A fun afternoon at The Cradle

Sunday was The Cradle’s annual open house event – a fun day for all Cradle families!  The weather could not have been more perfect, so we enjoyed all the outdoor festivities that were planned.

As we arrived, the Evanston Fire Department fire truck was just pulling up.  This was quite exciting for Colin!  We had to coax him into going inside first for our name tags and then came back outside to check the truck out.  We took some photos with Colin on the back of the truck and also sitting behind the wheel.  Usually the fire truck is the highlight of the event for Colin, but this year, someone else peaked his interest.  I’ll share more details about the “duck man” shortly!

We decided to check out the petting zoo next.  Daddy and Colin ventured in to meet the goats, pigs, roosters, sheep, and ducks.  I think Colin enjoyed the ducks and roosters the most as they were much less pushy and sat quietly while Colin pet their backs.  Next, we found someone doing face painting and nail polish.  For his cheek, Colin asked for a baseball to be painted on it.  For his fingernails, he asked for blue!  Colin’s never worn fingernail polish before, but he’s still wearing it, now a few days later, and still enjoying it.  He wasn’t sure that he’d still be able to suck his thumb with blue fingers and he was surprised when his fingers were still blue after hand washing.  We also found some bubbles to play with and made a new friend – “duck man”!

Julian – aka “duck man” – was running one of the games.  He had a bucket filled with water and rubber ducks.  If you pulled out a duck with a star on the bottom – you won.  Colin thought that this was the best game ever!  He played the game continuously and became buddies with “duck man”.  When we decided to take a snack break or check something else out at the event, Colin was always asking to go back and see “duck man”.

We were happy to run into another friend at the event, too.  We’ve become friends with another Cradle family who adopted their son a few months before we adopted Colin.  Coincidentally, their son was born at the same hospital as Colin in downstate Illinois.  Our families have become good friends and the two boys are starting to enjoy each other’s company.  Colin introduced him to “duck man” and we took a break for a fruit snack in the shade with them.

One of the things that we always love to do when we’re visiting The Cradle is to visit the nursery.  The Cradle is the only adoption agency in the country with an on-site nursery.  It’s a safe, neutral place for infants to stay while their parents take the time they need to see if adoption will be their plan for their child.  We were able to see about four babies who were happily swinging, sleeping, eating, and being cuddled in the nursery.  So sweet!

Colin was about to fall over from exhaustion, but we had one more stop.  On the way out, we saw two Evanston Police Department motorcycles.  Colin wanted to sit on them both and sang “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands…” to those waiting in line on the radio loud-speaker.  What a very enjoyable afternoon it turned out to be!


A fan favorite – the fire truck!


Feeding the goats some oats


High-five with Julian – the duck man


Good buddies!


10-4, good buddy