From left, Chris Witt '88 holds son Eric, and Nicole '90 holds daughter Breanna, while the family poodle Lily looks on.
Nicole Witt '90 is one of the lucky few who can say she wakes up every morning and can't wait to go to work.
It wasn't always that way for her, however. After graduating from Lehigh, Witt worked for Andersen Consulting for four years before earning her M.B.A. at Cornell. She then went into brand management for Warner Lambert (now Pfizer) and Eastman Kodak Company for several years.
"Although I enjoyed my work, it was never emotionally fulfilling," she says.
After recently relocating to Florida with her husband, Chris Witt '88, whom she met on campus at a Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity party, Nicole decided it was time to make a long
overdue change. So she took the opportunity to start a new venture that was close to her heart and launched The Adoption Consultancy
In her role as executive director of The Adoption Consultancy, Nicole works exclusively with and for pre-adoptive families and provides them with the education, information, and resources they need to safely and legally adopt a newborn within three to 12 months -- something that most people don't even know is possible.
"The Adoption Consultancy charges a fee to our clients so that we can be a dedicated and unbiased resource for them," she says. "Working for The Adoption Consultancy, I now jump out of bed in the mornings with excitement and joy in my heart -- a feeling I never want to go away."
So how does someone go from working in the corporate world to helping people with their adoptions? In 1999, Witt and her husband received some preliminary indication of the "infertility journey" they would soon encounter. Around this time, Nicole started volunteering with adoption professionals and found she was able to guide friends quickly and successfully through the adoption process.
"I also discovered that this was by far the most rewarding endeavor I had ever undertaken," she says. "I knew in fairly short order that I had to make this my life's work."
Chris and Nicole ultimately had two children as a result of fertility treatments. They have a three-year-old daughter, Breanna, and a one-year-old son, Eric. "They were both conceived on the same day and the embryos were frozen, so although they were born 19 months apart, they are fraternal twins," she says.
Witt's fertility treatments were a leading factor in why she is doing the work she enjoys today. "Having experienced the indescribable joy of parenting, we understand that it is really the ultimate goal -- not the conception or the pregnancy," she says. "We've decided that if we choose to have any more children, we will adopt."
At Lehigh, Witt says, she learned how to interact with people from different backgrounds in her various community activities, learned strong communication and coaching skills from her T.A. positions, and gained leadership skills from her involvement with the Student Senate -- tools that have been invaluable in her business today.
Chris Witt, a manager for a commercial construction company, Skanska USA, says people can learn from the experience that he and Nicole lived.
"I just want people who are currently struggling to build their families to know that, one way or another, their dreams can come true," he says. "There are resources available to help everyone who wants to be a parent."
For more information, you can e-mail Nicole Witt at Nicole@theadoptionconsultancy.com
Lehigh Alumni Bulletin