A Stranger Unknowingly Said the Words I Needed to Hear After My Daughter’s Diagnosis


Our precious daughter, Amelia, was born on December 14, 2014. She was the only baby born that day at what is normally a very busy hospital. We joke that she liked the spotlight from day one.

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Shortly after Amelia was born, our nurse noticed something might be wrong. She called down to the nurse practitioner on duty to come up and do an assessment, but the NP thought our OB should do it. The OB came back into our room and picked Amelia up off me.

When I asked what was going on he said, “Oh, the nurse thinks she might have Downs and wants me to take a look.” We paused while he looked at her for 10 seconds and then said, “She might have it. The pediatrician will have to do an assessment in the morning.” And with that, he left.

Seriously, that’s what happened. It was pretty awful.

So began a week of tests, a stay in the NICU and a lot of questionsWe chose to spend the week focused on getting Amelia healthy and home and tried not to worry about the confirmed Down syndrome diagnosis yet. Fast forward to six days later, Saturday morning, December 20.

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My friend, Karen, stopped at the hospital to drop something off for me, and as we were visiting near the front entrance, an elderly woman and her son walked in. The woman handed me a small piece of paper and said, “Merry Christmas.” I had no idea what it was at first and looked down and noticed something said $50. I looked up and asked “What is this for?” and she replied “I’d like you to have it, Merry Christmas” and left.

The note read, “God has done good for me, so I’m doing good for you. Merry Christmas.” Attached was a $50 gift card to Cub Foods. Karen and I were both in tears. Karen quickly went outside and explained to the woman I’d just had a baby, we were in the NICU and received a Down syndrome diagnosis.

The woman began crying and told Karen, “I have eight children and my youngest has Down syndrome. Tell your friend this is the best Christmas present they will ever receive. That baby is going to bring them so much joy.”

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I truly believe God was speaking to us in that moment. For me to be in the entryway (which I hadn’t been at all the whole week) at the exact time this woman pulled up with her gift is more than a coincidence. Then, add the fact we have the shared experience of a child with Down syndrome? Not a coincidence.

I believe God wanted Quinn and I to know we were going to be OK.

In the weeks since Amelia’s birth, I’m not going to lie, there have been many tough days. I get angry, and I get scared. I’m allowing myself to feel all these things and reminding myself we are going to be OK. Our journey will be different, but it will still be amazing… it already is. I believe God (and Amelia) chose us, and we are so grateful.

The Mighty is asking its readers the following: Describe the moment a stranger — or someone you don’t know very well — showed you or a loved one incredible love. No gesture is too small! If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please  include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.

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