LEWISTON — Christmas isn’t over yet for Katie Rooney.

On Jan. 6, the 26-year-old Lewiston woman is due to deliver twins, a boy named Ethan and a girl named Evelyn. She’s hoping their dad, Army reservist John Rooney, will be there, too.

“He’s going to be a really, really good dad,” Rooney said last week, sitting on her couch with her hands tucked below her belly. “He’s very patient with kids.”

If only she can be patient for him. Since June, Spc. Rooney has been in Iraq, serving with the Auburn-based 619th Transportation Company. He is due to come home immediately after the holidays on a two-week leave. If all goes according to schedule, he’ll be there to see his children enter the world.

“I can’t wait to see his face,” Katie said, imagining him at her side. “I want him to be with me.”

For a few short days, the couple hopes to be a united family before John returns to the war, to a city Katie cannot pronounce and a job she’d rather not understand.

“It’s almost too much,” she said. “Before this year, I knew nothing about the military.” Though the longtime friends were already a couple when John enlisted in the reserves, they married on June 24, only days before John shipped out.

Since then, Katie has tried to navigate a web of military
benefits and has moved the family to a bigger apartment with room for her, John, her son Elijah, and the new babies.

“He’s coming home to a place he’s never seen before,” she said.

It will be as inviting as Katie can make it.

She plans to keep her Christmas tree up in a corner of the new living room until they can exchange presents face to face. On Christmas morning, she opened some presents with Elijah. But the couple’s stacks of presents sat untouched.

The biggest gifts are due to arrive a few days later, via cesarean section. Unlike Christmas, their arrival cannot be postponed.

“I’ll do what I can,” Katie said. She and the children are healthy, but they may not be able to wait.

“It’s nerve-wracking,” she said. “I want everything to be perfect.”

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Katie Rooney of Lewiston holds a Christmas stocking over her husband’s cutout photo by their tree. Rooney is expecting twins. Her husband, John Rooney, is serving in Iraq with the Army Reserves and will come home on leave for the birth, at which time they will celebrate Christmas.

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