We’ve all heard the term “special needs” before. But what exactly does that mean? It means someone with either a mental or physical disability or challenge, or both, who requires more care than the average person.
What it doesn’t mean is that a person with special needs doesn’t deserve a chance. Everyone deserves a chance. Everyone deserves to be loved. No one deserves to be tossed out like garbage.
And that’s exactly what happened to little Eddie. Literally.
While visiting Ecuador, the Van Eerden family saw a very special boy in a local orphanage. When they heard his story, their hearts broke. Eddie was born with Down syndrome and whoever his parent or parents were decided he didn’t have the right to live.
So they did the unthinkable.
They wrapped Eddie up in a garbage bag and left him near a dumpster. Luckily, a carpenter wandered by, saw the moving plastic bag, and intervened. The young boy needed immediate care, and was taken to a government facility.
Rachel Van Eerden saw him and instantly fell in love. Little Eddie’s prayers were answered.
Who Could Discard A Child Like This?
Sadly, this is the fate that many children with special needs face around the globe. Poverty creates dire situations where the needs of a special needs child can be neglected because of the needs of the rest of the family.
Eddie – named after the policeman who brought him to the orphanage – is now a ray of sunshine in the Van Eerden’s world, bringing happiness and hope into their hearts and moving them closer to God in the process. His beginnings might have been heartbreaking. But his future is uplifting – for the heart and the spirit.