When one soldier was dispatched to the other side of the world, he kissed his wife and daughter goodbye. No doubt he was already looking forward to seeing them again in six months’ time. But after he returned to find his partner holding a new baby girl, he was completely overwhelmed.
Scott Cartwright lives in Adams County, Ohio, with his wife Elizabeth. The couple are parents to a little girl named Nora and the three of them appear every inch the perfect family. So, it was no doubt difficult for Scott when his work took him away from home.
The doting father is a sergeant in the Ohio National Guard. As a result, he can travel all over the world. And while Scott is no doubt proud to serve his country, it must be difficult being away from his family.
At the end of 2016, Scott said goodbye to Elizabeth and Nora and jetted out to Kuwait with his unit. On this mission, he was working with the 121st Refueling Wing. His was an important job and, as such, he would be away from home for six long months.
Scott’s absence was tough on all the Cartwright family. However, his wife was understanding and proud of her husband’s sacrifice. “He’s doing a really great thing serving his country,” Elizabeth told ABC 6 in April 2017.
But, with that said, Elizabeth was still excited for Scott to come home. So, on that day in April 2017 she took Nora to greet her dad at John Glenn International Airport in Columbus, OH. However, she wasn’t the only daughter Scott would have waiting for him.
When his unit landed back in the U.S., Scott walked through arrivals to find Elizabeth holding a little baby girl. The guardsman had never seen the infant before, but he couldn’t have been happier to meet her. That’s because she was his second-born daughter.
When Scott had left for Kuwait, Elizabeth was heavily pregnant. In fact, she gave birth to their second little girl, Jacqueline Eloise, just two months after her husband traveled abroad. As a result, she was four months old before he finally got to meet her.
And that moment was utterly magical for all those who witnessed it. Still dressed in his uniform, Scott marched right up to his wife and children in the airport and proudly looked down at his new baby. Later, the dad-of-two admitted the experience was slightly surreal.
“I don’t even have good words for it,” he told ABC News. “I love Nora, my first one, more than anything. Honestly, when I was over there, in my head I was like, ‘How could I possibly love somebody else as much as I love Nora?’”
“I was worried about this,” Scott admitted. “I was talking to my team about this. But when I got to hold [Jacqueline] for the first time – and her and her mother have the exact same eyes – I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. I see now.’”
“I have never been overwhelmed at any point in my life until I got back and saw Elizabeth holding Jacs,” he added. “I had tunnel vision, and I couldn’t see. Probably maybe a dozen people from my civilian job came there, and a dozen people from my church came there, and I was there for ten minutes before I even noticed any of them.”
The moment Scott met Jacqueline for the first time was made even more special due to the fact she was kind of a miracle baby. The couple adopted their first child Nora. And they never believed they could conceive a child themselves.
“We didn’t think we were able to have kids of our own,” Elizabeth said. “We adopted Nora when she was seven months old and finalized her adoption in July, and he left right after that. It was right after Nora’s first birthday that we found out we were pregnant.”
During his time in Kuwait, Scott’s only interaction with Jacqueline was over Skype. But, thanks to this technology, he was able to witness her birth despite the fact he was on the other side of the world at the time.
“We had clearance to have him on Skype at the hospital,” Elizabeth revealed in her interview with ABC News. “He called my tablet while we were there, and my mom was in the delivery room holding up the tablet.”
Scott credited his wife with keeping things together at home while he was away. “What I did was easy compared to what Elizabeth and my girls went through,” he said. “I had one thing to do over there. That’s all I had to do. She’s been alone with Nora and my new girl Jacs.”
But, finally, the dad got to hold his new daughter in his arms. Now, he had to get used to the fact he was a father of two. So, there was bound to be some adjustment time while Scott eased himself back into life with his family of four.
Luckily, Scott was looking forward to some well-earned time off before returning to his civilian work as a wildlife officer. “We’ll have some vacation time and just enjoy each other,” Elizabeth said. “We have nothing big planned, because where can you go with a newborn?”
However, for Scott it didn’t matter where he was, as long as he was with his children. “I’m just spending as much time with them as I can,” he said. “I’ve got eight or nine months’ worth of a honey-do list.”