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Well-being

Expectant Parent & Birth Mother Services and Special Needs Infant Program

The Cradle’s programs and services for birth parents are at the core of our work. We are proud empower expectant parents with choice in customizing their pregnancy and birth plan. All the prenatal healthcare costs faced by parents joining our expectant parent programs are underwritten by The Cradle thanks to support from our donors.

At a time where healthcare access is at the forefront of all conversations, your support helps ensure women like Nonie (below) have access to high quality medical care, clinical therapeutic support,  and expert, personalized infant medical care. 



Baby Isaac's Story

Baby Isaac's Story

Three years ago, Baby Isaac was entrusted to the care of The Cradle's 24/7 Nursery. Diagnosed with Down Syndrome, while there he received individualized, expert infant medical attention, and lots of love from our team of nurses, aides, and volunteer Cuddlers. It can be challenging to find the right forever family for a baby with special needs--but that's where Rochelle and husband Barrett come in.

They were living in Central Illinois and seeking to adopt via a local adoption agency when The Cradle reached out to their agency to find the right family for Isaac. The next two weeks were a blur. Rochelle and Barrett were connected with skilled Cradle counselor Sandy, who guided them through the mountain of information necessary to consider welcoming home and caring for a baby with Down Syndrome. Within days, they were at The Cradle meeting Isaac's birth family, who wanted them to see the expert care Isaac was receiving.

"Sandy walked us through all the things that we needed to know, including a list of seven doctors they recommended that we talk to," says Rochelle. "We wouldn't have know where to start, but we didn't have to guess. The Cradle made it so clear." 

After the placement was finalized, and The Cradle walked Isaac's forever parents through all the necessary paperwork, and set up several appointments for related medical issues in advance. Their Cradle counselor stayed in touch long after, making sure they had everything that they needed to raise their new little boy.

Today, Isaac is a healthy, happy three-year-old who loves to refuse taking his nap.

He is loved very much by Rochelle and Barrett. They still remember his Gotcha Day in The Cradle's historic living room. "Anybody who could come downstairs at The Cradle surrounded the room," says Rochelle. "This wasn't just a job for anyone. It was so meaningful to know Isaac was cared for from the very beginning."



The Power of Family: Nonie's Story

When Nonie got pregnant at 19, she hid it for as long as she could. She knew herself well enough to know that she didn't yet have the emotional or financial ability to look after herself, let alone a child. When she finally told her parents, together they came to the decision to explore an adoption placement.

She says her physician at the time tried to steer her towards a private, non-agency adoption, but the idea didn't sit well with her. Nonie already knew about The Cradle thanks to a radio ad and reached out for guidance. Emily, her skilled Cradle counselor, helped calm Nonie's fears. "I couldn't have done anything without her," says Nonie. "We didn't have a lot of time, since I was already 7-and-a-half months pregnant, bit she walked us through the process."

Emily presented Nonie with the profiles of prospective adoptive parents. One couple, Stacy and Eric, resonated strongly for Nonie, reminding her of her own parents. The only downside, according to the Chicago local? "They were Green Bay Packers fans."

Two weeks later, Nonie and her parents met Stacy and Eric at The Cradle. "From there it was the easiest thing in the world," says Nonie. "It was very kismet the way we all got along."

"We knew it was going to be a very emotional time, but we also knew we were all going to be able to come together," says Nonie.

After the adoption placement was finalized, Nonie, Stacy, and Eric became friends. Although not every placement results in the same degree of openness, for Nonie, it was as if the placement created a new extended family fr them all--including Justin, Stacy and Eric's new forever baby.

That was 14 years ago. Nonie has been married to husband Brian for four years--and Julin was in the wedding. The couple moved to Dublin, Ireland, in 2018 to raise their daughter, Róisín ("roe-SHEEN".) Everyone remains in contact, and Róisín and Justin consider each other siblings. In fact, before moving to Ireland, both families used to speak at Cradle Adoption 101 presentations about the power of open adoption.

"I want people to know the follow-up care that I got as a birthmother was invaluable," says Nonie. "The Cradle cares about the health and wellbeing of pregnant women to a level that is amazing to me. They gave me the tools to be able to make this story not a weakness but a strength in my life."



Community

Your support this year will help make sure The Cradle can continue to offer expert, individualized infant medical care to babies like Isaac, and sustain programs and services for adoptive parents like Rochelle and Barrett. 

Donate to The Cradle Giving Tuesday