When Lara and Joe Marcantonio began their adoption journey by submitting an application to The Cradle in the summer of 2012, life came full circle for Joe. A 1981 Cradle adoptee, Joe remembers his mother volunteering at The Cradle, attending holiday parties and open houses, and always knowing adoption as a very natural part of his family. His sister, Catie, was adopted with The Cradle’s help when Joe was two.
“For Lara and me, adoption was our first choice when we decided to become parents,” Joe said. “It was not essential for us to have a child biologically, and we knew there were a lot of children in need of loving families.”
What they didn’t anticipate were the challenges they would face. “We knew there would be a process,” said Lara. “We just didn’t know how hard it would be. Now we understand how important every step was. For other couples in the process we’d say, ‘Trust The Cradle, ask your counselor all your questions, and don’t fret over it!’”
The Marcantonios completed their home study and went on the list of waiting families in December 2013. They were anxious, but hopeful. Along the way, the couple experienced two “changes of heart” in which they were selected by expectant parents who ultimately chose to parent their children. Both were hard on them, although they understood the possibility was always there. And, ultimately, when they were chosen by their son’s birth mother, they knew they were meant to be his parents.
Luca was born on July 13, 2015 and came to The Cradle Nursery four days later. He received 6½ weeks of care by our nurses and infant aides – who grew attached to the sweet baby boy! – before going home with Lara and Joe on August 31.
Luca has been back to The Cradle a number of times in his 1 ½ years – for the Open House, the Holiday Party and even as the star of our Nursery photo shoot (above). Lara and Joe enjoy bringing him to Cradle events and stay connected with other Cradle parents through a play group. They also enjoy an ongoing relationship with Luca’s birth mother through their open adoption plan.
Two generations of Cradle babies… Luca (Class of 2015) with his dad Joe (Class of 1981) in summer 2016.