Published March 2011
By The Cradle Staff
Meet the Abbeduto Family
Dennis Abbeduto, proud father of one-year-old Vincent, will tell you that while adopting a child is wonderful, it is also financially and emotionally taxing. Since 2006, Dennis has been a senior scientist at Alberto Culver, a leading manufacturer of hair care and skin care products with well-known brands such as Alberto VO5, Nexxus, Noxzema and St. Ives.
While Dennis and his wife Jenny were preparing to adopt a baby through The Cradle’s domestic program, Dennis approached his employer for help. Along with other management, he was able to successfully petition the company to begin offering benefits to employees who form their families through adoption.
The Alberto Culver USA, Inc. Adoption Assistance Program was made official on January 1, 2009, providing a $5,000 cash benefit to full-time employees who finalize an adoption during their time with Alberto Culver. Dennis and Jenny are very grateful for this support.
The couple had a similarly fruitful experience with The Cradle.
“The Cradle was probably the third agency that we contacted,” Dennis said. “We finally came here and it looked like it was exactly what we needed. It’s been a positive experience pretty much from day one.”
Dennis, Jenny and Vincent live in Bolingbrook and attend the First Presbyterian Church of DuPage. On the day Vincent came home with his new family, the couple’s pastor was present for the baby’s entrustment ceremony in the chapel of the hospital.
“It was obviously pretty emotional,” Dennis said. “Vincent’s birthmother was there, along with her mother, father and brother.” Dennis added that he himself was adopted from Colombia, so he and his wife had discussed the possibility of adoption when they decided to start a family. A few things, however, have surprised the couple along the way.
“One of the unexpected parts of this adoption has been how strongly we have embraced this openness through the amount of contact and open dialogue that we’ve had with the birthmother,” he said. “That has been really great, I think.” The Abbedutos invite Vincent’s birthmother to parties and other occasions either at their house or their church. They also connect regularly on Facebook.
Many forces came together to create the Abbeduto family, and they could not be happier. “Vincent is a very calm and happy baby,” Dennis observed. “This process has been, again, pretty awesome.”
To recognize Chicago area companies, like Alberto Culver, that provide adoption benefits to their employees, the Silver Cradle Award was created in 2003. Last year, Alberto Culver applied for and was selected to receive a 2010 Silver Cradle Award. Recipient companies are recognized each year at The Cradle Ball, typically held in late September.