'He's an American'

The first baby born on the new year to first-time parents Kim Tran and Khanh Phan, Brian Tran, born 34 seconds after midnight, Friday, January 1, 2010, is shown in his father's hands at North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville, Fla.

Erica Brough/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 12:12 a.m.

Just 34 minutes into the new year, Kim Tran and Khanh Phan had their first child - and Gainesville's first baby of the decade.

Tran said he named the child Brian because it was similar to the word bright, and he hoped the boy would be a ray of hope when circumstances are otherwise dark.

Tran, a Vietnamese refugee who has lived in the U.S. for about four years, beamed with a wide smile when talking of his child being born in his new home.

"He's an American," he said.

Born at North Florida Regional Medical Center, Brian weighed 5 pounds and was 19 inches long at birth. His mother entered the hospital's Women's Center on Thursday at about 7 a.m. and wasn't expecting, but was happy, to have the birth of the baby pushed into 2010.

"I love it," she said.

The couple both work as nail technicians, although they're employed at different shops - he at Hip Hop Nails on Northwest 13th Street and she at Grand Nails on Northwest Fourth Boulevard. They have lived in Gainesville about two years, moving here from Orlando.

They say they'd like to stay in Gainesville. Tran cites a reason familiar to many residents.

"We like Gainesville because we've got Tim Tebow," he said.

But Tran, 37, cited a connection unlike most residents: He shares a former home with the Gator quarterback. Tebow was born in the Philippines, where his parents do mission work.

Tran was born in Vietnam but said he moved to the Philippines when he was 16 as a refugee. He declined to discuss the circumstances.

He met his wife after moving to the U.S., where they both lived in the same Orlando subdivision - although they didn't realize it when they first met.

"Maybe God planned for us that way," Tran said.

The birth of their first child on the year's first day offers similar serendipity and hope for the future.

"We're a simple family with simple dreams," Tran said.

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