For nearly three years, Claims Admin Support Specialist Charles and his wife, Claims Support Specialist Susie, found themselves on the adoption roller coaster. During that time, they were matched as potential parents more than once, yet somehow that match always fell through. Charles compares the adoption process to running with the bulls in Spain. “Adoption is tougher,” he says. As they were just about to take a break from the matching process, they received a call from their agent: they’d been chosen as potential parents to a baby girl. Charles and Susie were ecstatic.
A heart for adoption
1 in 35 children in the United States are adopted with over 50,000 children being adopted every year according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Growing up, Susie had a friend who was adopted, and she decided at a young age that she wanted to adopt one day. As for Charles, he just wanted to be a dad and didn’t care much about how he became one. He was open to the possibility of adopting children. When Charles and Susie were ready to grow their family, they felt called to pursue the journey of doing so through adoption. And what a journey it was.
There are many decisions involved in adopting: Will one adopt domestically or internationally? Will the adoption be open or closed? Charles and Susie opted to adopt domestically using the private adoption method. The process lasted just shy of three years. In that time, they submitted two background checks and participated in home studies as well as home inspections to make sure their home was safe enough for a baby should they be chosen as adoptive parents.
In addition, there was the added stress of budgeting to afford all the fees associated with adopting—general, home study, agency, and more. Luckily for Charles and Susie, Progressive offers employee benefits in the way of financial reimbursements to help with some of their adoption expenses.
Progressive offers a wealth of benefits that range from financial to health, to time off and work life balance. Charles and Susie were able to utilize Progressive’s family resources, specifically the Adoption Assistance program. This benefit offers reimbursement for adoption expenses up to $10,000 per employee, per lifetime, and if you have a spouse who’s also a Progressive employee—as Charles and Susie are—both are individually eligible, giving them a total limit of $20,000. Learn more about Progressive’s employee benefits.
As Charles held his daughter in his arms for the first time it was love at first sight. Susie knew right away that Emma was meant to be her daughter. Emma’s brothers Jerold and Elijah were equally thrilled to have a baby sister.
Emma is home with her family and fitting in seamlessly. She’s beginning to crawl and is doing what Charles calls a Smeagol crawl where she uses her arms and drags her legs behind her. She loves their dog Oreo, loves to eat, and can’t get enough of her brothers. Charles and Susie chose careers at Progressive because of the adoption benefits and because their family's core values align with Progressive’s drive to give back. They are thankful for the ability to expand their family through adoption with Progressive’s help.