Chick-Fil-A has a long-standing policy when it comes to their hours of operation. As most everyone who is a fan of delicious fast-food restaurant can attest, they close every Sunday, without fault. This is due to the founder’s personal beliefs and desire to allow Chick-Fil-A staff members to attend church services.
However, recently, a Chick-Fil-A made an exception and opened on a Sunday, all to help one special kid have a birthday he wouldn’t soon forget.
One Chick-Fil-A located in Alabama recently made an exception to their Sunday policy and opened their doors in order to give Elijah Spargue the best 14th birthday ever. The store’s manger also happens to be Elijah’s uncle and he knew Elijah, who has autism, “dreamed of working the drive-thru and eating ‘till his heart’s content.”
Elijah’s mother Rene was extremely grateful to the restaurant for giving her special son such an amazing experience.
“The way people love this kid amazes me,” she said. “It has truly changed the way I live my life. Loving people with your whole heart, judgments aside and with no anticipation of rewards. Thank you to every single person that loves our Elijah.”
Although Chick-Fil-A did open their doors and feed Elijah on a Sunday, since they were not opened to the public, there was no real way for him to work a drive-thru, which was important to him. Enter the Dawes Pointe Pharmacy, who offered up their drive-thru to Elijah, allowing him to fulfill each of his birthday wishes.
“Thank you Dawes Pointe Pharmacy for letting Big E work the drive through window for his birthday party,” Rene wrote in a Facebook post. “It was his dream come true! If you don’t already use these awesome people for your pharmacy, then DO IT NOW!!”
According to Elijah’s mom, he is more than a typical autistic, special needs child. He is “funny, beautiful, sometimes naughty, determined and a genuine kid.”
Elijah’s story began when he was born at a mere 22 weeks old. He then suffered from repetitive brain bleeds, which led to his development of cerebral palsy and autism. He spent six months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the University of South Alabama Children’s Hospital. After leaving the NICU, Elijah was put up for adoption. Rene happened to work in the same hospital where Elijah was cared for, and along with her husband, decided to adopt Elijah. She says his addition to their family was a “perfect match.”
“We’ve known since we brought Elijah home that his life would be limited, both in time and ability,” she explained. “Because of his strength and God’s grace, he has far exceeded both. He continues to surpass expectations and has taught me to release control and enjoy the journey. He changed our lives’ paths and taught us to love with our entire hearts with no anticipation of rewards. He has been our biggest challenge, but man, what an unexpected gift!”
Rene explained that there is much that Elijah can teach anyone who hears his story, including society as a whole.
“Elijah, and other kids who are differently abled, are such an integral part of our communities,” Rene continued. “These kiddos have such pure hearts and can teach us so much about courage and integrity. I encourage everyone to reach out to a family that is raising a special needs baby and offer to pray for them, bring them dinner, invite mom over for a glass of wine. Raising Elijah (along with my other babies) will be the greatest accomplishment of my life. But it is the hardest, most emotionally exhausting responsibility I could have ever imagined. Having a tribe of people who support me is just invaluable. I am eternally grateful for MY people and the people who love Elijah like he belongs to them.”
~ 1776 Christian