Today’s guest blog is by Greg Reiff
My wife and I had been trying to get pregnant for almost four years. There were no real reasons for us being unable to get pregnant. We were even trying any means to get pregnant outside of in-vitro fertilization. It just costs so much and only has a 10-20 percent success rate. We were getting very frustrated and spent many days crying over our dilemma.
About Christmastime, 2006, after months of tests and retests at a local hospital for my wife, Krista, and me – and seeing numerous friends and family announce their pregnancies – we became very distraught over the infertility process as a whole.
My wife lovingly shared with me that she was starting to feel like adoption was our only hope for a family, and that she really wanted to be a mom. I still thought that if we just kept trying, we would eventually be able to conceive a child.
In the summer of 2007, my employer, QCCI, began looking at ways to move its culture toward supporting even more types of families. At that time, I received literature from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption about Adoption-Friendly Workplaces and I began the process of seeing how other companies created their adoption benefits policies. After deliberating with our leadership team, QCCI decided that it would start offering adoption benefits in January of 2008.
In early 2008, we also learned that my wife’s employer was looking at the possibility of moving from a “pension-like” retirement plan to a 401K plan. The process was going to take about six to 12 months to take place. It was pretty odd to see how God was opening doors without even me knowing it. Looking back now, it had to be a God thing because He had not even told me yet that this is what He wanted us to do.
My wife really began talking more about the idea of adoption around Christmastime. She looked for more information about how to adopt as well as the financial side of it and different agencies that could help us. We also knew a couple from one of our small groups at church who had recently completed an adoption from Russia and encouraged us to seek the Lord during the process.
As we started the process, we decided early on that we would like to have an open adoption, and preferred our first child to be a newborn or a toddler up to age 2. We thought that fostering-to-adopt after going through the grieving process of infertility would just be too tough for us. We completed our home study, many counseling sessions, and all of the paperwork that goes along with adopting. It was a totally new experience as we worked toward distancing ourselves from infertility.
We also had scrapbooked our “life story” so that a prospective birthmother could choose us. I remember thinking about the whole paperwork and background process, “if parents who had biological children would have to do this before getting pregnant then I have feeling that they would never have a child.”
We were exhausted from all of the paperwork and background checks leading up to finally being eligible to be chosen as adoptive parents. Different scenarios would come across email about whether or not to allow our profiles/scrapbooks to be shown to different birthparents. We said no a couple of times and remember having to pray about the situation that eventually brought our daughter’s birthmother to us. We almost said no, but finally said yes, and we were chosen by the birthmother to parent her yet-to-be-born child.
Our birthmother chose to meet with us only a few times before Brianna was born. We would later learn that my aunt personally worked with the birthmother’s grandmother and hoped to steer her toward us because she knew us. It didn’t matter though. She ended up choosing us without any of her direction. It is funny how God works that way.
In late January of 2009, our daughter was born and it has been crazy even since. About five months later, we learned we were pregnant and our second daughter, Kiley, arrived in February, 2010. Twelve-and-a-half months separate the two of them and we wouldn’t trade it for the world. We continue to stay in touch with our daughter’s birth mom and her two other girls (one born before Brianna and one born after Kiley was born). We only hope that our relationship with her continues through the years for our daughter’s need for answers as she grows up.
I don’t think that any of this would have been possible without the financial opportunities provided by our employers. With the help of QCCI’s generous adoption benefits, and the adoption tax credit, almost every penny of the adoption was covered.
Greg is director of human resources at Quality Custom Cabinetry, Inc. The adoption benefits offered by QCCI has helped it make the Foundation’s Top 100 Adoption-Friendly Workplaces list for five consecutive years.