A single phone call changed first responder Marc Hadden’s life forever.
Hadden, a firefighter, EMT, and police officer in Surfside Beach, California, was sitting down to eat dinner with his wife and two sons, when he was pulled away to respond to a 911 call. At this point in his career, he’d responded to hundreds of calls. But this call would be far different than all the others.
Marc’s wife Beth, a full-time instructional coach at a local elementary school and part-time health and fitness coach, tells Babble:
“We had just sat down to dinner and got the call for a woman with abdominal pains. This call was not actually supposed to be one for our station. It was rerouted to us through two other ambulances. We responded to a woman with abdominal pain and the woman said she was not pregnant. Marc, having two biological children, knew the symptoms and said he thought the woman was in labor. They loaded her into the ambulance and right about then, the baby girl was born. Marc helped her take her first breaths on the way to the hospital.”
The next day, Beth, a woman of faith and compassion, went to the hospital to offer support to the mom and baby. Beth tells Babble that she just wanted to see if there was anything she could do to help. Due to private circumstances, the mother felt that she was unable to care for her newborn.
One of the hospital doctors brought up the possibility of placing the baby for adoption, and Beth revealed that she and her husband had been praying for years about adopting a baby. In fact, since Beth was a young child, she had told her own parents that she wanted to adopt. It was then that the baby’s mom looked at Beth and said, “I want you to have my baby.”
Beth was completely shocked. The mom asked for the baby girl to be brought to the room so Beth could feed her a bottle. After that, Beth called Marc and said, “I think we just had a baby!” By the next day, the Haddens were granted temporary custody of the little girl they named Rebecca Grace.
Beth shares, “We had less than 24 hours to prepare for Gracie to come home. Our church, work, and community rallied around us to help us prepare. Gracie has touched so many lives and continues to this very day. God continues to reveal his handiwork in the whole thing long before we even knew the plan.”
Since Gracie’s birth six years ago, the Hadden’s story continues to inspire. Beth said, “We will continue to share our story and to share how very special adoption is just as long as people are open to hearing it. She is joy and brings it to so many.”
When asked what others need to know and understand about adoption, Beth says, “Love comes in many forms. Adoption is something to be proud of and shouldn’t be hidden from a child and a child made to feel as though it is taboo. Gracie knows that many people love her and that is special.”
As a mom by adoption to four children, I understand Beth and Marc’s sentiments. Many adoption stories involve surprises of epic proportions. Choosing to adopt a child is not a “second best” option, but rather a family-building opportunity that often astounds and reminds us that miracles can happen “in the blink of an eye” according to Beth.
We received “the call” (as we call it in the adoption community) for two of our children after they were already born with the social workers telling us, “You’ve been chosen! Come get your baby.” Then in Home Alone fashion, we frantically packed and dashed to our car to go meet our new children.
Today, Gracie is 6, and her two older brothers are 13 and 15. According to Beth, “Life with three is busy! We are always on the go with sports and kids’ activities. We are all about family time and wouldn’t have it any other way. Gracie keeps us on our toes and keeps us living in the moment.”
And isn’t that what parenting is all about?