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Firefighter adopts the baby he found in a Safe Haven Baby Box – ‘I instantly fell in love’

A Safe Haven Baby Box changed the life of a firefighter in Florida when he found a newborn baby in it. Later on, he adopted the little girl, which was what he wanted to do the first time he saw her.

In 2020, the first Safe Haven Baby Box in Ocala Fire Department was installed. However, it was only in January 2023 that they first received a surrendered baby.

A firefighter in the overnight shift heard an alarm at 2:00 am, which signals an arrival of a surrendered baby.

The 'Safe Haven Baby Box' drop off installed in Ocala Fire Department, Fl.


Though he thought it could be a false alarm, the firefighter still rushed outside to check what was going on.

There, he found a newborn baby wrapped up in a pink blanket. The moment he picked her up, the firefighter instantly felt a connection with the little girl. “I instantly fell in love with her.

She had a little bottle with her and she was just chilling,” the firefighter said. “I picked her up and held her. We locked eyes, and that was it. I’ve loved her ever since that moment.”

A baby girl was found in a Safe Haven Baby Box in Florida.

Zoey at home | Family photo

The firefighter said he and his wife have been trying to have a baby for over a decade but didn’t have any luck. This made them think of going through an adoption one day.

As he held the baby in his arms, he thought that day might come soon. “I didn’t call my wife right away because I didn’t want to wake her up, but I knew she’d be on board,” said the firefighter.

A baby found in a Safe Haven Baby Box was taken to NICU.

Zoey at the hospital | Family photo

The firefighter, who is also a paramedic, took the baby to the hospital to have her checked. Before he did this, though, he wrote a note and left it with the baby.

He explained in the note that he and his wife are trained and registered to adopt. The firefighter said the baby didn’t stop looking at him until they reached the emergency room.

After he made sure that the baby was fine, the firefighter called his wife and told her what happened. She burst into tears as she learned about the baby.

Zoey was found in a Save Haven Baby Box in Florida.

Happy Zoey | Family photo

Nonetheless, they tried not to get too excited. His wife called the hospital and the doctor told her that their note was handed to the hospital social worker.

Upon checking the baby, the doctors found out that the baby has only been born for 12 hours and wasn’t likely born at a hospital. The baby’s umbilical cord had also been tied off by a shoelace.

She stayed in the NICU for two days and the couple was asked to do some tasks before they could take the baby. They had to find a pediatrician, take a few extra classes, hire a lawyer, and name the baby.

The baby found in a Safe Haven Baby Box is now nearly 6 months old

Cute Zoey, now 6mos | Family photo

A few months later, the adoption was finalized and the couple got to look after the baby, who they named “Zoey.” “The way I found her, this was God helping us out,” the firefighter said in tears.

He was so happy about how things turned out and he also wanted her biological mother to know that Zoey is doing well. “We want her to know that her child is taken care of and that she’s loved beyond words.”

A baby found in a Safe Haven Baby Box enjoys the sunshine.

Zoey enjoying the outdoor | Family photo

Now that Zoey is nearly 6 months old, she is starting to get curious and loves playing with her toys. She also has a bigger appetite and loves it when her parents read to her.

“She is doing very well and reaching all her milestones,” shared Zoey’s father. The couple said that once Zoey is older, they will tell her about her adoption and if she wants to learn about her biological parents, they will not stop her.

Though the firefighter does not have any information about Zoey’s biological parents, he is grateful to them for bringing her into this world.

He is also glad that the Safe Haven Baby Box exists. Because of it, they now have a little bundle of joy and a happy family.

Updated video courtesy of TODAY:

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