Growing up in a strict household taught me invaluable lessons in kindness. Our mother was the epitome of compassion, treating everyone with love and respect. Our home became a sanctuary for those in need—a place where the local ɡɑ𝚗ɡ found solace and a child without parents found warmth and love. Even the Ԁгᴜɡ addict at rock bottom found a Һоt meal and a friend. Our doors were open to anyone, and our mother’s kindness became the foundation of our own humanity.
Carrying this legacy into adulthood, I saw people for who they were beyond their differences—addiction, race, religion, ability, or ethnicity. My deep friendship with an adult brother who had Down syndrome showed me the joy and laughter that could be found in every interaction.
When I found out I was pregnant, my initial fеɑгs gave way to excitement and anticipation. However, a routine doctor’s visit revealed a potential marker for Down syndrome.
My son, Michael James Snyder, was born after a challenging labor. Despite his swollen appearance, I saw no differences. The next day, the pediatrician delivered the news—my son had Down syndrome.
The cold and condescending manner in which it was delivered left me shattered and filled with fеɑг, anger, and guilt. The days that followed were a blur of tears and ϲоnfᴜꜱion. I felt lost and insignificant, unsure of how to navigate this new reality.
In my search for answers and support, I turned to social media. Starting an Instagram account to share pictures of my son, I discovered a vibrant community of families like ours. Their children thrived, and their families radiated happiness. Through this virtual connection, I found solace and became a mentor and support system for other parents.
Life looks different now. We have three beautiful children, including our rainbow baby, Abigail. Through my journey, I have learned the importance of advocating with kindness and compassion.
We must see everyone as equals, respecting their uniqueness and appreciating the beauty in every individual. My son’s presence has expanded my heart and taught me the true meaning of love and acceptance.
In this journey, I strive to spread compassion and inspire others to embrace kindness. Let us celebrate the diverse tapestry of humanity, valuing each person’s worth and treating all with the love and respect they deserve. Together, we can build a world where acceptance and understanding prevail.
This is our story—a testament to the transformative power of compassion and the boundless love that exists within each of us.