When an anonymous woman rang the doorbell of a fire station in Orange County in March, the man who met her could tell that this was a difficult moment for the new mother.
But that didn’t mean that surrendering her baby was an easy thing to do.
“When she physically went to give [her baby] to me there was a moment where she had a difficult time doing it,” remembers Chief Daryll Milliot of the Orange County Fire Authority.
The baby, who was later named Naomi, was only a few hours old at the time, and the firefighters took extra-special care of their little guest.
Nine months later, Naomi has a new family, but the firefighters who saved her are still an important part of her life.
They were even able to attend Naomi’s adoption ceremony in November.
“I tell everybody that asked me about it that it’s one of the highlights of my career by far,” said Michael DeLeon, a Fire Authority engineer.
Krysten and Kurt Snyder, Naomi’s new parents, had always wanted to adopt, and they admire the courage it took for Naomi’s birth mother to surrender her daughter that night.
After bringing Naomi to the fire house for a reunion, they said they plan to tell their daughter all about it when she’s old enough.
“It really is a great opportunity for us to tell her about her mom and what a courageous thing she did,” Krysten Snyder told CBS Los Angeles.
Naomi was the only safe surrender at the fire house this year, and Chief Milliot feels fortunate to have been part of it.
“This is so unique and rare,” he said. “It’s something that I never really thought that I would do.”