A firefighter in Ocala, Florida – who wishes to remain anonymous – is a new father after adopting a baby girl that was dropped off at the fire station he works at. The newborn was placed in a Safe Haven Baby Box outside the station, which sets off a distinct series of alarms to alert the station and its firefighters.
The anonymous firefighter was working an overnight shift on January 2 when that distinct series of alarms went off at 2 a.m. – he knew what the alarm meant, but was under the impression that it was just a false alarm. Following protocol, the firefighter walked over to the box and, sure enough, there was a baby in it.
“She had a little bottle with her and she was just chilling. I picked her up and held her. We locked eyes, and that was it. I’ve loved her ever since that moment,” the anonymous firefighter told TODAY.com in an interview. It was a match made in heaven for a fighter who had been trying to have a baby for 10+ years.
For those who don’t know, a Safe Haven Baby Box is a temperature-controlled box installed outside of a fire station or hospital. The box ‘legally permits a mother in crisis to safely, securely, and anonymously surrender if they are unable to care for their newborn’ – it’s permissible under the Safe Haven Law.
When the firefighter picked the baby girl out of the Safe Haven Baby Box, he started to think about the possibility of adopting her. Him and his wife were not only registered to adopt, but they had already completed all their classes in the state of Florida and have been ready to have a baby for a decade.
The only thing they were missing was a baby. So, when the firefighter dropped the little girl off at the hospital, he wrote a note that explained his desire to adopt the baby and left the note with the little girl. At this point, the firefighter hadn’t had a chance to tell his wife – keep in mind, it was just 2 a.m. at the time.
“I was like, ‘Don’t get too excited yet,’” he told his wife when he finally had an opportunity to tell her. “My biggest fear was that the note I wrote wouldn’t stay with Zoey and she’d be gone. It was a very stressful few days.” Sure enough, the little girl – named Zoey – was sent home with the family two days later.
Firefighter Has Message for Mother Who Left the Baby
In April, three months after Zoey was sent home with the firefighter and his wife, the couple decided to officially adopt the little girl. They described the entire ordeal as God’s way of helping them out after years of disappointment in their journey to becoming parents. It took more than 10 years, but they finally did it.
And now six months after the fact, the firefighter who rescued the little girl has a message for the mother who left the child behind. “We want her to know that her child is taken care of and that she’s loved beyond words,” the firefighter told TODAY.com. He went on to thank her for blessing his family with a healthy girl.
Monica Kelsey, the founder of the Safe Haven Baby Box, thanked the anonymous mother for keeping the child safe and doing what was best for the little girl. “Thank you for bringing your child to a place that you knew was going to take care of this child. And thank you for doing what you felt was best,” she said.
As of right now, there are nearly 150 Safe Haven Baby Boxes across the United States – the first one was installed in 2016. Since then, more than ‘130 surrenders have resulted from calls to the Safe Haven Baby Boxes national hotline’ – according to their website. Mothers can reach the hotline at 1-866-99BABY1.
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