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Firefighters take on a lot of responsibility, responsibility that others simply could not handle. They rush into buildings fully engulfed in flames, save private and public property and deliver medical support that saves lives. But one South Carolina fireman went beyond his job description by adopting a baby that he helped deliver.

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When he heard the call of a woman complaining of abdominal pains over the radio, Marc Hadden and his partner rushed to the scene. Once they arrived, the two discovered the woman was actually in labor. The two firemen delivered the baby successfully.

“You can talk about how cool it would be to deliver a baby until it actually happens,” Hadden said. “We weren’t ready. We get monthly training but we had none of that going on for us.”

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There was one issue, though, the baby wasn’t breathing properly. Hadden rushed the child to the hospital while his partner stayed with the mother. It was here that he learned that the mother of the child was putting her up for adoption. Jokingly, Hadden said, “I’d like to throw my name in the hat.”

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Little did he know that 48 hours later, he would be the adopted father of the infant he saved. Hadden, who is already a father of two boys, wanted to adopt with his wife, but financially they were unable to.

“My wife was basically told to wrap it up, that any further pregnancies could cause complications for her and for the potential baby,” Hadden said. “We had in our hearts that we wanted to adopt, but checking into it, we learned very quickly on a police officer, firefighter and teacher salary, we were not going to be able to afford it.”

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Once they were granted custody of the infant, which they named Gracie, the family was met with overwhelming support from the community. They pitched in by giving diapers, baby bottles and other essentials for raising a little girl.

Hadden immediately fell in love with Gracie, “I love my boys more than life itself, but Gracie has me wrapped around her finger, there’s no doubt about it,” he joked.

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This was five years ago. The boys have grown up, and Gracie is no longer an infant. Hadden has since retired from firefighting, but the call he answered of a woman in labor changed his life. He said he and his family are “as tight as thieves.”