The little girl now tells people how “my daddy delivered me in the back of an ambulance [and] helped me take my first breath."
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on December 17, 2021. It has since been updated.
Firefighter Marc Hadden and his wife, Beth, were parents to two beautiful boys, and longed for a little girl to add to their family. Unfortunately, due to complications during her previous pregnancies, Beth was unable to bear any more kids of her own, so they were forced to look at adoption—a tedious and expensive process. Hadden, a firefighter by profession, knew that when the time was right, they would be able to find someone to take in as their own child.
"We had prayed about it for so long," he said. "We wanted to adopt because we were unable to have more kids. We always dreamed of adopting a little girl."
But on November 14, 2011, when he got an emergency call about a woman experiencing abdominal pain, he had no idea his dream of expanding his family was about to turn into a reality. When he arrived at the site of emergency, he realized that the woman was going into labor, according to PEOPLE.
The firefighter and his team soon realized time was running out, so they acted quickly and helped deliver a beautiful baby girl in the back of an ambulance. "We went from caring for one patient to two: the woman and the baby," said Hadden, according to CNN.
However, he soon realized that the infant had trouble breathing on her own. “She struggled from the minute she was put in my hands,” he recalled. Emergency oxygen was administered to get the 6-lb. 2-oz. infant to breathe on her own. Hours after she was born, the birth mother said she would be unable to keep and raise her because she was struggling to take care of her then-teenage son.
Hadden immediately called his wife to tell her what had happened. He said, "I delivered a baby." Beth immediately asked him, "Can we keep her?" That's when the man told his wife that she may be up for adoption, given the woman's situation. When Beth heard her story, she felt like she owed the woman a visit to the hospital.
“My heart just went out to this woman,” says Beth. “I brought her a little prayer book and asked I could get anything for her.” While the two women were talking, the doctor came in and informed them that they were ready to put the baby up for adoption. That's when the birth mother said that she would be unable to give her daughter up to someone she'd never met before.
“Suddenly the opportunity was there for me to say that Marc and I had been praying about adoption for years,” she recalls. “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 [the baby] for the first time. I called Marc and said, ‘I think we just had a baby.'”
By the end of the day, the couple signed all the papers, and within 48 hours of her birth, she had a place to call home. Hadden and his wife lovingly named her Rebecca Grace Hadden. “She is what we prayed for,” says Beth. “It felt like winning the lottery.”
"To see my wife's face light up when we brought Gracie home. I can't even begin to tell you. ..." Gracie's proud parents have always made it a point to make sure she remembers where she's come from. “We told her pretty much from day one,” says Hadden. “I’ve taken her to the back of the ambulance where she was born, so she knows — no doubt about it.”
She even tells people how “my daddy delivered me in the back of an ambulance [and] helped me take my first breath." Even though it's been a decade since Gracie came home, Hadden and Beth pinch themselves every day just to remind them that they are the luckiest people in the world to have a beautiful daughter.
As Beth said, “Sometimes the best things in life happen in the blink of an eye — and you can’t let them pass you by.”
Cover Image Source: YouTube | Inside Edition (Firefighter Shows His 5-Year-Old Adopted Daughter Ambulance Where She Was Born)