Parenthood
Man chooses to hold stranger’s baby in waiting room unaware his every move is being watched intently
Little did he know he was being watched so closely.
Sasha Alonzo
09.14.22

When it comes to caring for a baby, parents everywhere know that it means giving up your arms so that you can cradle them. Forget about other tasks because if the baby needs you, those arms are now theirs. As you can imagine it makes simple tasks ten times more difficult.

Moms get it done

Many moms figure out how to clean house with a baby in a carrier strapped to their front side. Or safely prep dinner with a sleepy baby nestled in a sling.

No matter the task at hand, moms find a way to get it done.

Flickr/Lisa Paul
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Flickr/Lisa Paul

A visit at the doctor

Jade West of Florence, Alabama, walked into a doctor’s office one day with her beautiful baby boy Jayce Billings cradled in her arm, his tiny little cheek pressed against her shoulder and his soft baby’s breath blowing on her neck.

The problem

When she approached the front desk and checked in, she was handed a clipboard with papers to fill out. Jade made her way to an empty chair, sat down, readjusted her baby boy on her shoulder, then realized she had no way to safely balance him and complete the forms.

Flickr/Dave Crosby
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Flickr/Dave Crosby

She didn’t want to wake him up and have a fussy little baby on her hands. What on earth could she do?

A man had his eyes on her

Two chairs away sat a total stranger who was watching Jade’s every move. Joe Hale, a grandpa to seven kiddos, saw the new mom struggling a bit.

Flickr/cchana
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Flickr/cchana

Offering support

But in today’s day and age, he wasn’t sure if he should approach her. He decided to go ahead and offer to lend a helping hand and boy was Jade grateful.

Joe said he would be more than happy to hold Jade’s beautiful sweet baby so she could fill out the papers. Jade eagerly complied.

YouTube/Good Morning Ameria
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YouTube/Good Morning Ameria

Grandpa Joe draped the baby over his shoulder, one baby arm laying on Joe’s other shoulder and the other tucked down his side. Joe cradled the baby’s head in his big hand and patted his backside to soothe him.

A natural

The peaceful look on Joe’s face as he lavishes attention on the baby is clearly evident in a photo snapped by Natasha Wilson of Florence, Alabama, who happened to be sitting in the same waiting room.

YouTube/Good Morning America
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YouTube/Good Morning America

Joe hummed and rocked the baby until he was called back for his appointment. He begrudgingly handed the baby back to his mom, not fulfilled with his baby fix just yet.

“This gentleman from across the room spoke up and said, ‘Ma’am, would you like for me to hold that baby for you while you do that?’ The mother smiled with relief and answered, ‘That would be wonderful!’ This was something I had never witnessed in my life. I have seven of my own children and people just don’t normally offer help anymore to someone they don’t know.”

Facebook/Natasha Crittenden Wilson
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Facebook/Natasha Crittenden Wilson

An angel named grandpa Joe

Natasha shared the photo on Facebook where it went viral. It originally was shared almost half a million times in just a few short days.

Jade told Good Morning America that she couldn’t thank Grandpa Joe enough for his helping hand.

“I felt relieved and appreciated at the fact that he wanted to help, he seemed really genuine. He talked about how he never stops being a ‘paw paw’ and how he loved kids and just about my baby in general! He was literally just loving on him and talking to him as if he was his own grandchild and had known him his whole life. He was just the sweetest.”

YouTube/Good Morning America
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YouTube/Good Morning America

Extremely grateful

The young mother couldn’t get over how much love Grandpa Joe showed her son, a baby he’d never met. She was beyond grateful!

“For a stranger, a white man at that, asking a young black mother if he could hold her baby to help her out, then the way he loved on that baby like it was his own, it almost puts me to tears every time I think about the love you could see radiate from him for that baby.”

YouTube/Good Morning America
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YouTube/Good Morning America

Jade wanted people everywhere to understand that kindness comes in all shapes and colors, something Grandpa Joe provided to the world with this viral photo.

I want people to know that, yes, everyone is different; yes, we all have our own opinions and ways of doing things. But when you come across a person with a genuine spirit of caring like the one that I encountered that day, all judgments and prejudices are immediately departed from.”

YouTube/Good Morning America
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YouTube/Good Morning America

Joe’s generosity and kindness to a complete stranger will have a lasting impact on Jade, she said.

YouTube/Good Morning America
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YouTube/Good Morning America
You can see just how sweet grandpa Joe is with the little one in the video below. It may have seemed like a small thing but to this mama it meant the world.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Sasha Alonzo
hi@sbly.com
Sasha Alonzo is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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