A mother’s decision to give up her newborn just hours after she gave birth would change a Tustin, California, family’s life forever.

Just hours after he was born in December 2017, baby Noah was surrendered at Fire Station 21 in Tustin. Firefighter Linda Brown, who was on scene at the time, ensured Noah’s safe surrender when he arrived with his umbilical cord tied with a Christmas ribbon.

The baby’s arrival would be nothing short of miraculous for Javier and Tim Salazar, who both became certified to foster in Orange County two short months before. It was only three days after Noah’s surrender that the Salazars would find themselves presented with the baby boy they would eventually come to call their own.

California’s Safe Surrender Baby Law, which allows parents to legally and safely surrender their baby within 72 hours of birth without questions asked, led to Noah’s arrival with the Salazars. He is one of the 1,341 children who have been surrendered in California since 2001.

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Noah’s journey was not an easy one, however. During his first year, he struggled with jaundice, had difficulty eating from a bottle, and experienced other health symptoms. The family states that they had to learn how to do certain things, such as how to hold Noah, and because he couldn’t grasp a bottle well, he needed to be stimulated during feeding time.

However, despite these challenges, the Salazars are grateful to the woman who made Noah’s life possible, who they claim did the “ultimate mother kind of thing” even though she was not ready to be one.

Noah, who is now six, is a big brother to his sister, Kaia, whom the Salazar family adopted in 2018.

The firefighter who facilitated Noah’s arrival has reunited with the child since their first encounter at the fire station. The couple claimed that Brown would forever be ‘Godmother Linda’ and hoped that the mother, wherever she may now be, would feel that she had made the right decision. While they understand that there might not be a day that goes by where she questions if she did or didn’t do the right thing, the Salazar family wants her to know that Noah is okay and that everything she wished for in this situation is coming true.