The 18-Year-Old Boy Who Raised an Abandoned Baby as His Own

The feel-good story you need today.

A boy and a man wash clothes outside together.

Valdinar from Brazil was just 18 years old when he made a life-changing, sacrificial choice. He was visiting his brother’s home, where he saw a beautiful baby boy he didn’t recognize. He asked who the baby was, and heard baby Eduardo’s sad story.

Eduardo’s young mother had been ashamed of the child she gave birth to — the product of prostitution. So she dropped him off with relatives and left town. The baby was passed from one relative’s home to another. But no one wanted him. It was clear to Valdinar that Eduardo, abandoned and unloved, would have no future.

“That’s when I decided that my mother and I had to care for him,” says Valdinar.

There was a reason for his bold choice: Valdinar had also been abandoned as a child. But he had survived because a compassionate woman whom he calls mother, Mrs. Raimunda, took him in.

At 69 years of age, Mrs. Raimunda had a hard life but a loving heart. Over the years, without any children of her own, she took several abandoned children into her home, like Valdinar, whom she considers her own.

“I have helped raise many children,” Mrs. Raimunda says. “Despite being poor, I shared everything I had with them. What could I do? Let them die? What little I had, I shared.”

After years of raising children, Mrs. Raimunda was looking forward to a future of peace and quiet. But when Valdinar told her that a baby had been abandoned at his brother’s house, she agreed that they should bring him into their home. Despite their financial constraints, Valdinar and Mrs. Raimunda knew that if they didn’t do something, Eduardo’s life would be in peril.

The unlikely family had love, but finances were always tight.

A man, a boy and an elderly woman stand in a door.

They have lived on Mrs Raimunda’s retirement pension, about U.S.$232 a month, and the sporadic jobs Valdinar gets in town.

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“It’s not easy to find a job here,” Valdinar says. “There are not many opportunities, and I don’t have much education. I can’t read, and I am very ashamed of that. Today the only job I can find is cleaning, and I earn no more than U.S.$12 for a cleaning job.”

Thankfully, Valdinar and Mrs. Raimunda have help bringing up energetic Eduardo. Thanks to a generous sponsor, Eduardo gets support at the local church’s child development center.

A boy kisses and elderly woman on the cheek.

“I like that he goes to the Compassion center,” Mrs. Raimunda says, “because he learns a lot of things there. All the staff take good care of him and encourage him to work to become a responsible person in the future.”

The education assistance, health care and other benefits that Eduardo receives at the center are a huge relief to Valdinar and Mrs. Raimunda. They allow Eduardo to focus on school.

“The biggest regret of my life is that I didn’t devote myself to studies when I was a child,” says Valdinar. “That’s why I always tell Eduardo that he needs to study to create a better future for himself.”

Though he was abandoned as a baby, Eduardo is thriving.

A boy in a red shirt laughs at the camera.

Anyone who hears the 10-year-old boy’s joyful laugh can’t imagine the terrible circumstances of his first months of life. But Eduardo is loved by everyone around him, from neighbors to the Compassion center staff. When he grows up, Eduardo says he wants to be a truck driver so that he can visit different places.

Though it has been a lot of work, Valdinar and Mrs. Raimunda never regret their choice to have compassion on Eduardo.

Valdinar, now 28, says, “It’s challenging to raise a child, but we do our best. Sometimes, he can be naughty, like all little boys, but I feel happy and proud when he calls me ‘father.’”


13 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Avatar
    SUSAN MCCONNELL March 12, 2020

    As Eduardo is now being cared for I think it is also important that Valdinar should at least receive some basic assistance and help with learning to read. Is this already taking place? I’m sure there are some of us who might make a donation towards this?

    1. Avatar
      Shannon March 13, 2020

      Hi Susan,

      Thank you so much for your kind heart and concern for Valdinar! Please know that there may already be opportunities for Valdinar at the center. However, each center is provided with programs that will be the most beneficial depending what the needs are in that community. If the church center does not already have a program like this that can support Valdinar and other caregivers, the church can request funding for a project like our adult literacy program, if they feel they have a need for it in their community. This will be up to the church to decide. If you would like to, we also accept donations to the Parent Education Fund for any parents and caregivers who find themselves in situations like this. You an certainly call at any time to make a donation if you would like. Our phone number is 1-800-336-7676. We are available to serve you Monday through Friday, 7:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M., MT.

  2. Avatar
    Silvia March 11, 2020

    I would like to help him, can I have his address?

    1. Christina
      Christina March 11, 2020

      Hello Silvia! We truly appreciate your heart for children in need and your desire to help Eduardo! Compassion takes child protection very seriously, and we do not provide children’s personal information like addresses. Eduardo is currently sponsored, so he is not in need of additional support at this time. If you would like to partner with us in our mission by offering some support, I encourage you to either sponsor a child or donate to a fund. God bless you!

  3. Avatar
    Julie March 10, 2020

    There are good people in this world and this story prove it. Valdinar and Mrs. Raimunda you are God,s greatest gift to this little boy

  4. Avatar
    Ann March 10, 2020

    What a beautiful story. This story made me feel sad but brought joy to my 💙. Such a brave boy to raise this child. I truly believe God works in mysterious ways, and used Valdinar to bring hope to this cute child. Bravo for Valdinar and his caring mom👏🏼

  5. Avatar
    Monica Escamilla March 10, 2020

    Thank you, I’ve just read horror stories of the abused & murdered children by their own parents. I cried to know all thet wanted was to be loved. But Thank you for giving a shining light for those who give so much of themselves to love the children wgo been abandoned…thabk for giving heart & soul some peace that there are decent loving people to love someone & made a place in their home & heart.

  6. Avatar
    Carol A Hogan March 10, 2020

    The Lord has had His hand upon Eduardo, and Valdinar was His instrument.

  7. Avatar
    Mary Ann Zinn March 10, 2020

    So glad God choose to work through the hearts of Valdinar and Mrs. Raimunda to give Eduardo, one of His precious children, the love, support and Compassion Child experience to grow with hope for his future. Oh that joyful smile!

    I know in some areas there are opportunities for reading and education classes for mothers of Compassion children that benefit the family. Might there be something like that for Valdinar in Eduardo’s Compassion center or another affiliate??? Our life on earth is such a constant learning lesson and the choice to go deeper can happen at any age.

    The Love from; God, the Compassion program and children’s families is why I choose to sponsor a child – adding my love to the equation.

    Thank-you for making me a partner in a better life for my Compassion child and her family.

    ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️
    With Love in Our Lord!

    1. Avatar
      Shannon March 10, 2020

      Hi Mary Ann,
      Thank you so much for your kind comment! We are so thankful for your heart for these sweet children and it is our honor to have you in our Compassion family! Please know that while not all centers are set up to help the parents directly with reading and education, some do have the ability. We will certainly help wherever and whenever we can. 💙

  8. Avatar
    Sandy March 10, 2020

    What a fabulous story. God bless this family!

  9. Avatar
    Jane Ruth Wanyama March 10, 2020

    This is a perfect lesson of how God has made everyone in his image. Psalm 139:14, no matter where

    life takes individuals, the Lord will connect them with the right people. No child is a mistake or

    accident. The one time engagement with them makes a turn around. I love the heart of Valdinar.

    Thank you Sara for sharing this powerful story.

  10. Avatar
    Cynthia March 9, 2020

    I loved this story…..too many bad people in the world but god chose them and they are an inspiration and demonstrate what kindness and love can accomplish

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