Mine is in poem form.)

    Happy Water-Breaking-Day to both of you!

  7. Jane, this is a beautiful post and your daughter is absolutely gorgeous! Congrats on 17 years of raising a wonderful child!

  8. What a heart-breaking, gorgeous post! Gorgeous girl, wonderful story. Congratulations on a job well done, Jane!

  9. I have chills. I have an adopted brother- and sister-in-law. And GAP and I hope to adopt ourselves at some point as well. Reading stories like this make me eager for our own adoption. Thanks.

  10. Wonderful story – beautiful daughter! My brother & sister in law adopted a little boy from Ethiopia when he was a baby, and just passed court for their second child (a little older, around 4 or so) – and my sil is ecstatic – but the waiting process is so hard! They want their son home, and they want him home now. Adoptive parents must have a extra special patience chip in them, for all the waiting they go through in the process to bring their children home… It sure is worth it though!
    Congrats on raising a lovely daughter. πŸ™‚

  11. I’m going to assume the photo is of your daughter. She’s lovely, just as your story is lovely. I think it’s a great way of phrasing your wait for your girl to come to you – writing about it just as if it were a pregnancy. Because in so many ways, it is – an emotional one if not physical.

  12. I love the social worker’s response to your second call πŸ™‚

    Your daughter is, as everyone else has said, beautiful. And a talented photographer! I’m guessing that’s a self-portrait.

    • Yes, it is. I love her photography and I wish she’d do more with it. But she is oh-so-practical and doesn’t see it as a viable career option.

  13. What a gorgeous post – it really moved me Jane.

    I must admit to feeling a little jealous too – as I would absolutely love to adopt.

    Beautiful words and pictures – you must be very proud πŸ˜‰


  14. Awesome description. I wish my anti-adoption friend knew you.

  15. I have a soft heart for those who adopt.

  16. unabridgedgirl

    I think adoption is amazing, and it always makes me happy when I know children have found good homes and loving parents. Your daughter is so beautiful! This post was very sweet.

  17. What a beautiful story, and beautiful daughter πŸ™‚

  18. oh Jane. What a wonderful, special story. She is so lucky to have you as a mom. Really. And I know everyone has said it already, but she is gorgeous! Happy anniversary of this wonderful news.

  19. OMG Jane, she’s beautiful! I love that first photo. And this whole post made me smile and get chills and want to cry. Yes, all at once. The water breaking, her coming “premie” and the labor metaphor… are brilliant my friend!!

  20. I’m with Mel: in tears. What a lovely story to go along with such a lovely girl (and, of course, a lovely mom).

    April 30 is a special day for me too. One year ago I met my son on that day.

  21. Beautiful. Words not necessary. Your love filled up the page. Your daughter is beautiful.

  22. The experience of bringing a baby into your life is universal, whether physical or metaphorical, isn’t it? So happy she found you, and you her. Happy early Delivery Day! =>

  23. My daughter is 21 tomorrow and has a daughter of her own. Where did the time go?? I always wanted to adopt as well and give a child a chance that it might not have had but my husband was never keen so we didn’t. Well done you! x

  24. Steven Harris

    Your love for her is so huge it reaches out from your words and can be felt across the world. Thanks you for sharing. πŸ˜€

  25. What a beautiful girl! Your story made me tear up.

  26. Oh, you old scrooge… you made me cry. And I don’t cry. Okay, I do, but not THAT easily. Thanks a lot.

    Children are wonderful aren’t they? A complete mixed bag of blessings. I’m not sure I like how I’m forced to grow up and be a better person and less of a scrooge myself. πŸ˜‰

  27. Oh, I love this birth story. Thank you for sharing.

  28. Beautifully written and poignantly illustrated. (And the part about when to take her to the vet—priceless!)

  29. Holy Gorgeous Batman!!! I’m so glad you found each other!!

  30. ck

    What a wonderful story. It’s so neat to read a birthing story from that perspective. And your daughter? GORGEOUS. (Like, for-real gorgeous.)

  31. Great story! I’ve been waiting for you to tell it. I can only imagine how crazy those 48 hours were for you and your husband.

  32. What a beautiful amazing story. Isn’t it amazing how children make our hearts grow?

  33. What everybody else has said above.

    Beautiful post. Beautiful memories. Beautiful family. Mother and daughter.

  34. Oh, how I adore adoption stories! Your daughter is beautiful!

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