Adoption is an increasingly necessary form of childcare in the United States. In 2016, almost 118,000 children were waiting for a new family to adopt them. This figure has been increasing year-on-year since 2012, where the number of children was around 102,000. Although the majority of children in the States live with their birth parents, many couples are unable to have children. Around a third of people across the nation have considered bringing a child into their lives through adoption, although no more than a few percent have actually gone through with it.
The rising population does nothing to help with the problem affecting many children looking to be adopted. The number of kids in need of care is exceeding the amount of people willing to adopt, and that’s only making matters worse. However, despite all these children in need of homes, people looking to adopt still struggle to get the go ahead. Many prospective parents get turned down or have to wait years for things to work out.
Marc Hadden understands how stressful the adoption process can be. He’s been involved with it himself, and the lack of progress he and his wife made when trying started to bring them down. Luckily, on one fateful day, his whole life was turned around. Had the child he’d been in search of for years finally found their way to him?
Man of the hour
Marc Hadden never had a reason to feel bad about his life. With his wife Beth, he has two beautiful sons that have brought him immense happiness. Not only is his home life happy, but he also saves people for a living. His work as a firefighter in South Carolina means that Marc sometimes has to leap to the rescue to protect people in emergency situations. It’s a very demanding job, and one that comes with its share of stresses, but he wouldn’t give it up for the world. His work can help to put a smile on people’s faces. Despite all this, though, there’s something that Marc felt he was missing from life for a long time.
Growing the family
Two kids never felt like enough for Marc and Beth. They loved their boys, Will and Parker, unconditionally, but they were ready to add a new child into the mix. What’s more, with two sons in the family already, they were hoping to have a daughter. With Marc’s job, they were certainly capable of having another child. They weren’t struggling with money and had more than enough love to give to a new baby. Bringing a little girl into their happy family unit would make them feel like their home was finally complete. However, wanting things is never enough. Just because they were ready for another child, didn’t mean they could have one.
Neither of Beth’s previous two pregnancies were easy. Both Will and Parker were born prematurely, something which thankfully hasn’t affected their development growing up. When the Haddens decided they wanted to have another baby, the possibility was turned down incredibly quickly. Doctors informed the couple that they could no longer have children naturally, something that devastated them both. They were so desperate to bring a new addition to the family that they couldn’t just give up. If Beth couldn’t conceive, though, what was their next step?
The only way forward seemed to be to have a child through adoption. Neither Marc nor Beth had any qualms about this. However, it wasn’t the easiest route to go down. The adoption process can take months, if not years, and it doesn’t come cheap. Even if the family could afford to feed another mouth, they didn’t want to use up all their savings just trying to get the child. Nevertheless, they started up proceedings. Even if it cost a lot of money, having another child would be worth it.
On November 14th, 2011, Marc received a call that would essentially change everything for him and his family. It appeared on the surface to be a simple 911 call from a woman suffering from abdominal pains, but when he arrived on the scene, he was stunned by what he saw. The woman wasn’t just struggling with a bit of pain. She was heavily pregnant and going into labor. Marc had to act fast to keep the woman and her baby safe, which meant doing something he’d never have anticipated.
Delivering a child
His main responsibility may have been to put out fires, but on this day, it was Marc’s duty to deliver a child. There was no time to get the woman to the hospital, because her baby was already on the way. In the back of the ambulance, he talked her through the birth, helped to keep her calm, and, most importantly, safely brought the baby into the world. Marc couldn’t quite believe what he’d just done, but he was glad to help. Was this a sign?
Caring for the newborn
Before Marc could rest, he had to make sure that the child was coping alright. He gave her emergency oxygen so that she could breathe without help and enjoyed holding the precious baby in his arms. She only weighed 6lbs and was unbelievably perfect, even as she cried. Marc felt elated, but also emotional. Seeing the child and acknowledging what he’d just done made him realize even more how much he wanted to have another baby. Could he do anything to speed up the adoption process?
Once she was at the hospital and in good condition, the mother thanked Marc for all that he’d done. Being in that situation was terrifying, and neither of them wanted to go through it away from the hospital. However, Marc had stood up to the plate when it was necessary, and for that, she was incredibly grateful. Despite her appreciation, though, something was eating away at her. She had a confession to make, one that would have a huge impact on her guardian angel.
Too much to handle
Having a baby was not something this mother was prepared for. She already had a teenage son that she was struggling to look after, and the prospect of another mouth to feed terrified her. She was going to put the child up for adoption, in the hopes that a loving family would be able to provide for her daughter the way she’d never be able to. Marc couldn’t believe what he was hearing. It was like everything was falling in to place. Could he and Beth become this child’s parents?
Breaking the news
Marc wasted no time in telling his wife what had just happened on his shift. He called her up and informed her that he’d just helped deliver a baby, to which Beth was taken aback. During the call, she jokingly asked if they could keep the child. She wasn’t expecting her husband to reply with the revelation that the baby was going to be put up for adoption. Just as it had with Marc, things started to click in her head. Was this what they’d been waiting for?
Desperate to turn this dream into a reality, Beth decided to visit the mother in the hospital the following day. She felt for the woman, especially after discovering that she was already struggling to look after one child. As an instructional coach at a school, Beth cared about helping people. She wanted to do what she could to help her, especially if it showed her in a good light as a potential adoptive mother. The woman appreciated Beth’s company, and showed signs of warming to her. It was now or never.
What to do?
During their conversation, a doctor informed the young mother that they were ready to continue with the adoption plans. She knew she had to give her baby up, but she didn’t feel comfortable about handing her over to people she’d never met. Even if she wasn’t in a position to look after the child, that didn’t mean she didn’t care about her. Many mothers who decide to go through with adoption find it hard to let go of their newborn, and she was no different. What could she do?
Fighting her corner
Beth knew this was her chance to take action. If she didn’t make her case now, she might never have the opportunity again. So, Beth told the woman all about the heartbreak she and Marc had gone through with trying for another child. They’d prayed for a new baby for years, but to no luck. Her story was compelling and struck a chord with the young mother. With everything seeming to go in Beth’s favor, was her dream about to come true?
A mother’s decision
After hearing Beth’s story and seeing how much she wanted a child, the mother knew that she and Marc were the right parents for her baby. She told her that she wanted them to adopt her child and asked the nurse to bring her in for Beth to hold. Although she was overwhelmed, she gladly accepted the newborn into her arms. Everything had finally come together. She couldn’t wait to call Marc and give him the good news – they were new parents once again.
Bringing her home
Marc was overjoyed by the development and wasted no time in moving things forward. Before the day was over, the couple had filled out temporary-custody papers which would soon become permanent. Not much later, just two days after Marc had helped bring the child, Rebecca Grace, into the world, the couple took her home. The years of feeling like they’d been missing a piece of themselves were finally behind them. Their family was complete, and many happy years were waiting ahead.
One big family
It’s been over six years now since Rebecca Grace, known to her parents as Gracie, came home from the hospital with her new parents. She’s fit into the dynamic perfectly, and everyone loves her. Marc and Beth are glad to have a daughter alongside their two sons and couldn’t be happier with how things turned out. Beth herself said that having Gracie in their lives feels “like winning the lottery,” and they wouldn’t change her for anything. They’ve never forgotten what brought their daughter to them either.
Since day one, Marc and Beth have never lied to Gracie about where she came from. Even though she’s adopted, they want her to know she’s as loved and wanted as Will and Parker. They feel it’s important for her to understand the truth about where she came from, especially given the extraordinary story behind her birth. They can’t expect to teach her to grow up being honest if they aren’t truthful with her about her birth mother. Gracie isn’t sad though. She loves hearing about how she was born
Back to where things started
Marc has since taken his daughter back to see the ambulance in which she was born. She may only be six years old, but she’s interested in her history. It’s natural for a child to be curious. While her parents might have worried that Gracie would be upset about being adopted, she enjoys telling people about the day she was born. She’s proud of who she is and where she comes from. Plus, she knows that being adopted shows how much her parents truly love her.
Taking after her brothers
Having a new sister in the family might have been hard for Will and Parker (who were nine and seven at the time) to deal with, but they took it in their stride. They’ve enjoyed having a new sibling, and have even been role models for little Gracie. Beth refers to her daughter as a “tough little joker” because of the influence that her older brothers have had on her. Just because they’ve had a positive effect doesn’t mean that everything they’ve been teaching her has been good, though.
What Marc and Beth have been through shows that when life is getting you down, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. For years, they didn’t think their dream of having another child would come true, but now they have Gracie and are happier than ever. Their daughter, who loves wearing tutus and doing gymnastics, has a home with a family who loves her unconditionally. That’s all you can ask for really. The Haddens might not be her birth parents, but you’d never guess by looking at them.