Woman Leaves Her Newborn Baby Girl in a Drop Box – The Firefighter Who Found Her Just Became Her Dad
“I picked her up and held her. We locked eyes, and that was it. I’ve loved her ever since that moment.”
It was love at first sight.
For almost a decade, a firefighter and his wife have been trying to start a family. They had even completed all the necessary courses in the state of Florida to become registered adoptive parents.
Then a newborn was left at Ocala, Florida’s Firestation 1.
And call it fate. Or luck. Or divine intervention. Because now, that firefighter and his wife’s dreams of parenthood have finally become a beautiful reality.
A Firefighter Makes a Newborn Discovery
Back in January of 2023, the firefighter, who wishes to remain anonymous, was pulling an overnight shift at the station when an alarm sounded at 2 a.m.
For the first time in its 2 year history, someone had triggered Florida’s only Safe Haven Baby Box — a temperature-controlled device that allows someone to anonymously, safely, and legally surrender a child “no questions asked.”
Despite thinking it was likely just a false alarm, he went to investigate. Imagine his surprise when, less than two minutes later, he was cradling a newborn baby girl in his arms. Only 12 hours old, her umbilical cord had been tied off with a shoelace.
From the moment he saw her, he knew he loved her.
“She had a little bottle with her, and she was just chilling,” he told TODAY. “I picked her up and held her. We locked eyes, and that was it. I’ve loved her ever since that moment.”
He immediately came up with a plan to try to adopt her.
The firefighter, who is also a paramedic, accompanied the newborn to the hospital. He wrote a note to the attending doctor and left it with the infant. In it, he shared their struggles to conceive and that they were willing and able to adopt the baby girl.
Although he had yet to discuss it with his wife, he knew she’d be on board.
“We’d been trying for almost a decade to have a family and everything has kinda just not worked out for us,” his wife told CBS affiliate WKMG-TV. “So we’re like, ‘Don’t get our hopes up. Don’t get our hopes up.'”
Two days later, baby Zoey came home.
And in April, four months after she was hand-delivered to the fire station, the couple formally adopted her.
“The way I found her… This was God helping us out,” the firefighter said.
What Is a Safe Haven Baby Box?
Safe Haven laws were first introduced and implemented throughout the United States in the late ’90s. The laws allow individuals to surrender their newborn infants to designated locations without fear of criminal prosecution.
To facilitate the surrender of infants under these statutes, Monica Kelsey created Safe Haven Baby Boxes. The hope is that these boxes, which provide complete anonymity for mothers, will help prevent babies from tragically being abandoned in unsafe or life-threatening conditions.
According to the Safe Haven Baby Box website, there are currently 148 active devices in the United States. They are located in various fire stations, EMS facilities, and hospitals.
Zoey is one of 31 babies that have been safely surrendered to a Safe Haven Baby Box since 2017. She was the first baby of 2023 but she hasn’t been the last.
So far this year, 10 babies have been saved via these boxes.
Without the Safe Haven Baby Box and the courageous choice of her birth mother to use it, Zoey’s life may have taken a much more tragic turn.
“She’s Loved Beyond Words”
Today, Zoey is a healthy, happy, very beloved six-month old.
By sharing their story, the couple hopes that Zoey’s biological mother will be able to find some sense of closure. “We want her to know that her child is taken care of and that she’s loved beyond words,” her adoptive dad said.
His wife added, “I think it’s very respectable, what she did.”
Thanks to Zoey’s birth mother’s brave decision and the immense love that she displayed in choosing the best possible future for her child, Zoey found her way into a firefighter’s arms.
And ultimately, found her way home.
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