Becoming a parent for the first time comes with all sorts of excitement and anxiety from that very first breath. There’s a reason new parents are expected to take those first few days, if not weeks or even months, taking it easy and becoming accustomed to this new life. But that isn’t always an option.
Dustin and Caren Moore adopted their new baby girl in Colorado, but that meant they had to fly back with her to California only eight days after she was born. Flying with a small child is always a harrowing prospect, but an infant? That’s in a class of its own.
Fortunately, the kindness of strangers made this journey one the Moores would never forget.
Dustin took to Twitter last week to share their unique and heartwarming adventure with the world.
“It’s been a difficult week,” he admitted. “But, rather than publicly air my grievances, I’d like to share w/ you the kindness strangers offered us the day we brought our daughter home.”
Not too long ago, my wife and I boarded a @SouthwestAir flight with our recently adopted infant daughter.— Dustin Moore, MS, RD (@theamericanrd) February 9, 2020
W/ clearance to return home to California, my wife carried our precious bundle, while I offered numerous apologies to passengers while maneuvering the aisle with 4 bags. /2
“Not too long ago, my wife and I boarded a @SouthwesternAir flight with our recently adopted infant daughter. W/ clearance to return home to California, my wife carried our precious bundle, while I offered numerous apologies to passengers while maneuvering the aisle w/ 4 bags.”
As one might expect, the Moores had to take a diaper change break partway through the flight.
Dustin said that a thoughtful flight attendant named Jenny made space for them to attend to their newborn. And after complimenting the parents on the latest addition to their family, Jenny and another passenger politely asked why they were flying with such a young baby.
After a change, Jenny and another passenger complimented my beautiful daughter and politely asked what had prompted a flight with such a young infant.— Dustin Moore, MS, RD (@theamericanrd) February 9, 2020
I gave them the shortened adoption story, to which they hastily offered congratulations, and shared a few more kind remarks. /4
“I gave them the shortened adoption story, to which they hastily offered congratulations, and shared a few more kind remarks,” he wrote.
But that was only the beginning.
Another flight attendant, Bobby, came by and offered his congratulations. Only a few minutes later, Bobby made an announcement over the intercom, welcoming a very special guest — the Moores’ daughter.
Then, we heard the intercom. The attendant Bobby came on and announced a special guest on the flight. Our daughter. “She’s just been adopted by her parents Caren and Dustin, and is making her way home.”— Dustin Moore, MS, RD (@theamericanrd) February 9, 2020
The entire cabin erupted in cheers and applause. /6
The thoughtful flight crew wanted to make sure this new family had something by which to remember their first trip together.
Bobby told the passengers that they would be passing around napkins and pens so that anyone who wanted to share a note to the new parents could do so.
“We sat in speechless gratitude, as people kept peeking over their chairs to congratulate us,” Dustin said.
The crew gathered the napkins, then read a few of their favorites over the intercom.— Dustin Moore, MS, RD (@theamericanrd) February 9, 2020
“Rub each other’s feet, and rub the baby’s feet.”
“Make time for date night.”
“Always tell her you love her.”
“Enjoy every minute. It goes by sooo very fast.”
“Drink lots of wine!” /8
It turns out these flight attendants were passing along a kindness that had once been shown to them.
Bobby and Jenny passed the napkins filled with well-wishes on to the new parents, along with a set of pilot wings for their baby girl. And they shared their own story with the grateful passengers.
“We learned that they were married, and that someone had done a similar act for them on their honeymoon flight,” Dustin shared. “When I had spoken w/ Jenny, she thought it was a perfect opportunity to pay forward the kind act they had been shown on their honeymoon.”
When I had spoken w/ Jenny, she thought it was a perfect opportunity to pay forward the kind act they had been shown on their honeymoon.— Dustin Moore, MS, RD (@theamericanrd) February 9, 2020
Even as we disembarked, people kept approaching us and wishing us well, and complimenting our beautiful daughter. Our hearts were full. /10
As the Moores embarked on this new journey of parenthood, this gift of kindness from the flight attendants and the passengers meant more to them than they could have known.
“What all of those perfect strangers and attendants did not know, was the emotionally tender state of two brand-new parents,” Dustin wrote. “Parents who after 9 years of trying had been blessed with their first child. Parents who felt scared, but determined in their new role.”
The outpouring of love from that flight, brought on by the actions of two thoughtfully observant flight attendants... it exceeds my ability to describe what it meant to us. How much those wings and written notes uplifted two new parents determined to love their new daughter. /12— Dustin Moore, MS, RD (@theamericanrd) February 9, 2020
He continued: “The outpouring of love from that flight, brought on by the actions of two thoughtfully observant flight attendants… it exceeds my ability to describe what it meant to us.”
Thank you all for the love you've shown us 💗. We only wish we could sit down with each of you, tell you the rest of the story, and hear yours. Maybe another time...— Dustin Moore, MS, RD (@theamericanrd) February 11, 2020
He finished his story with perfect advice for everyone:
“In a world of turmoil, don’t forget to showcase the Bobby’s and Jenny’s, the kind strangers out there. And if they don’t cross your path, be one. Seek good, or create it.”