Bonded by Love Bonded by Love

Bonded by Love

August 11, 2016

Over fifty one years ago, Marion and her husband Alan were enjoying a pleasant life together as educators. “We were totally happy, living a nice life”, says Marion, “but we started to think, what about the future? What about family gatherings and holidays? What happens when we get sick and grow old?” So, they decided to pursue adoption, so they could raise a child of their own to love and cherish. “It was the right thing to do”, says Alan.

They started the adoption process through the City and County of San Francisco, and begun the wait for a baby girl. Several months later, they took a vacation to Mexico, where they bought a hand embroidered dress and sandals, anticipating the someday arrival of their daughter. Just a few days after they returned from Mexico, they received a call that there was a “doe-eyed” beautiful baby girl that had been born at St. Elizabeth’s Infant Hospital (now Epiphany Center) waiting for their open arms.

“We were 100% sold”, says Alan.


Feeling a bit unprepared for the news, Marion conveys, “we immediately drove down to Macy’s and bought one of everything!” She recalls feeling a bit awkward holding the baby in their first car ride together, but feeling filled with gratitude as well. Their first outing with their lovely new daughter was to a local Catholic parish. Marion remembers that the whole process took about nine months, ironically the same length of time as an organic pregnancy.


The couple raised their daughter in the City until she was 12 years old, and then moved to San Mateo. They went on to adopt a son as well, but there was something undeniably special about their St. Elizabeth’s baby girl. “Her birth mother loved music, and left her guitar with her favorite nun at St. Elizabeth’s to play for the baby”, recalls Marion. Her daughter went on to grow up with a spiritual and soothing core, which Marion attributes to the care she received while at St. Elizabeth’s. “We have fond feelings for that brick building”, says Alan of our beloved Epiphany Center.

Marion and Alan remain strong advocates for adoption. Alan adds, “it’s not for everybody, but it was our ticket to Heaven. I wouldn’t change a thing about it”. They feel blessed to have both of their adopted children, and to be on close terms with their daughter’s birth mother. Marion recalls how both parties were searching for each other at the exact same time when one day they got a phone call from the birth mother. Since then multiple trips have been made from coast to coast to unite the family. Their daughter now lives in Oregon where she’s bought a home with her husband, and enjoys bike riding and hiking. Marion and Alan, now retired from teaching, operate a charming little bed and breakfast lined with palm trees.

Stories like this are what inspire us at Epiphany Center!


From Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum, to St. Elizabeth’s Infant Hospital, to our Adolescent Program to our Recovery Program for Women today:

Epiphany Center has a 164 year legacy of serving and strengthening the most vulnerable families in the city of San Francisco.


This is a legacy that we celebrate especially this month, in August, our anniversary month. The city has undergone ample changes, but Epiphany Center’s mission remains the same. We continue to prioritize the needs of our community, and dedicate our mission to helping families gain the resources, skills and unconditional love they need to create a future filled with joy.

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Read more about our history!

The photos used above are stock images, and not the real people in this article.