The Cradle Blog

The Cradle's Virtual Road Trip

Cradle connections are important. Our community of people who are touched by adoption, spans the world. 

On October 8, 2020 Kim Perez, Cradle CEO and Simone Wheeler, VP Development met with Cradle friends in Cincinnati. It was the first of several 2020 virtual road trips around the country to meet all with a connection to 2049 Ridge Avenue. “Since opening in 1923 The Cradle has helped place more than 16,000 children in permanent loving homes,” said Kim. “Part of our work is to provide lifelong support for all touched by adoption. By helping create Cradle connections around the country, even virtually, we can foster a sense of relationship and community.” Jon Boss, (class of ’35) joined the Zoom call for the Cincinnati region and said, “It was a refreshing opportunity to touch base with those who are on the front lines of the Cradle’s mission. It provided the opportunity for us to know more about what is working and the challenges that lie ahead. For those of us who are “products” of that mission, we know even more how we have been blessed, and the reasons for continuing to give back.”

Mid-October saw Kim and Simone head out east to the Maryland, Delaware and Washington DC area. Six joined the virtual gathering which included Dave Lohff and Emily Gilleland. Dave and Emily have formed the MD/DE/DC Cradle alumni group and met with fellow Zoom attendee Jan Vartzikos (class of ’50) for an in person, socially distanced lunch after the Cradle Zoom. The ME/DE/DC Alumni group is open to all Cradle adopted persons, Cradle adoptive parents and birth parents. Feel free to contact Dave at david.lohff@yahoo.com if you live in the area and are interested in joining future gatherings. Dave said, “Sharing the experience of adoption within our alumni group gives us a chance to support one another as adult children of the parents who raised us, connection with biological parents and sibling relationships and find community in our unique experience.”

Simone and Kim continued to virtually crisscross the country into December meeting Cradle connections in Atlanta and LA. 

“There was a real sense of community,” said Simone. “We’ll be working hard to continue to foster this Cradle spirit, particularly as The Cradle approaches its centennial in 2023. Both Kim and I truly enjoyed meeting with every single person on our trip.  Each person has a unique story and perspective to share; everyone was interested in learning how our services have pivoted during the pandemic and what plans we have for the future.”

If you are interested in hosting a virtual Cradle gathering in your local area, please feel free to contact Simone at swheeler@cradle.org. Kim and Simone both hope to be able visit those who joined our virtual road trip, in person in 2021. Until that time, they would love to hear from you wherever you are in the USA or in the world.