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Three dads and two growing families make life’s moments count

It’s Father’s Day, which means we wanted to turn the spotlight on our employee dads.  We invited two of our hard-working dads to share what the day means to them and what it was like using our parental leave policy for their big life moment!

Two dads, one baby. Making life’s moments count.

by Joe Sena, Associate Marketing Counsel

If you’ve ever had major surgery, or know someone who has, it can change you.  For me, it hit home in a big way–that life is shorter than we think. My partner, Chris, and I were together for 14 years when we decided to get married and start a family.

In 2016, we began the adoption process. While it often takes a lot of time the stars aligned quickly and within a few months we finalized our contract with a mother set to deliver a baby girl in three weeks.

Twelve hours after we signed the agreement, the phone rings with the news. The birth mother is in labor early! Chris is at the store buying paint for our daughter’s nursery, and I call him immediately:

Forget the paint, time for the baby!

 

Then we meet her.

Without giving it a second thought I run to hold her first, surprising both of us. Chris has experience with younger siblings, nieces and nephews, but I’m an only child, and was nervous thinking about what to do with an infant.

She has this beautiful red hair that runs in her family, and the name Quinn seemed to fit perfectly. Her middle name, Sioux, pays tribute our mothers, who are both named Susan, while still giving our daughter some individuality.

It’s great to be a new dad, and Quinn is a model baby, a complete pleasure and joy. I’ve learned how adaptable I can be, and I have come to deeply appreciate the power of music to both cheer and soothe a baby.

Over the years when we had talked about adoption, Chris and I had been concerned about these first weeks, when we really need to be here to adjust to the baby and help her adjust to us.

I’m incredibly grateful to Campbell, not only for covering $5,000 of our adoption expenses, but also for instituting our new parental leave policy that gives me 10 weeks, plus two weeks of paid time off, home with our daughter.

Because even at this early stage, I’m realizing the days go by really quickly and babies grow up fast. I finally appreciate the advice I’ve heard from other parents:

Enjoy, live in the moment, and make the most of your time with your child.

Embracing the joys and unexpected challenges of building a family 

By: Norbert Ranjith, Development Operations Engineer

When I moved to the U.S. with my wife, Suganiya, we didn’t know anyone.

We had our first son, Nidarshan, within six months of moving here. As new parents, it was tough living in a new place, without a support system. We waited five years to have our second child. Nidhruvi is 3 now and he brings us lots of love but we are excited for him to get a little older and stop scribbling all over our walls.

By the way, the Terrible Twos are a lie! It’s really the Terrible Two through Fours.

That brings us to our third child; who was unexpected. Niranjan was born this past December, making him just 6 months old. He is a joy and we cherish him every single day. We love having children and I am trying to convince Suganiya to have another but she just glares at me when I try to bring it up.

Having a family is a blessing but it takes a lot of work.

Would I say I’m great at balancing work and home life? No. But I am lucky to have my wife stay home with our children and take great care of our family. She is our rock. We are able to lean in and support each other, which is the most important part of balancing your family and work lives.

I’m also lucky to work for an employer who believes in the importance of taking the time to be with the newest addition to your family, whether it’s your first or your third (or more if you’re up for the challenge!).

I didn’t work for Campbell when we had our first two children but I am able to take advantage of our parental leave policy with Niranjan. I’m splitting my leave time, using it when it makes the most sense for my family. I took a few weeks when he was born and will take a few more later this year, helping my wife during some of the busier times when she needs it most.

Being a Dad is a blessing but it can be tough too.

For new Dads, I know how scary it can be, starting this new chapter of your life. Just know, your world will change for the better once you become a Dad and it is going to be an amazing experience. And it’s been fun bringing a new child to our family. For the Dads getting ready to add to their family, just know it will be easier than you think!

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads, whether you are a new Dad, soon-to-be Dad or an experienced Dad.

Being a Dad is truly the greatest gift.

 

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