On November 14, 2011, a firefighter in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, responded to a call that would end up changing his life forever.
Firefighter Marc Hadden had saved dozens of lives as a firefighter and police officer, but on that fateful day, he delivered a baby for the very first time.
A woman called 911 complaining of severe abdominal pain, but it turned out to be more serious when he got to the scene—the woman was about to give birth.
“She struggled from the minute she was put in my hands,” recalled Marc.
Just seconds after the baby came out, he administered oxygen to help the 6-lb. 2-oz. newborn breathe on her own.
Marc said hearing her cry was “amazing.” At the time, he never imagined he would be taking the baby girl home just 48 hours later as her father.
Marc and his wife, Beth, already had two boys named Will and Parker. They had been trying so long for a third child, but they had trouble conceiving. The couple had already been contemplating adopting a baby when Marc responded to that call.
At the hospital, the infant’s mother revealed she couldn’t care for her newborn baby girl. At that moment, Marc felt the need to volunteer himself to be her dad.
Beth remembers getting a phone call from Marc that day. He told her, “I delivered a baby.” She jokingly responded, “Can we keep her?”
“I think she might be going up for adoption,” Marc said.
When Beth learned that the birth mother was a single mom already struggling to raise her teenage son, she felt compelled to visit her the following day at the hospital.
“My heart just went out to this woman,” Beth recalled. “I brought her a little prayer book and asked I could get anything for her.”
As the women talked, a doctor walked in to let the mom know they were ready to proceed with the adoption. It was then that she turned to Beth and said, “I can’t give my 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.”
The birth mother had the nurse bring the baby in, and that’s when Beth held the infant for the first time. She called Marc and said, “I think we just had a baby.”
Beth said the girl, who they named Rebecca Grace, was exactly what they had prayed for.
By the end of that day, Marc and Beth had signed temporary-custody papers. A mere 48 hours after her birth, they brought Gracie home.
The couple always made sure that Gracie remembered where she came from. They’ve told her everything from day one, and Marc has even taken her to the back of the ambulance where she was delivered so that she knows.
As for Gracie, she loves telling everyone about her birth story, telling her friends that she is a “celebrity.”
“My daddy delivered me in the back of an ambulance [and] helped me take my first breath,” she’ll say.
“Being able to help her take her first breath is the most incredible thing I’ve been a part of in 28 years as a police officer and 16 years as a firefighter,” Marc said of Gracie’s birth. “I feel so honored to have been there at that time.”
Gracie loves wearing tutus and bows. She’s also into sports and loves practicing gymnastics and karate with her brothers. Like typical siblings, she has a love-hate relationship with them, but Marc said the trio are very protective of each other.
“Sometimes the best things in life happen in the blink of an eye — and you can’t let them pass you by,” Beth said.
That’s exactly what the couple did, and their lives were changed forever!
Watch this family’s heartwarming adoption story in the video below.
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