Each November, Monsanto’s Family Network publishes an employee story in honor of National Adoption Month. Below, Adoption Network member Anik shares his story of how part of his family was formed through adoption. This year, Monsanto was also recognized as 18th on the “100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces for 2015” by the Dave Thomas Foundation. Anik also shares his experience of work-life balance at Monsanto during adoption and some of the key highlights as to why he considers Monsanto to be one of the 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces.
When I was growing up, I had a couple of friends who were adopted. Because of their positive experiences, I always had a desire to raise an adopted child when I had a family of my own. I shared this dream with my wife, Lucilla, before we were married, and she supported the idea. So, we started praying for a special, adopted child.
About four years after we were married, a doctor determined that my wife would never be able to conceive, so we decided to stop our fertility treatments, which we had been undergoing for more than a year. Ironically, that same week, we had discovered that we would be blessed with a son, who we named “Jayanth” which means “victorious” in Sanskrit, since he was born against all odds. Although Jayanth brought much more “life” into our lives, we still did not stop praying for our special child, who we by now had decided had to be a girl.
When Jayanth turned two, we registered with an agency for our baby girl. We had many rounds of counseling, parent preparation workshops, home visits by social workers and paperwork in addition to a very long wait. During this time, we were also preparing Jayanth for his little sister. We had planned to call her “Ananya” which means “unique” in Sanskrit. Jayanth also started praying with us for his little sister. One day, he came to us and said that he had decided that he wanted his sister to be called “Anaya” and not “Ananya.” We laughed about it, and said, “We’ll see.”
Nearly two years later, we received the much awaited call from the agency explaining that they had matched us with a precious little girl and that we could come meet her before they proceeded with the paperwork. We fell in love with her instantly. Again, my son persisted that we name our daughter “Anaya.”
We arrived home happy and feeling blessed, and we decided to Google “Anaya.” The Google hit gave both of us goosebumps when we read that “Anaya” means “God answered” in Hebrew. We instantly decided that her name would indeed be “Anaya.” We had to wait another long week and a half until we brought her home on November 21, 2012. The joy that she brought along was and continues to be tremendous. We consider ourselves extremely lucky and blessed to be parents who have been able to adopt.
Adoption can be an emotionally stressful and painful journey. Our experience was made much easier thanks to the support I received from my manager and colleagues at the time. There were many times I had to take time off to attend adoption formalities such as social worker visits, court hearings, agency visits and counseling. It was my colleagues and team who helped make it less agonizing. When we brought Anaya home, not only was I able to take paternity leave, but I was encouraged to take time off to spend with the family and bond with her. Monsanto provides the same benefits to both our children, whether adopted or biological which other employers may not provide. It did not surprise me one bit when I heard that Monsanto has been recognized by the Dave Thomas Foundation as one of the “100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces for 2015” for those reasons.