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On-time poppa
Sergeant home just in time for child's birth
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Sgt. Jose Mojica comforts baby Josephine, who was born early on Fathers Day just hours after he arrived home from Afghanistan. Stacy Mojica holds the couples oldest daughter, Mia. - photo by Randy C.Murray

Every child’s birth is a miracle, but the coincidences surrounding the births of a local couple’s children cause them to believe they’re extra blessed.

As soon as Sgt. Jose Mojica, 385th Military Police Battalion, returned from Afghanistan on Saturday evening, his wife Stacy went into labor and delivered their second daughter just in time for Father’s Day.

Surprisingly, synchronizing his arrival just as his wife was about to deliver also occurred 18 months earlier when the sergeant returned from Korea only moments before their first daughter, Mia Bella Mojica, was born. They now say it wasn’t unusual for little sister Josephine Antoinia Mojica to wait for her father to get home to be born.

“I was already in labor with Mia when his plane landed,” Stacy Mojica said as she cuddled Josephine in her arms. “Jose got to the hospital literally as I was starting to deliver.”

As Stacy Mojica talked, Mia climbed next to her mother. She didn’t seem to know what to think about the new little bundle, who required so much of her mama’s attention.

Waleska Mojica, Jose’s mother, took Mia in her arms and whispered something to her as they walked into the kitchen.

Jose and Stacy smiled at each other, apparently proud of both daughters and glad his mother was there to help.

Jose Mojica said the Army had allowed him to come home from Korea and Afghanistan for the births, but he didn’t think the new baby would be born so soon after he returned. Stacy wasn’t due until June 20.

“This time, my plane land at around 6:30 (p.m.), and we got home (from Savannah) around 7:30,” he said. “We had dinner first. I think it was around 8:30 that she started having contractions. I wanted to take her to the hospital right then, but she didn’t want to get there too early and have to wait.”

Stacy said they even stopped at a store en route to the hospital, but as they were standing in line at the check-out, she realized the time between contractions was getting less. She was ready.

“We got to the hospital around 11:45,” she said, almost laughing. “Josephine was born at 12:07.”

Originally from Puerto Rico, the sergeant is a communications specialist with seven years in the Army. Stacy, who is originally from New York, met him on a plane to Korea. He was headed to a short overseas assignment.

“I went to Korea to teach English after college, and we met on the plane,” she said. “He gave me his email address on a tiny strip of paper. I almost immediately lost it, but I later found it and, well, it was completely fate.”

Jose Mojica said the support the Army gives family members is just one of the reasons he plans to stay in.

Stacy Mojica is active with the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce and the local representative of Real Diaper Association, a group that promotes the use of cloth diapers to protect the environment and save money.

She also owns My Cute Genes, a handmade-to-order, cloth-diaper online shop. She said one of the more popular custom-made cloth diapers she makes is an Army combat uniform diaper. Jose Mojica said he particularly liked the diapers she made for Mia with the Puerto Rican flag on the bottom.

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