The Cradle Blog

My First Hundred Days

Kim Perez, Cradle CEO

Happy New Year to all of our Cradle families and friends! 

It was an absolute delight coming into the office the first week of 2017 to find nine babies in our Nursery. Thank you to our Nursery staff and birth parent counselors who worked over the holiday weekend. They admitted three new little ones and lovingly tended to all nine infants in our care.

While our central mission is finding families for babies, I am quickly learning that The Cradle is the standard-bearer for so much more in the field of adoption. Many have asked me how I’ll be spending my first hundred days as President/CEO and my reply has been the same each time I’m asked – listen, listen, listen! I’ve been meeting with staff, board members, donors and other community leaders to understand the deep history of this beloved organization, all of the important work being done today, and the many opportunities that the future holds.

My “listening tour” is far from over, but already I can assure you of my strong commitment to the strategic direction adopted by the board and its four focus areas.

  • Ethical and compassionate care for expectant parents, nurturing care for infants, and the highest quality adoptive parent preparation will remain the cornerstones of The Cradle’s family building work.
  • The Cradle’s Center for Lifelong Adoption Support embodies our tagline “supporting you always” as a leader in the Chicago area for adoption-competent family, individual and group counseling.
  • The Cradle’s Our Children Initiative has brought together thought-leaders from across Chicagoland to tackle relevant topics that face our children. As this initiative has kicked off, the initial topics have been selected to help parents understand and prepare for the realities and injustices their Black children may face. Future topics will meet all types of diverse needs of families.
  • The Cradle is known across the country for its online courses and webinars in Adoption Learning Partners. We’ve made advice from adoption experts convenient and accessible, and in 2017 we will bring those resources to address the training needs of foster families, too.

Another topic I am frequently asked about is my vision for The Cradle. Understandably, many want to know what the future holds and whether The Cradle remains strong and sustainable.

There is much for me to learn from the 94 year history of this great organization. Each of the leaders preceding me has contributed to the solid foundation that exists today. While many have indicated that I have big shoes to fill, I tend to think of it more along the lines of having big shoulders upon which to stand. The great work that has been accomplished by all of those who have been a part of The Cradle team deserves celebration, and we will leverage this as a spring board into the future.

In addition, I was fortunate to begin my tenure during December, providing me the privilege of witnessing the generous year-end gifts arrive. Thanks to the generosity of so many supporters, our year-end fundraising goals were surpassed, resulting in a strong end to 2016, and an encouraging start to 2017. This is because of you and your shared commitment to seeing The Cradle succeed – Thank you!

I am very confident and excited about the future of The Cradle! My confidence comes from being surrounded by such a talented team of staff and supportive board members. My excitement stems from the impactful work of The Cradle, the many strategic and dynamic relationships we are building and strengthening each day, and the many opportunities that lie ahead.

The Cradle is a stellar organization and I am privileged to be a part of this team. I look forward to sharing more updates with you soon!