Sadly, the baby will never know her sister Baylee Almon, a victim of the terrorist blast that ripped through Oklahoma City's Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995, killing 168 people. The 1-year-old girl became a symbol of the tragedy after a photo of firefighter Chris Fields cradling her body appeared on front pages around the globe. Aren is struck by the strong resemblance between Baylee and the newborn, Bella Almon Kok. "It's amazing," she says. "They look like twins."
Even before Bella's arrival, Aren, 25, was putting her life back together. Last April, Aren—who had never wed Baylee's father, from whom she split before Baylee's birth—married Stan Kok, 27, a communications specialist at Tinker Air Force Base, near Oklahoma City. And in December she and her mother, Debbie, opened Miss Baylee's, a small restaurant not far from the site of the explosion. "Starting the deli," Aren says, "has been good therapy."
But what buoyed her spirits even more was the arrival of 5-lb. 12-oz. Bella, born five weeks early. Bella headed straight to the intensive care unit but soon went home to the Koks' modest house in Midwest City, outside Oklahoma City. There she's the belle of the ball. "People used to point at Aren and say, 'There's that girl,' " says Stan. "Now they say, 'There's that baby.' "
A REN ALMON KOK HAS BROWN hair, as does her husband, Stan, so the first thing she noticed about the newborn girl she delivered on Jan. 28 was the infant's black hair. "You got that," she told the baby, "from your big sister."