Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Case in point: Army Sergeant Francois Clerfe was given permission to leave his Iraq station in order to be home for the birth of his first child—and his trip home turned out to be quite a journey! He took a total of 10 flights on seven different planes before touching down in California.
All in all, the trip was 8,000 miles and took eight days to complete. He left on Dec. 23 and landed back in California on Dec. 31, making stops in Kuwait, Turkey and Germany before ever landing in the United States.
Despite having a due date of Jan. 9, his wife went into labor shortly after the soon-to-be dad landed. A baby girl, named Julia, was born on the morning of Jan. 1, meaning Clerfe had made it just in the nick of time!
“I am very grateful that she waited for me as well as grateful to those who played a part in making this possible,” Clerfe told Today after his daughter arrived.
Although, the couple didn’t seem too worried about him making it in time: “I had the feeling that he would make it because he really wanted to be here, next to us,” the new mom, Natalia Svistunova, told KSBW-8 News.
The thrill of the journey was “exciting,” the Army Sergeant told KSBW-8 News.
“It was fun and exciting at the same time, you know the thrill of thinking the ‘what-ifs,’” he said.
Can you imagine?! We’re just relieved Clerfe managed to make it back to California before his daughter was born.
Baby Julia’s birth was definitely a cause for celebration—in more ways than one. Not only did she manage to wait until her dad had landed to make her debut, but she was also the first baby born in 2018 at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.
The hospital posted the exciting news to their Facebook page, writing, “Community Hospital welcomes its first baby of the new year—Julia Clerfe, 7 pounds, 2 ounces. Mom Natalia Svistunova had Julia at 9:53 a.m. today, New Year’s Day. Dad Francois Clerfe, a sergeant in the Army, arrived from Kuwait after taking 7 flights, making 10 connections, and traveling more than 8,000 miles to get here on time.”
What a way to ring in the New Year, huh? Congratulations to the happy family, and here’s to hoping 2018 is an incredible year for them. It’s already off to an amazing start!