Happy Ending: Firefighters Reunited With Safe Surrender Baby in Orange County

"It really is a great opportunity for us to tell her about her mom, and what a courageous thing she did," Naomi's adoptive mother said.

It was a sentence Capt. Daryll Milliot hoped he would never hear.

"I opened the door and the first words out of her mouth were, 'I need to give you my baby,'" Milliot said.

Often when California's Safe Surrender law has been mentioned in the news, the connotations are not joyous. It is often when a baby has been left behind, like the case of a days-old newborn left near a Compton riverbed buried under rubble, that officials remind the public of the Safe Surrender law that enables a parent to leave a newborn baby at a fire station or hospital anonymously, no questions asked, within the first 72 hours of birth.

On Wednesday, an adoptive family was reunited with firefighters - now considered "unofficial uncles" - to relay their gratitude after a young mother safely surrendered her hours-old newborn to firefighters in Orange County.

In March 2015 at 6 p.m., firefighters opened the door to the station to find the young mom and a 15-hour-old baby.

"We did our best to compose ourselves, maintain professionalism and do what we needed to do," Michael de Leon, firefighter, said.

In shock, the firefighters -- Daryll Milliot, Michael de Leon, Tyler Green, Shawn Stacy -- took the child.

"The first thing that comes to your mind is, 'How can you surrender your baby?'" Leon said. "But then when you really think about what happened, it's really heroic and brave to do it."

Baby Naomi was the first-ever baby surrendered to a fire station in Orange County. There have been four babies surrendered this year. 

The firefighters at Station 75 in Santa Ana weren't the only ones who were caught off guard when the newborn was dropped off. 

Krysten and Kurt Snyder were in process of adopting a foster child when they got a call from their social worker.

They got the call that would change their lives.

"[The social worker said] there was a little girl that was a Safe Surrender, and that we needed to pick her up from the hospital in a couple of hours," Snyder said.

Kurt said he and his wife were anxious.

"Of course all those questions, 'What is she going to look like?' 'What's her personality?' 'How big is she going to be?' -- all that stuff we had no idea," Kurt said.

Krysten said the whole experience was surreal.

"It's so crazy -- one moment we say, 'Yes, we are taking a baby,' and the next moment you are packing the car up, making the list for target of all the things you need to get," Krysten said.

Now a happy family of four, the Snyders have also gained an extended family: Four "unofficial uncles" who answered a call for help when it was needed most.

"It really is a great opportunity for us to tell her about her mom, and what a courageous thing she did," Krysten said.

As Milliot held onto Naomi Wednesday, he expressed how amazing it was to be a part of the little girl's life.

"This is one of the few things in my 25 years of being a fireman that it's just the greatest ending of the story," Milliot said.

Information on the Safe Surrender law can be found at the following sites:

Safe Surrender in Los Angeles at BabySafeLA.org 

Safe Surrender in the state of California at BabySafe.CA.gov
 

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