Deanna Kellogg's Story
For Deanna Kellogg, an accounts receivable manager at C&S Wholesale Grocers, adoption has always had a special meaning. She herself was adopted as a child, and knows the sense of security that children feel when they’re part of a loving family.
“Adoption is one of the greatest gifts a family can give to a child,” says Deanna. “But it wasn’t until my husband David and I adopted our own child that I understood that adoption is a gift to parents, as well.”
Deanna and David could not have children, and in 2008 they turned to Wide Horizons for Children, an international adoption service. After intensive preparation (including questionnaires, interviews, classes, and a home assessment by a social worker) the Kellogg’s adoption application was approved.
“We were matched with a six-month old boy from Korea,” Deanna recalls. Next we had to apply for travel visas and get all the paperwork ready for when the call came that he was on his way. Then, when we did get the call one Monday morning, they told us he’d be on the plane that Friday--just five days later! Suddenly everything seemed to be happening so fast.”
It was love at first sight when Deanna and David were handed their new baby--whom they renamed Evan--at Boston’s Logan Airport. “He’s a great kid,” says Deanna. “And so smart! He knew his name within two days, and he was walking at eight months!”
Deanna and David both say that the support she got from her employer, C&S Wholesale Grocers, was crucial to the success of their adoption process.
“We could not have done this without C&S,” Deanna says. “ The company offers a $10,000 reimbursement benefit to employees who adopt children, to help with expenses such as travel and legal costs. That money was such a help to us.”
C&S also gave Deanna two weeks paid leave so that she could stay home those first days with Evan. Deanna added two weeks of saved-up, paid vacation time to allow herself a full month at home with her son. After that, David took a month of leave so that Evan would start off with two months of full-time parenting (something the adoption agency also requires.)
“I think it’s wonderful that C&S supports adoptive parents this way,” says Deanna. “We honestly could not have done it without their support. I’m so grateful to work for a company that cares.”
In fact, says Deanna, the experience of welcoming Evan into their family has been so rewarding that she and David decided to adopt a second child from Korea--a little girl this time. “She’ll be here in a few months, we hope. We can’t wait! Evan will have a baby sister.”