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Hospital welcomes first baby of 2022

FORT KENT, Maine — Northern Maine Medical Center welcomed the first baby of the New Year on Jan. 2, 2022. 

Amelia Lynn Hafford became one of the newest residents of the St. John Valley over the first weekend of 2022. Her parents, Amber Bunnell and Justin Hafford of Fort Kent, welcomed their 7-pound, 11-ounce baby girl at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Little Amelia joins four older siblings — Justin Jr., age 15; Logan, age 11; and Jaxson-Ryan, age 5; and Amelia’s only sister to date, Delilah, age 2 1/2. 

The tradition of the New Year’s baby dates back to ancient Greece. The first baby symbolizes optimism and hope for the future. Today, hospitals and communities around the world mark the occasion of the special arrival with gifts and celebrations. 

In Fort Kent, the tradition at NMMC is to collect gifts from the community to present in a basket to the family of the first baby born in the New Year. A formal presentation of this year’s basket will take place later this week.

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