On a mission trip to Quito, Ecuador in 2004 the Van Eerden family decided to visit an orphanage just for special needs children. That is where they meet Eddie. Eddie was abandon by his family. Left in a trashbag and found by a carpenter. Eddie’s fate could literally be so different, but he survived and was taken to the orphanage where on one lucky day he met the Van Eerden family.
The mother of precious little Eddie cries as she tells his story because as she says in the video, “It’s a story that deserves to be told well.” Rachel Van Eerden said she just knew Eddie should be a part of their family. Jim and Rachel Van Eerden already had 10 biological children of their own. This Stokesdale, North Carolina family opened their doors and hearts to let Eddie in.
Eddie was born with Down syndrome, he is cross eyed, and he receives speech and occupational therapy. With that being said, Eddie has an infectious smile, people love him, and he has a loving demeanor. Eddie demonstrates that he is a caring human being in many ways.
His adoption too the Van Eerden’s five years. There were so many obstacles in their way but they fought to get Eddie. Many people thought they should give up, but luckily they had the love and support of their church, Christ Covenant in Greensboro, as well as some family and friends that all helped them financially and emotionally through the adoption process.
In October 2014, Jim and Rachel were awarded the Congressional Angels Adoption Award their nomination was places by US Representative Howard Coble of North Carolina’s 6th district.
Eddie whose real name is Edison is now 10 years old. He lives at home with his seven brothers and sisters. The oldest a college student and school teacher age 23 (daughter), and the others age 19 and younger. The family turned the children’s bedrooms into two big dorm rooms, one for the boys and one for the girls by tearing down a few walls to make room for their growing family. Eddie sleeps in the room with his four brothers in one of the bunk beds. It did not take him long to adjust to his new family more than five years ago. Now during the video you can hear as he calls his mom, Rachel.
The future for this family is to make other pilgrimages to countries like Mexico and thoughts of adopting again. They even want Eddie to visit the country of his birth. The Van Eerden’s have so much love to give that they have considered adopting domestically but they say for now they are content and feel truly blessed to have Eddie in their lives.