Cher & Nick /adoption-family/cher-nick-0 1921

Cher & Nick

Hi! We are Cher, Nick, & Penny. Thank you for taking the time to get to know us. We know adoption looks differently for each situation. We can’t begin to imagine what you are going through as you think about an adoption plan. We are just thankful to share our story in the hopes that we can add you to it.

Our Story

High School Sweethearts:

Both Cher and Nick grew up in the north suburbs of Chicago. We met in gym class during our junior year in high school- romantic, right? We went to Loras College together and then had a long distance relationship while Cher went to grad school in Ireland and then Chicago while Nick was teaching in Iowa. We were finally able to reunite back in Chicago where we got married. We currently live in a far north suburb of Chicago with our daughter, Penny (adopted in 2016), and our two dogs, Thor (black Mastiff-Lab) and Dixon (tan Pitbull mix).

Work Life:

Cher works at our local high school teaching Freshman and Senior English. Her focus lately has been in utilizing anti-racism training and redesigning curriculum to include more diverse voices. Cher also directs the musical and senior showcase. The kids love when Penny visits rehearsals and can’t wait for another kiddo to join the theatre family.

Nick began his career as a special education behavior specialist for a middle school in Iowa. When he moved back home to Chicago, he became a special education teacher in a northern suburb of Chicago. During the school year, Nick is usually at home with Penny and the dogs after school, but enjoys teaching summer school where he gets to work with rockets and wall climbing. 

Meet Penny:

Adoption has always been the way we wanted to create a family. We brought Penny home from The Cradle in 2016. She is an energetic free spirit who tries her best to be kind and a good friend to all who meet her. She loves running and biking, exploring nature and playgrounds. She is best known for singing all day long, hanging in our backyard tree who she named Callie, and giving lots of hugs. Penny is beyond excited to be a big sister, she constantly asks when the new baby is coming. We can’t wait to see her love and care for a little sibling- she has been practicing on every baby we meet and several baby dolls at home.

Penny’s birth mom asked The Cradle to select a family for Penny. We are so honored to be able to parent Penny. We talk about Penny’s birth family often and send letters to The Cradle once or twice a year. They are there for Penny’s birth mother when she is ready for contact. We hope to meet Penny’s birth mother in the future, when she is ready. In the meantime we ensure Penny knows as much about her birth family as we do.

We know that our next adoption might have a different level of openness. We look forward to having the opportunity to discuss that with you.


Adoption is a big part of our family make-up. Nick is actually the odd man out… even our dogs are adopted. Cher and her twin sister were adopted, Penny is a Cradle baby, Penny has friends at school that are adopted, even one of her after school teachers is a birth mom, and our Godson was adopted through the foster system. We are also part of a Facebook group for Cradle parents and often go to play dates and other Cradle events.

We look forward to bringing another child to this community we have created around adoption. We know each adoption is going to look and feel different. We look forward to defining and creating a new story with you.

Thank you

Thank you for taking the time to get to know us. We can’t imagine what you are going through but hope that you know you will find nothing but love, support, and compassion from us as we try to make a plan together. We are just thankful to even have the opportunity to share our story with you and hopefully can connect more in person.

Fun Facts

  • Nickname in college was Macho Stewart for the ice cream pies he made for friends’ birthdays
  • Certified scuba diver
  • Loves camping and backpacking
  • Enjoys going to Northwestern football and basketball games
  • Fan of Chicago sports
  • Favorite TV Show West Wing
  • Eclectic music from 1960s folk and country to jam bands (i.e. Grateful Dead and Dave Matthews Band)
  • Recently choreographed the All State High School Musical, Aida.
  • Is a certified yoga teacher
  • Lived in Ireland for a year for grad school
  • Favorite meal to cook from start to finish is Thanksgiving
  • Loves dancing and hiking
  • Loves Star Wars movies and British Murder Mystery shows
  • Eclectic taste in music ranging from Lizzo to Highwomen to Adele to Spice Girls

"Cher & Nick" Family Photos

  • Cher and Nick at a Blackhawks game
  • Cher and Nick at the Cradle Gala
  • Penny and Nick being goofy
  • Thor and Dixon love to snuggle
  • Nick and Penny are game ready- Go Cats!
  • Cher’s graduation at Trintiy College, Dublin
  • Cher and Penny at Lambs Farm- Choo Choo!
  • Penny and Dixon hanging out
  • Thor loves hiding with Penny
  • Nick’s family on a trip in Greece
  • Cher’s family celebrating the holidays
  • Cher cooking Thanksgiving with an audience
  • Penny loves Blue Moon ice cream with Aunt Megan
  • Nick and his brother Chris at a petting Zoo
  • Cher and Nick in Quebec, Canada
  • Penny and her friend having a sleepover and discussing books
  • Cher and Nick date night
  • Penny and her dogs resting after a hike
  • Penny practicing her casting skills off the deck
  • Cher and Nick are concert ready!

Contact the Cradle

If you’re interested in learning about adoption for your baby, we can help. We’re available 24/7. All of your information is confidential.

To speak to someone now, call our 24-hour hotline: (800) 272-3534 or text us at (312) 800-1559 (answered 8:30am-8pm).

If you’d like us to contact you, please use the form below.

If you are looking to adopt a child, please schedule a call with an Adoptive Parent Counselor.

If you are an adopted person looking for information, please schedule an informational consultation with our post adoption department.

How did you hear about The Cradle?

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.