Firefighters go on a lot of calls that change their lives. Most of them have to do with putting out burning fires and saving people’s lives—but one firefighter, Marc Hadden, saved someone’s life in a different way, and consequently changed his own.
It was November 14, 2011. “It was a normal slow day in November,” 47-year-old Hadden said. “We were sitting down to eat, hadn’t had a call all day.”
The no calls was probably just preparing them for the most intense call they’d ever receive. They finally received a call from a woman who complained that she was suffering from severe abdominal pain.
When they arrived, they discovered that the woman was in labor. And apparently, she had been in labor for quite a while—long enough where there was no time to get her to the hospital.
“It was a pretty serious call for us,” Hadden said. “We got her on some oxygen, started some IVs and literally as we were getting ready to leave the parking lot in the ambulance, my partner said, ‘We’re about to deliver a baby right here.’
“We had no time to prepare,” Hadden continued. “Before we could do anything — we hadn’t even cut her clothes — Gracie came right out. Immediately she was handed to me.”
But then she was handed off to a hospital so they could look after her. And two days later, after getting in touch with the hospital to see how the baby was doing, Hadden was told that woman, who he believes was homeless, was putting the newborn up for adoption.
It just so happens that Hadden and his wife had two children at the time and were trying for a third. They thought it sounded like the most amazing opportunity for their wish to be granted.
They decided to adopt the baby—who only then received her name as Grace (who now goes by Gracie). Just two days later, they were able to take her home.
“Sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming. Holy cow, this happened overnight, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Hadden said.
Five years later, and little Gracie is doing amazingly. “She takes gymnastics, she’s getting ready to start kindergarten next year at the school where my wife teaches. She’s a pretty remarkable kid,” Hadden said of his daughter.
The other two children, both boys who are now 12 and 14, couldn’t love their little sister more. “The boys absolutely love her and she loves them,” said Hadden.
But Hadden says his bond with Gracie is like no other. We’re tighter than thieves,” he says.
Perhaps it’s because Gracie is full aware of the entire story of how she became a part of the Hadden family—and is proud of it.
“If you ask her where she was born, she says, ‘My daddy delivered me in the back of an ambulance,’” Hadden explains. “She knows the whole story. I wanted her to know as soon as she was old enough to understand. I didn’t want it to be this huge surprise.”
To hear more on this incredible story, check out the video.