Long Island's first baby of 2015 came into the world at 12:19 a.m. Thursday, bearing the name Josué Edgardo Jr. Morales Girón and the hopes of the family who had gathered for his birth.
"There is no better present God could have given me," said the baby's father, Josué Morales, 33, a construction worker from Uniondale, as Josué Jr. napped in the arms of his mother, Iris Girón Cruz, 28, at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola.
Josué Jr., red-faced and sleepy, with a full head of straight brown hair, weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces and measured 21.5 inches tall.
Doctors had expected him Dec. 25, when he would have joined the nearly 5,000 babies born at Winthrop during 2014, but Josué had other ideas. "Maybe he was waiting," said Cruz.
Cruz's brother, Homero Girón, had traveled from Massachusetts for the occasion and stood with the family in a small hospital meeting room; Morales' brother, Delmer Morales, waited as well, crying -- happily -- through a photo shoot.
For Josué Jr.'s parents, who hail from Honduras and have lived in the United States for a decade, the timing of the birth wasn't as important as the location.
"He can have a better life in this country," said Morales. "That's why we came here, to fight for a better life."
Morales said he wants his son to become "a professional" some day. For her part, Cruz said she wants her son to "live a good life."