Savannah Guthrie referred to the adoption story as a “divine destiny,” highlighting the extraordinary nature of the event.
A firefighter and his wife from Ocala, Florida, recently appeared on TODAY to share their remarkable adoption story. Vincent and Katie, who chose to be identified by their first names for privacy, introduced their 6-month-old daughter, Zoey, to the world.
In January, Zoey was placed in a Safe Haven Baby Box at the fire station where Vincent was on an overnight shift. The Safe Haven Baby Box enables individuals to safely and anonymously surrender a child without any inquiries. When a baby is placed inside, silent alarms alert the emergency responders within the building.
Upon hearing the familiar sound from the Safe Haven Baby Box, Vincent immediately went outside to investigate. Initially, he believed it might be a false alarm, but as he opened the box, he was greeted by Zoey, wrapped in a pink blanket, looking up at him. Vincent, overwhelmed with emotion, shared with TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb that he instantly fell in love with her.
Vincent and Katie had been longing to become parents for over a decade, facing challenges in conceiving a child. They were already registered for adoption in Florida when this unexpected turn of events occurred.
Vincent accompanied Zoey to the hospital, as required, for an examination. Along with the baby, he handed over a handwritten letter explaining their desire to adopt and become her parents.
Upon sharing the news with Katie, she couldn’t hold back her tears of joy.
Vincent recalled, “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.”
Zoey was placed in the Safe Haven Baby Box at the fire station on January 2. By January 4, she was already home with Vincent and Katie, who swiftly embraced her as part of their family. The adoption process was later concluded in April through a heartfelt Zoom ceremony.
Katie told Savannah and Hoda, “Before you finalize, anything can happen — and we’d experienced that in the past. So when the judge said, ‘You guys are a family,’ we kind of looked at each other and we’re like, ‘We’re a family! Holy guacamole, we’re a family!.’ So that was easily the best day of our lives.”
During their conversation, Savannah characterized Zoey’s adoption story as “divine destiny.” In response, Vincent acknowledged the profound role of fate and faith in their lives.
He firmly believed that God had orchestrated Zoey’s presence in their lives and had granted them the chance to adopt her.
Vincent further shared that he often extends the time he spends with Zoey, intentionally keeping her up a little later, cherishing the moments of rocking her and gazing at her with sheer love.
“Probably one of my favorite things to do is just watch her,” he said.
Vincent and Katie hold deep gratitude towards Zoey’s birth mother, even though they have not had any contact with her. Katie expressed that they mutually needed each other, and the Safe Haven Baby Box provided the means through which they could support one another.
By sharing their adoption story publicly, Vincent and Katie aim to convey to Zoey’s birth mother that the little girl is loved immeasurably. Their primary motive is to assure her that she made the right decision and that her daughter is now in a safe and nurturing environment.
In a pre-taped interview, Vincent emphasized that the focus of their story is not about themselves but rather about the beautiful little girl who was granted the gift of life. He expressed the hope that Zoey’s birth mother would witness the love and care she receives, granting her peace of mind and reassurance that her daughter is well cared for and cherished.
According to the organization’s website, there are currently 148 Safe Haven Baby Boxes in the United States. Since their inception, 31 babies have been safely surrendered through these boxes. When authorities are alerted, the newborns are promptly removed from the box’s bassinet and provided with immediate medical attention. They are subsequently placed for adoption.
Monica Kelsey, the founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, spoke at a press conference on the same day that Zoey was surrendered, highlighting the significance of these life-saving measures.
“We want to address the parents who legally surrendered this infant. And right now, I’m going to talk directly to her or him,” she said at the time. “Thank you. Thank you for keeping your child safe. 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.”