A retired police officer meets the baby he rescued from a cardboard box 24 years ago in an emotional, God-driven story.

God often works in ways that we cannot ever imagine. We may think some encounters in our lives are just coincidences or random events, but we never know the master plan He has behind the curtain.

But when it comes to fruition, we realize how beautiful and perfect His plans are. In this beautiful story, we see how God’s loving hand orchestrated an incredible reunion.

In December 2000, three days before Christmas, Gene Eyster, a police lieutenant from South Bend, Indiana, received a late-night phone call about a baby found abandoned in a cardboard box.

The newborn was discovered by college students in a hallway of an apartment building.

Eyster, recalling that night, said, “He was wrapped in blankets and a flannel shirt. There was no note.”

On his way to the hospital, Eyster picked up a teddy bear to bring the baby “a little bit of comfort.”

baby abandoned in cardboard box

During the investigation, Eyster began referring to the infant as “Baby Jesus” because the name Baby Boy Doe didn’t feel right to him.

He explained, “He was born a couple of days before Christmas and placed in a box — and in my mind that box was a manger. So he became Baby Jesus.”

The baby, later put up for adoption, was welcomed by a loving family. However, Eyster never forgot him and often wondered, “What did he turn out to be?” He even worried if the child was still alive.

In March 2024, Eyster received a phone call from his old colleague Joshua Morgan, who informed him that the long-lost infant was now a police officer.

Eyster recounted, “He goes, ‘You’re not going to believe this, but Baby Jesus is sitting next to me right now. He’s my rookie.’”

The reunion between Eyster and the now-grown baby, Officer Matthew Hegedus-Stewart, was an emotional and heartwarming moment.

In a video published by CBS, the duo is seen greeting each other and catching up while going through the preserved documents of the rescue.

For Eyster, who recently lost his only son, this meeting was particularly poignant. He said, “I see some mannerisms in Matt that remind me of my son — he’s got the same grin, the same laugh, the same dark hair and stature.”

Hegedus-Stewart, now a 24-year-old police officer, expressed his gratitude to Eyster, shaking his hand and saying, “Thank you for everything you did for me.”

officer meets boy he saved

The moment brought tears to the eyes of those who witnessed the reunion. Hegedus-Stewart, who grew up knowing he was abandoned as a baby, always wondered about his origins.

His connection to Eyster was discovered when he responded to a domestic situation at the same apartment complex where he was found.

He said, “I was like, ‘I was abandoned as a baby here.’ Then Morgan looked up the report and saw Gene Eyster’s name attached to it.”

The meeting was not only a significant moment for Eyster and Hegedus-Stewart but also for their families. Hegedus-Stewart, his fiancée Jillian, and their 14-month-old daughter Aspen are expecting a baby boy in June.

Aspen was born on the same day that her dad was legally adopted. “There are so many coincidences,” Eyster remarked.

“I mean, Matt completes his field training and randomly gets assigned to the same beat of the apartment complex where he was found. What are the odds?”

Eyster’s colleagues have praised Hegedus-Stewart, describing him as a “kind officer” and a “good kid.”

Eyster noted, “His parents have done a wonderful job raising him.”

Hegedus-Stewart also reflected on his birth mother’s decision, saying, “Growing up I was angry. You know, ‘Why me?’ But now I understand she was overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do.”

He is very close with his adoptive parents and feels grateful for the life he has.

For Eyster, this reunion was God-sent as he was grieving his son’s loss. He shared, “So the timing couldn’t have been any better; it helped to fill a void that I’ve had to deal with.”

WATCH: Officer Has Emotional Reunion with Baby He Rescued 24 Years Ago

By AdminNN

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