CARMEL, Ind. — In less than a minute, firefighters at Carmel Fire Department Station #45 responded to the alarm of their Safe Haven Baby Box last week. It marked the second time this month that a child was given up at the station.
Carmel Fire Chief David Haboush said Wednesday morning that a healthy baby girl had been anonymously left in the Safe Haven Baby Box.
“To the mother, thank you. That is a brave and bold move that you’ve done on behalf of your baby girl,” said Haboush. “On behalf of this community, we thank you for having the courage to step up and to do what is in that baby’s best interest.”
This marks the second baby to be left at the Carmel fire station this month. The baby box was used for the first time ever earlier this month, when a parent surrendered a healthy baby boy.
“This box was dedicated December 28, 2018. And we went 1,194 days before the first baby arrived in our box. And in less than two weeks we were blessed with a second baby that arrived in the box,” Haboush said.
Monica Kelsey, founder and CEO of Safe Haven Baby Box, had a message to the parent who made the decision to surrender their child.
“I want to speak directly to the mother or the father that brought their newborn child here last week. Thank you. Thank you for keeping your child safe. Thank you for choosing a safe place to take your child,” said Kelsey. “And thank you for trusting us, trusting the Carmel Fire Department to take it from here.”
She added that this marked the first time in Safe Haven Baby Box history that two babies had been surrendered to the same box and within just days apart.
Kelsey said that the same day of the baby being surrendered in Carmel last week, the Safe Haven Baby Box hotline was also used by a parent in Kentucky.
A baby was surrendered at a hospital in Corbin, Kentucky, within hours of the surrender at the Carmel fire station.
“In one day, our organization was blessed with two babies. Two healthy babies that possibly could’ve had a different outcome if Safe Haven Baby Boxes had never been started,” Kelsey said.
Kelsey started the Safe Haven Baby Box program due to her own life. She was abandoned illegally as a baby. Which she said is an important reason for the boxes and Safe Haven laws.
“Yesterday, 48 years ago, my mother didn’t have a choice. But today, these babies weren’t abandoned. They were legally, safely, and anonymously and lovingly, surrendered,” said Kelsey.
“And our job now is to make sure these little guys and girls grow up in a home that has been praying for them for a very long time. And I tell you, we will find a good home for these babies, as DCS has done many times before.”
Kelsey wanted to remind the parents that there are free resources, such as counseling, still available to them.
For more information on those resources, baby box locations or how to help, you can go to the Safe Haven Baby Box website.