In early November, Caren and Dustin Moore were basking in the glow of new parenthood as they flew home to California with their 8-day-old baby girl.
The flight “was a culmination of a lot of patience, prayer and waiting for our daughter,” Dustin, 33, said in an interview with Insider. The family was on a midday flight from Colorado, where Caren, 35, and Dustin had adopted their little girl.
Along with the glow of parenthood, though, the Moores had some uneasiness.
“Is there something about adopting a daughter that would modify peoples’ perception of us?” Dustin recalled wondering at the time.
Since 2010, they had unsuccessfully tried to have children. Worse, they were “one of the couples that never had answers for the problems we did,” Dustin said.
“Beyond not being able to have kids, which my wife and I wanted, we also had a lack of closure because we had no answers,” he said. “That wears on you, that sense of forlornness. We didn’t have the answers we needed to be at peace.”
As the couple warmed to the possibility of adoption, their views started to shift.
“It’s not important if our kids look like us,” Dustin said. “Most importantly, we want our kids to have our same beliefs, to be good people, and to be well-functioning members of the community they live in.”
“If they have a piece of our heart and soul, that’s what really matters the most to us,” he added.
Although they didn’t know it at the time, the family would soon have the hearts of the other passengers, too.