Traveling with an infant probably can be a difficult task. But father Rubin Swift didn’t expect to be stopped at the airport along with his newborn baby girl Ru-Andria. The 43-year-old Cleveland, Ohio, father packed up his bags and headed south to rescue his little baby and take her home.
He visited his daughter for the first time at University Medical Center. There he met NICU volunteer Joy Ringhofer, who was at the age of 78 at the time. Baby Ru-Andria had been transferred to the NICU after birth for a couple of days as a precautionary measure.
Recently widowed, Joy recognized that Rubin was a doting dad although he had been thrust into a surprising situation. He has three children from a prior marriage and 4 stepchildren.
For some reason, Joy felt compelled to jot down her phone number and give it to Rubin, shocking him. She also offered him a ride on the day on which he was about to leave. But unfortunately, Robin wasn’t allowed to fly with Ru-Andria because they wanted proof of her age. But it would take a week or more for documentation.
Robin was confused and nervous. Therefore he decided to be at the airport until he receives her birth certificate.
“I was out of money and the hospital told me that I wouldn’t be able to get a birth certificate for seven days. I was worried that if security saw me sleeping at the airport with a newborn, they’d take her away from me and charge me with neglect. I was stuck”
“When he called me from the airport and told me that they weren’t going to let him fly until he could get a birth certificate in four days, I felt panicked … I didn’t want him to sleep at the airport. I was scared because it looked like we were out of options.”
Rubin contacted Joy, the NICU volunteer who kindly gave him a ride to the airport and showed him nothing but compassion. “I told him, ‘I’m going to take you home with me,’ so wait right there. There are a lot of dangers out there, but there’s a lot of good, too. I’d enjoyed talking to Rubin at the hospital and helping him with the baby. He was polite and kind and I could tell that he had a good heart.”
“I’m black and she is white. I’m a stranger who grew up in the projects in the Bronx and she’s a great-grandmother who recently lost her husband. She knew very little about me, and yet, she took me in. The color wasn’t an issue to her. She showed me that in this crazy world, there is still compassion.”
“Miss Joy was like an angel and she’d really bonded with Ru-Andria. Whenever my daughter heard her voice, her face would light up. As soon as she took us in, I knew we’d be friends for life.”
Finally, when the birth certificate was ready, he couldn’t wait to fly and see his wife. But he was missing Joy equally the one who helped him in his stressful circumstances.