The baby's birth mother said she couldn't care for the baby and asked Marc Hadden's wife if she could adopt her.
When Marc Hadden received a 911 call, little did he realize that he was going to meet his daughter for the very first time. Hadden is a firefighter but on that particular day, he wasn't responding to a fire-related call. Marc Hadden, like other firefighters, knew part of the job was detaching from the people they had rescued. Their busy lives meant they moved on, and very rarely do they follow up on the people they have rescued. Marc Hadden works with the fire department in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and on November 14, 2011, he received a rather unusual call, reported PEOPLE. He was assigned to respond to a woman complaining of abdominal pain and he ended up delivering the baby.
“She struggled from the minute she was put in my hands,” said Marc, recalling the moment during an interview with PEOPLE. He proceeded to give the baby emergency oxygen within seconds of her being born, to help her breathe on her own. “It was amazing to hear her cry,” said Marc. Along with the baby, the woman was taken to the hospital where she said she couldn't care for the baby. Marc and his wife had two children and wanted a third but were having trouble conceiving. The couple had already been pondering about adopting a baby and that's when Hadden attended to the woman's 911 call. Marc wanted to adopt the baby he had just helped deliver. He spoke to his wife and she was just as excited about the prospect of adopting the baby.
Within two days of being born, they adopted her and named her Rebecca Grace. His wife Beth recalled the day he called her with news from work. “I delivered a baby,” said Hadden, and Beth's first reaction was, “Can we keep her?” She had only been kidding and that's when Hadden told her that the birth mother couldn't care for the baby and wanted to give it up for adoption. “I think she might be going up for adoption,” Hadden informed her. The very next day, Beth visited the mother and spoke to her. “My heart just went out to this woman,” said Beth. “I brought her a little prayer book and asked if I could get anything for her.”
The women were talking when a doctor entered the room and said they were ready to proceed with the adoption. The birth mom told Beth, "I can’t give my baby to someone I’ve never met." She then told Beth. “I want you to adopt my baby.” The nurse brought the baby in and Beth held her for the very first time. “She is what we prayed for. It felt like winning the lottery,” said Beth. The couple has been open with Grace about her adoption. "I’ve taken her to the back of the ambulance where she was born, so she knows!” said Hadden.
Hadden opened up about his close bond with his daughter in an exclusive interview with Upworthy. "My daughter and I have an amazing bond because of the way she came into our lives. She knows the whole story and loves to tell her friends that she is a celebrity!" said Hadden. He said that delivering his daughter while on duty will always be the highlight of his career. "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," added Hadden. "I feel so honored to have been there at that time."Grace loves to tell everyone about her birth story, “My daddy delivered me in the back of an ambulance [and] helped me take my first breath. She really enjoys wearing bows, tutus, and practicing gymnastics. Gracie and the boys are like typical siblings. They have a love-hate relationship but are very protective of each other!" said Hadden.
Gracie loves sports and is involved with karate just like her brothers. Both are black belts. Looking back, Hadden and Beth still can't get over how it happened. “I’ve always wanted a daughter, and this is just amazing,” said Hadden. That unusual 911 call changed Beth and Marc's life forever but they are forever grateful. “Sometimes the best things in life happen in the blink of an eye — and you can’t let them pass you by,” said Beth.