Six years ago, former firefighter Marc Hadden began his normal shift at work, but he was assigned to the medic unit that day instead of his regular duty station.
Then, he got a 911 call that changed his life.
It was a pregnant woman who was already in labor. The medics quickly got her on oxygen and IV drips.
Hadden ended up helping deliver the baby girl in the back of an ambulance.
“She was immediately handed to me,” Hadden told Today.
Several hours later, already into the next day, Hadden returned to the hospital to complete some paperwork and overheard the attending physician saying the baby would be put up for adoption. It seemed like the mother was homeless and felt unable to care for a child.
Hadden was half joking when he told the doctor he and his wife, Beth, would like to be considered for the adoption.
The Haddens already had two sons, but they had always wanted more children. However, they were unable to have more of their own.
They had discussed adoption before, but they could not afford it.
In fact, Hadden sent his wife a photo of the baby girl after the conversation, and gave her a call.
“She also jokingly asked if we could adopt the baby,” Hadden wrote. “I told her I was working on it.”
He and his wife met with the baby’s birth mother, and after some conversation…
The mother wanted the couple to have the baby.
“Long story short—we brought our little girl home 48 hours later,” Hadden wrote.
The baby was named Rebecca Grace Hadden, and she goes by her middle name.
“I never imagined having a little girl, but she has changed all of our lives forever. Gracie is the biggest blessing and fits in perfectly with our family,” Hadden wrote.
Now 5 years old, she takes gymnastics and is ready to start kindergarten next year at the school where Beth Hadden teaches. Her two older brothers are Parker, 12, and Will, 14.
If you ask Grace where she was born, she’ll say: “My daddy delivered me in the back of an ambulance.”
“Holy cow, this happened overnight, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Hadden said.
Hadden, who spent over 20 years in the police and fire service, left about a year ago in order to spend more time with his family. He still works as a volunteer firefighter from time to time.