In 1984, a San Francisco State University student gave birth in her dorm room. She put the baby girl in a box and left her downstairs in the dorm’s laundry room. A student loading the dryer found the newborn hours later, and asked for help from the only other person there, a nursing student named Esther Raiger. While they waited for the paramedics to arrive, Raiger cradled the infant, who was turning blue, to get her body temperature up.
The baby was given the name “Jane Doe” and spent a few months in foster care before being adopted by a California couple. Her name became Jillian Sobol, and she was a happy, rambunctious kid. When she was a teenager, her mom told her the whole story of her birth–and she and her dad went to the library to read newspaper clippings about her miraculous discovery.
Sobol’s teenage years were rough–she had ADHD, dyslexia, and other learning disabilities so academic success eluded her for a while. But she never gave up, and finally went to college to study tourism and hotel management–at, of all places, San Francisco State University.
Sobol graduated from San Francisco State late last month–it had been a bumpy road but worth it. Along the way, she’d managed to find and befriend Raiger and her birth dad. Both were there–along with her parents–to see her graduate from the place she was born.
Talk about coming around full circle!