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Firefighter Rushes to Save Pregnant Woman, Ends Up Meeting His New Daughter

Marc Hadden and His Adopted Daughter Gracie

Marc Hadden, a firefighter from Myrtle Beach, North Carolina, always found his job extremely rewarding and fulfilling. To him, there was nothing more satisfying and meaningful than being able to save lives and make a difference in the world on a daily basis. However, nothing could have prepared Hadden for the moment he was forced to deliver a baby at an emergency scene. What he thought was an extremely stressful and life-threatening situation on the job actually turned out to be something that changed his and his family’s life forever. Read here to find out what exactly what happened that fateful day.

1. Devoted Husband, Father, and Firefighter

Marc Hadden derived much joy from dedicating his life to saving other lives as a firefighter in Myrtle Beach, North Carolina. Every day on the job brought with it another challenge, but there was nothing that would stand in Hadden’s way to fulfill his duty.

Marc Hadden the Firefighter

When Hadden wasn’t saving lives, he was fulfilling his other duty as a devoted husband to his wife Beth and a loving father to his sons Will and Parker. However, nothing could have prepared him for the emergency call he’d receive on November 14, 2011.

2. Just Another Day

November 14, 2011 was just like any other day – slow and ordinary without much action. Hadden and the other firefighters thought it’d be an uneventful day, until they received an emergency call just as they were sitting down to eat.



“It was just a somewhat normal call,” Hadden told WMBF News, or so he thought at the time. “Very quickly we realized that it was going to be a life changer for us,” he went on to say. However, Hadden had no idea that this particular call was going to be especially life-changing for him and his family.

3. Call of Duty

When the emergency call came in, the woman on the line complained that she was experiencing severe pain in her abdomen. With no time to waste, Hadden bolted to the emergency scene to see what he could do for the woman.

Myrtle Beach Fire Department

Myrtle Beach Fire Department

Emergency personnel are trained to help whoever is in need no matter the circumstances, so Hadden knew that when duty calls, there is absolutely no time to make calculations or transfer the call to another emergency service. Besides, fire departments are usually called to the scene of most medical emergencies along with ambulances.

4. No Time to Waste

When Hadden arrived on the scene he immediately noticed why the woman was experiencing severe abdominal pain. The pain she was feeling in the abdomen was actually labor pain and an increasing series of contractions, as she was about to give birth.

Myrtle Beach Fire Department

Myrtle Beach Fire Department

Time was slipping away fast, and Hadden and his fellow firefighters calculated that the woman was just minutes away from giving birth. They knew they had to act fast! The ideal solution was to rush her to the nearest hospital, but the question was whether they’d make it in time.

5. Think Quick

“It was a pretty serious call for us,” Hadden told People. He related the stressful scene exclaiming, “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.'”

Marc Hadden Firefighter

It was clear that they were not going to have enough time to get the woman to the hospital, which meant one thing and one thing only: Hadden and his partners were going to have to deliver the baby themselves.

6. The Moment of Truth

Hadden had to act very fast to save the woman and her baby. They had to cut her clothes off and deliver the baby before any complications ensued. A normal day at the “office” turned into an extraordinary struggle to save two lives.

Marc Hadden

He might have saved many lives, but Hadden didn’t have any experience delivering a baby. However, when thrown into the situation unexpectedly, he proved to be in the right place at the right time. He didn’t know it yet, but this was going to turn into one of the most pivotal moments of his life; one that would change his life forever.

7. It’s a Girl

Hadden went from caring for one patient to two when the baby girl was born and immediately handed to him, and this was when it all hit him. “She struggled from the minute she was put in my hands,” Hadden told People.

Marc Hadden Delivers a Baby at Emergency Scene

He administered the 6-pound, 2-oz. (2.8 kg) baby oxygen to help her breathe on her own. Just at the moment Hadden thought something had gone wrong, the baby let out her first cry. “It was amazing to hear her cry,” he reminisced to People.

8. What Now?

Just hours after delivering the baby girl, the mother and her child were at the hospital being cared for. The woman was already a single mother struggling to raise her teenage son alone, so she expressed her concern to the doctors.

gracie hadden

In fact, the mother made it quite clear that she wasn’t capable of raising her newborn baby, and would have to put her up for adoption through the system. When Hadden heard the doctors talking about this new development, something told him to call his wife.

9. Fatherly Instincts

Already a father of two, it broke Hadden’s heart to even imagine this child having to go through the adoption system which might not find her a loving home. He jokingly told the doctors that he would be her father.

Marc and Beth Hadden

Jokes aside, Hadden knew deep down that he wasn’t actually bluffing and decided to call Beth. As crazy as it sounded, the Haddens really wanted another child so badly, and this innocent baby girl seemed like the answer to their prayers.

10. “Can We Keep Her?”

Beth clearly remembers the moment when her husband called her to share that he had just delivered a baby. “He called me and he was ecstatic. I mean, he delivered a baby and who in the world gets to deliver a baby in their lifetime that’s not a doctor,” she told ABC News.

Marc and Beth Hadden

After Beth heard the news she jokingly replied, “Can we keep her?” That’s when Hadden told his wife that the sweet baby girl was going up for adoption because the mother couldn’t raise her daughter. When Beth heard these words she felt compelled to visit the woman at the hospital the next day.

11. Unexpected Timing

After Beth heard the news, she knew she had to jump at the opportunity. The Haddens dreamed of adopting a little girl for years. “Ever since we had the boys, we knew that we wanted more children, but I was preterm with them so we knew that it wasn’t possible to have any more babies,” Beth lamented to People.

March and Beth Hadden

Who would’ve thought that this emergency could possibly turn into the biggest miracle for the Haddens? “I will never forget that day. It was a day when a lot of things came full circle,” Hadden told CNN. Everything seemed like it was meant to be, but would the couple actually be able to adopt this baby girl?

12. A Special Visit

The next day Beth, who works at an elementary school as an instructional coach, went to visit the woman and her newborn baby at the hospital with a prayer book in hand. “My heart just went out to this woman,” she told People.

Maternity Ward Myrtle Beach, North Carolina

Beth wanted to help the woman in any way she could, but she didn’t realize just how much this woman was actually going to change her life. As the two woman conversed a bit, a doctor walked into the room to let the mother know everything was in place to move forward with the adoption.

13. A Heart to Heart

Just as the doctor told the woman her daughter could be given up for adoption, something switched in the woman’s face. It seemed as if she had finally realized what this all meant for her and the future of her child.

Marc and Beth Hadden

As soon as she heard the doctor announce the news, she turned to Beth and looked straight at her in the eyes. “I want you to adopt my baby. I can’t give my baby to someone I’ve never met,” the woman exclaimed. Then she asked the nurse to bring in the baby for Beth to meet.

14. Love at First Sight

As soon as Beth laid her eyes on the baby girl, she called her husband and joyfully proclaimed, “I think we just had a baby!” She knew that the opportunity they had been praying for years was finally within arm’s reach.

Love at First Sight - Beth Meets Her New Adopted Daughter

The fact that the Haddens had the birth mother’s blessing for the adoption meant everything to them, and besides, Marc had known he wanted to adopt the baby girl from the moment he heard she was being put up for adoption.

15. Rebecca Grace Hadden

Soon after Beth visited the hospital, the Haddens signed the temporary custody papers before they were at last able to bring their new baby girl home. They named her Rebecca Grace, but she goes by her middle name and the nickname Gracie for short.

Rebecca Grace "Gracie" Hadden

The first thing Beth said to Marc when they took Gracie home was, “Oh my gosh, we have to pay for a wedding.” She told People that it was her first thought because after having two boys, it felt different finally having a girl in the family.

16. A True Blessing

At the time when Marc Hadden delivered this precious baby into the world, he had no idea that just 48 hours later she’d be in his arms as his adopted daughter, and better yet, that a year later Beth and him would have full legal custody of Gracie.

Marc Hadden Embraces His New Adopted Daughter Gracie

Beth told People that even though they always wanted to adopt a girl, they decided to leave it in God’s hands. They believed if it was meant to be, it would happen. Well, their prayers were certainly answered and according to Beth, “It felt like winning the lottery.”

17. Paying It Forward

Hadden told CNN what it was like when they brought Gracie home saying, “To see my wife’s face light up when we brought Gracie home. I can’t even begin to tell you.” Well, it turns out Gracie also lit up of the faces of people in the community with this beautiful story.

Gracie Hadden

The family’s heartfelt story managed to touch the hearts of everyone in the community, so much so that the entire neighborhood decided to pay it forward and reached out to help the Haddens with their beautiful new addition to the family.

18. The Butterfly Effect

Hadden’s contractor Buddy Satterfield joined forces with the local community after the story went viral and paid to add an extension to their home for the new baby. They added a fourth bedroom to the house by building a partition to separate the dining room from the family room.

The proud father was so overwhelmed by the generosity saying, “I don’t know what we would have done because we have definitely outgrown our home. So we’re just truly blessed to have friends that will pull together for us like this.”

19. Father of the Year

Following Gracie’s birth, the Myrtle Beach Fire Department also awarded Hadden a Firefighter of the Year accolade on account of his courage at the scene of the emergency, and for giving little Gracie another chance at life by adopting her.

Marc Hadden and His Adopted Daughter Gracie

All these awards meant more than the world to Hadden, but he felt like his biggest reward was having the baby girl he and Beth always wanted. Gracie immediately became such a central figure of the Hadden household that Beth and Marc have recorded the beautiful moments of her growth and her connection with Will and Parker.

20. Broaching the Subject

Gracie might be a Hadden through and through, but Beth and Marc have never hid the truth about her adoption from their daughter. “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,” Mac told ABC News.

Marc and Beth Hadden

The Haddens never wanted to broach the subject as a sudden and huge surprise, so when Gracie was old enough to understand, they slowly introduced the topic. Marc said that it breaks his heart that he will still have to explain it in depth when she’s much older as she still doesn’t understand everything completely, but he said he’ll be there for her when the day arrives.

21. Gracie’s Take on Things

At just six years old, Gracie actually knows the whole story about her unusual birth and entrance into the world. If anyone asks her how she was born she says, “My daddy delivered me in the back of an ambulance and helped me take my first breath.”

Gracie Hadden

The Haddens never want Gracie to forget where she came from, so they make a point of discussing the whole story. They’ll just have to reinforce it at a later stage. This in no way changes the incredible bond Gracie shares with her parents.

22. A Daddy’s Girl

Gracie and her father share the most special father-daughter bond. Admittedly, she’s a total daddy’s girl and feels like she can tell Hadden everything, and he fully concurred telling People: “She is my best friend. We share an amazing bond.”

Grace and Marc Hadden - Unbreakable Bond

They share date nights at their favorite fast food chain restaurant, Chick-fil-A, and spend hours chatting and bonding during quality family time. Marc spoke of his amazing bond with Gracie during an interview with ABC News saying “We’re tighter than thieves.”

23. A Full Time Dad

Hadden retired from firefighting and decided to work on a volunteer basis, but his days are even fuller now that Gracie is in his life. “Every day I look forward to waking her up, getting her ready for school, then picking her up later on,” Hadden told CNN while beaming with pride.

Marc and Gracie Hadden Bonding

He emphasized that with Gracie in the family, he is living the best days of his life and that the entire family feel that way too. “She has contributed to all of our lives,” Hadden proclaimed. “She is part of our family and that is absolutely the way it is,” he told CNN. “We love her.”

24. A Day in the Life of Gracie

Gracie, who will turn seven-years-old in November 2018, absolutely loves playing soccer and practicing gymnastics while donning her bows and tutus. When she isn’t keeping herself active, Hadden takes her to a day care and she recently she started school where Beth teaches.

A Days in the Life of Gracie Hadden

The activity Gracie loves the most, however, is playing with her older brothers Will and Parker. Beth remarked to CNN that Gracie is in fact a “tough little joker because she has two big brothers who have trained her right.”

25. Sibling Love

Will and Parker couldn’t help but fall in love with Gracie from day one. Will, now 15 and Parker, 13, naturally took on the role as Gracie’s protective older brothers, which will definitely come in handy when she gets even older.

Gracie and Her Brothers Will and Parker

When Gracie had only just joined the family, her brother Will told CNN, “I just love her to pieces.” There was no denying just how cute the little girl was, and Gracie instantly fell in love with her brothers as well.

26. Family Vacation

The love between the family of five is palpable and contagious. They enjoy special family vacations together spending time outdoors and keeping active. Beth and Marc always knew they wanted a daughter, but they had no idea how amazing it would be.

Gracie Hadden

In fact, Marc and Beth told ABC News that they often pinch themselves over how lucky they are to have Gracie as their daughter. The thought of everything happening overnight is quite overwhelming, but they said they wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

27. Holiday Time

Christmas time is a very special time for the Haddens because it’s when Marc and Beth can reflect over just how blessed they are to have three beautiful and healthy children. They could never have envisaged raising their own daughter, but here they are six years later.

Christmas Time with the Haddens

Marc and Beth love spending as much time as possible with their children. To them, there is nothing more rewarding as parents than witnessing the bond their three children share. They also can’t wait to see what the future has in store when the kids grow older.

28. Like Mother, Like Daughter

Beth might not be Gracie’s biological mother, but she adores her just the same and loves when the two get the opportunity to do girly things together. Whether it’s watching Gracie practice gymnastics or painting their nails together, she feels blessed to be her mother.

Beth and Gracie Hadden

She often posts on Facebook about how much she loves being a mother to Gracie and how much adoption rocks. Her latest entry was a video of the two of them messing around together with the caption: “This kid cracks me up. That raspy voice and her confidence melt my heart. I pray that she will always have the confidence to be exactly who God created her to be.”

29. A Message to the World

Adoption isn’t always easy for families, but the Haddens knew they had made the right decision. Beth and Marc are always amazed at what a special person Gracie is and believe that she knows just how special she really is.

The Hadden Family

Beth’s own views on adoption are very clear and she expressed them to ABC News when she said quite clearly, “If even one child is placed in a family that is as loving and supportive as ours is, then that’s our message!”

30. Coming Full Circle

When people talk about the adoption with the Haddens, they often tell them what an incredible couple they are for saving Gracie’s life. The Haddens always respond to these compliments saying, “We didn’t save her, she saved us!” That’s the way they see it.

Picture Perfect Family - The Haddens

Hadden told WMBF News: “She’s ours and we love her. We are truly blessed, for sure!” Beth went on to say that sometimes things in life happen so quickly and unexpectedly that you just cannot let them pass you by. Gracie is the “thing” they just couldn’t let pass by!

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Sources: Daily Mail, People, Today, Mirror

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