Pam, mother of two, was sitting in Tim Horton’s with her two young daughters, Emma and Sophia, when some women sitting nearby started to point and stare and whisper.
“This is a pretty frequent occurrence for us you see,” Pam wrote on Facebook, “because my daughter Sophia was born with Down Syndrome.”
The two ladies, completely oblivious to the fact that Pam was watching, craned their necks to get a better look at Sophia.
“Today it bothered me. It really bothered me,” she wrote.
Then another couple approached, and Pam felt the day was only getting worse.
“I thought, ‘Oh great! More people who want to take a closer look!'”
But that wasn’t the case. The man greeted Sophia, giving her a high five and handshake. Sophia smiled and waved back.
Then he looked at Pam, tears in his eyes, and said he had a story he wanted to share with her, “but I am afraid I won’t get through it without choking up.”
Pam wrote, “I gently encouraged him to share, because now I was curious. This interaction was not what I was expecting.”
The man said he’d watched the news last night, and saw an interview with a mother who had given birth to a child with a major disability.
“She was on the news defending her decision to keep her baby. She was defending her choice NOT to terminate despite her doctors encouraging her to do so,” Pam wrote.
“He said, ‘The point is, you never know a person’s impact on the world. You can never know what a person is able to do unless you give them a chance.'”
He looked at the mother and daughter, and said, “You are a beautiful person. Your daughter is beautiful. Congratulations!”
“I immediately started to cry,” Pam wrote.
She just sat in the middle of the shop, “crying into a paper napkin.” This was the first time something like that had happened to her.
“That man was the first complete stranger to ever congratulate me on the birth of my daughter Sophia. He was the first complete stranger to recognize her WORTH. Her VALUE. Her BEAUTY.
In a world where my daughter’s life is whispered about, where she is stared at, this man saw her IMPORTANCE.”
Pam’s Facebook post received thousands of shares and comments by people who were touched by the story, with wonderful words of love and encouragement for her and her family.