‘The Force is Strong’ with Florence’s first baby in 2021

Anakyn Gene Strange was North Alabama Medical Center’s first baby of the year
Updated: Jan. 4, 2021 at 6:26 AM CST
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - Star Wars fans immediately know the reference when hearing the name Anakyn.

While it may not be spelled the same as it was in the series, Hope and Dusty Strange used the name on Florence’s first birth of 2021. Anakyn Gene Strange was born at 1:04 a.m. on January 1 at North Alabama Medical Center.

According to our news partners at the Times Daily, Anakyn was 5 pounds, 12 ounces and was 19 3/4 inches long with brown eyes and curly brown hair.

“There actually was a feeling of relief because 2020 was a horrible and challenging year,” she said. “It was the most pure way to start out the year.”

Given the challenges of COVID, Hope’s husband, Dusty, was the only one allowed in the delivery room.

“He held me and kept me calm through everything,” she said.

After Anakyn Gene was born, Hope said she and her husband spent most of the morning FaceTiming family and friends.

She said if everything goes as planned, Anakyn Gene will be welcomed to his Florence home sometime today.

Hope said Anakyn Gene will be under quarantine for at least two weeks before anyone else is allowed to see him in person.

So how did Hope and Dusty come up with the name?

His middle name, Gene, comes from Hope’s grandfather, who just so happened to pass out candy as a volunteer at Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital.

That hospital later closed and was replaced by North Alabama Medical Center.

“It just felt right having him here,” Hope said.

Anaykn comes from the “Star Wars” series. He later grew to become Darth Vader and was Luke Skywalker’s father.

But it has more of a meaning to the parents than just being big fans of the movie series.

Dusty’s mother was unaware she was pregnant, so when she went to her doctor for a procedure, he informed her that she had “a little Luke Skywalker” on the way.

“My Mom called me to remind me of that story,” Dusty said.

So when Anakyn Gene gets home, he has a hand-knitted Jedi robe with Yoda ears and a light saber attached waiting on him, Hope said.

“I feel very lucky and very blessed right now,” she said.

Read the full story from our news partners at the Times Daily.

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