A South Carolina firefighter and his wife adopted a baby girl he helped deliver, according to People magazine.
Marc Hadden, a firefighter in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, recently told People that during a 2011 shift, he responded to a 911 call from a woman complaining of abdominal pain. He arrived in time to help the woman deliver a baby girl.
“She struggled from the minute she was put in my hands,” Hadden told People, adding that he administered emergency oxygen to help the baby breathe on her own. “It was amazing to hear her cry.”
Later that day, Hadden called his wife, Beth, and told her he had delivered a baby. The couple, the parents of two young boys, was looking to grow their family through adoption.
“Can we keep her?” Beth told People she joked to her husband.
But Marc, who had heard that the baby’s birth mother might not be able to raise the child, replied, “I think she might be going up for adoption.”
So Beth went to visit her at the hospital.
“My heart just went out to this woman,” Beth said. “I brought her a little prayer book and asked I could get anything for her.”
According to People, while the two women visited, a doctor came into the room to inform the new mother that they were ready to move forward with the adoption. She then confided in Beth that she felt she couldn’t give the baby “to someone I’ve never met.”
“Suddenly the opportunity was there for me to say that Marc and I had been praying about adoption for years,” Beth said. “And she looked over at me and said, ‘I want you to adopt my baby.’ She had the nurse bring her in and I was able to hold Gracie for the first time. I called Marc and said, ‘I think we just had a baby.'”
The couple signed temporary-custody papers that same day, and just 48 hours after her birth, they brought the baby home as her parents. They named her Rebecca Grace.
“She is what we prayed for,” Beth said. “It felt like winning the lottery.”
What does Gracie know today?
The couple said their daughter, who they call Gracie, knows how she came to be a part of their family in 2011.
“We told her pretty much from day one,” Marc Hadden said. “I’ve taken her to the back of the ambulance where she was born, so she knows — no doubt about it.”
They said Gracie tells people “my daddy delivered me in the back of an ambulance [and] helped me take my first breath.”
Marc said, “I’ve always wanted a daughter, and this is just amazing.”
Beth added, “Sometimes the best things in life happen in the blink of an eye — and you can’t let them pass you by.”