Many years ago, an Ecuadorian carpenter noticed a trash bag moving by the dumpster outside his workshop. When he opened it up, he found a newborn baby swaddled inside, silently staring up at him. The poor baby was presumably abandoned by his birth mother because he has Down syndrome. But thanks to the kindhearted carpenter, the precious boy was rescued and placed at an orphanage for children with special needs.
On a family trip to Ecuador in 2004, Rachel Van Eerden and her husband Jim took their children on a tour of that very same orphanage. “While we’re on the tour, my eyes met this little baby,” she says. “It was love at first sight.” Not only did Rachel major in special education, but she also had a brother with Down syndrome. She couldn’t ignore the instant bond she felt with this little baby named Eddie.
Five years later, Rachel officially became Eddie’s adoptive mother.
It’s incredible to watch Rachel and Jim speak of the joy Eddie brings to their family and community. Rachel tearfully explains how they’ve given Eddie the title of “Ambassador of Love” to recognize the many lives he has already touched in such a short amount of time.
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