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The Story of Rod, Julie and David

This story comes from the 2005 Annual Report (PDF) of the Cradle Foundation, an adoption agency.

Rod Nesbitt and Julie Parson-Nesbitt live in a comfortable, toy-filled home in Chicago’s West Rogers Park neighborhood, an area known for its diversity. This is important to them because, as Rod explains, “our principles really are to be inclusive…that’s part of our family philosophy on both sides of our family.” When the Nesbitts began to consider adoption, they researched a number of agencies and chose The Cradle for several reasons, including its proximity, history, and reputation for trustworthiness. They also liked the very diverse mix of people at the informational meeting they attended, and The Cradle’s child-focused mission.

Rod and Julie knew they wanted to adopt a black or biracial infant through the Sayers Center. Their counselor, Angelia Young, whom they describe as wonderful, was with them for every step of their interesting, challenging and ultimately fulfilling adoption journey. It took a little over a year from the time the Nesbitts first met with The Cradle until their son David was placed with them. Along the way, they experienced a roller coaster ride that included three possible placements, in rapid succession, that didn’t work out. One birthmother selected other adoptive parents; another decided to parent her child.

At Rod and Julie’s, the baby’s room was ready, and so were they. Julie, a published poet, worked from home as development director for a Chicago nonprofit, and Rod, formerly a substance abuse counselor for homeless military veterans, had recently gone back to school to become a massage therapist. Both had plenty of time and love for the child they eagerly awaited.

Angelia contacted the Nesbitts two days after David was born. On a Friday evening in June they visited him in The Cradle Nursery where, recalls Julie,“of course, we fell madly in love with him.” The next day they took him home. David Lendor Nesbitt carries on his family’s legacy in his name. Julie’s father, David Parson, passed away in 2001, and Rod’s father, Lendor Nesbitt, died in March 2005. To his parents, David represents “new, fresh wonderful energy” in the face of tragedy and sudden loss. His two doting grandmothers are“out of their minds” with joy. David even shares his maternal grandmother’s birthday, May 18.

David Nesbitt is a happy, smiling, flirtatious six- month-old who loves to bounce on his mother’s lap. He also loves music of all kinds, from lullabies to folk and salsa. He is bright and curious, examining every new thing he sees. Julie didn’t anticipate just how much fun he would be. Although they encountered starts and stops on the road to adopting David, the Nesbitts know that it was definitely worth it:
“Eventually it all works out, and you’re just so thrilled because you say, there’s no other baby in the entire world that I want except for this baby. Nothing could have been more perfect.”

You can read more about Rod here.

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