“She is what we prayed for. It felt like winning the lottery," his wife said
Marc Hadden, a firefighter, had saved many lives with the department in Myrtle beach but on November 14, 2011 he found himself delivering a baby for the very first time after a woman called 911, complaining of experiencing intense abdominal pain. Hadden would have never imagined that barely 48 hours later he would be bringing home to the newborn as his own daughter.
“She struggled from the minute she was put in my hands,” the father recalled. He had to administer emergency oxygen to help get the 6-lb. 2-oz. infant to breathe on her own. “It was amazing to hear her cry," he added. Marc and his wife, Beth, already had two young boys, Will and Parker. They always wanted a third child, specifically a daughter, but because of complications with their first two pregnancies, they were forced to take the long and expensive route of adoption. So hours later when the birth mother made it clear that she couldn't look after her daughter, Marc was the first to raise his hand to take her in as his own, reported PEOPLE.
Beth recalled getting a phone call from Marc that day where he told her “I delivered a baby" to which she jokingly replied, “Can we keep her?”. He then told her that the baby might actually be going up for adoption. When Beth heard that the birth mother was a single mom already struggling to raise a teenage son, she decided to go and meet the woman. “My heart just went out to this woman. I brought her a little prayer book and asked I could get anything for her," she said. As the two women talked, the doctor let the mother know that they were ready to move forward with the adoption. The mother then shared her concerns with beth, saying, "I can’t give my baby to someone I’ve never met," reported PEOPLE.
Beth realized at the time that her prayers for having another child, specifically a daughter, had just been answered. “Suddenly the opportunity was there for me to say that Marc and I had been praying about adoption for years. 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 Gracie for the first time. I called Marc and said, ‘I think we just had a baby," she recalled. By the end of that day, the couple signed temporary custody papers and just 48 hours after her birth, they had brought her home. “She is what we prayed for. It felt like winning the lottery," Beth explained.
The baby girl, who they named Rebecca Grace, has since been an important part of their family. Her parents made sure she remembers where she came from. “We told her pretty much from day one. I’ve taken her to the back of the ambulance where she was born, so she knows — no doubt about it," Mark explained before adding that she even tells people how “my daddy delivered me in the back of an ambulance [and] helped me take my first breath." Marc and Beth shared that they often pinch themselves over how lucky they are to have Grace in their lives. “I’ve always wanted a daughter, and this is just amazing,” Mark said, while Beth added, “Sometimes the best things in life happen in the blink of an eye — and you can’t let them pass you by," reported PEOPLE.