Meet the Whites: Engineering a Modern FamilyApril 19, 2018
GE Additive engineer Jack White and his wife, Jayne, will celebrate their 34th wedding anniversary next month. Both come from large families. So, after having three biological children, their family still felt incomplete, so they began exploring options.
When they saw a social services billboard on adoption in Northeast Ohio in 1995, it was destiny. Two siblings in foster care needed a forever home, and the White family grew to five children.
Shortly after, the Whites moved to Iowa, where they became licensed foster parents. Soon, they were asked to provide foster care for three more siblings whose parents had been repeatedly in trouble with the law. Historically, the children stayed with a foster family for a few months and were returned, but not this time. Having already fallen in love and not wanting to create another painful disruption in the children’s lives, their family grew by three more to eight children.
In June 2015, Jack’s sister and her four children were in a terrible car crash. His sister was killed instantly. Two of the children were badly injured and required the air ambulance support. The other two children only received light bruises and scratches. Adding to the tragedy, their father had died of a heart attack the previous year.
After negotiating with his brothers and sisters, who all volunteered to take the children, Jack and Jayne took legal custody of the younger three while their older sister started college. It has been a difficult time for all of them, but they adapted and adjusted well to living in a new state with new schools and making new friends.
Jack joined GE Additive in July 2017 after consulting with GE engineers as they designed the 3D-printed LEAP fuel nozzle. When a position at GE Additive opened up, he joined as a permanent member of the engineering team.
During his new employee orientation, Jack learned about GE’s Adoption Assistance Program, which provides eligible employees with reimbursement for up to $10,000 of eligible domestic and international legal adoption-related expenses per child under the age of 18.
“I'm grateful that GE provides reimbursement of adoption related expenses, making this process easier to undertake,” he explained.
Last month, the Whites finalized the legal adoption of Eva, Milo and Isaiah. Including the newest members’ older sister, Jack and Jayne now have 12 children. Jack and Jayne’s house is filled with joy and laughter, with seven of their 12 children still living at home, and the pitter patter of their grandchildren’s feet.
“Many families looking to adopt feel that they need to look outside their country,” explains White. “However, due in part to the opioid epidemic, there are a great number of children in U.S. foster care who need loving permanent homes,” added Jack.