This month, The Cradle is featuring adoption journeys from our community to celebrate National Adoption Month & The Cradle Giving Tuesday. We hope you will enjoy these stories that embody the power of adoption and consider including The Cradle in your end of year giving plans to supporting adoptees, like Chris, with their lifelong adoption journeys.
For Chris, a call to The Cradle helped steer his journey of self-discovery to a place of life-changing introductions and new relationships. Chris says he was adopted from The Cradle at a time when there was much less open and much more of a “never look back” mentality between adopted persons and their birth parents.
The spirit of open adoption – in which birth and adoptive families know who each other are or have each other’s identifying information, with or without contact - looks different in every family and evolves over time, which Chris learned first-hand last year. When legislation around birth family records changed in Illinois, Chris reached out to The Cradle for more information to supplement the research has wife had begun on his family origins.
Chris looked through his history, step-by-step, with records provided and found by The Cradle: county records, medical information, and even a note from a Cradle nurse with his birth weight and handwritten comments about baby Chris. In this research, Chris learned of several siblings he had never met, including three half-siblings and his brother, Ross.
Chris met these newly discovered relatives on a Thanksgiving video call last year, and started connecting with them in-person this year. Chris says that this reunion and he and his brothers’ similarities were surreal.
“It was an instant connection,” Chris says of his meeting his brother, with whom he immediately bonded over their sense of humor. Chris looks forward to continuing to grow his sibling relationships, a journey that started at The Cradle Nursery which he was able to continue with a return to The Cradle 73 years later.
Sometimes, the best part of a journey is the knowledge that you have a safe and supportive place where you can return. As this year makes way for our plans for 2022, The Cradle looks forward to being there for the smiles, hugs, tears and milestones paving the adoption journeys that begin and continue at The Cradle.
Three out of five Americans are touched by adoption in some way. Our Cradle community makes it possible for us to offer a broader range of services to this population than most private adoption agencies will. Please consider making an 100% tax-deductible gift to The Cradle today in honor of your adoption connection.