I've really got to hand it to the parents in the community in which we live. They are so incredibly accepting and want desperately to pass along the correct values to their children to help them to be the most well-rounded, kind, generous, good people they can be. Maybe the generalization is a bit too broad here, but my experience has been so positive that I am continually amazed.
Maybe I'm selling their kids short by putting the onus all on the parents, but isn't that how it usually goes? What the parents fill their children's heads with is what their children will go out into the world believing, at least in the beginning.
I try to become Facebook friends with as many of the parents of Sammi's schoolmates as I can. It's incredibly useful from a networking standpoint, but it also serves a much broader purpose - my daily advocacy for my child is front and center to whomever reads it. If I can reach those parents, I hope they will, in turn, impart some of their new awareness to their children, who will, in turn, pass it along to their friends and carry it with them throughout their lives.
I had a Facebook conversation with one mom last week about World Down Syndrome Day. She wanted to know what she could do to support Samantha, and to help increase awareness. I told her that many people will wear blue and yellow (two colors Samantha doesn't actually have, by the way). She then posted something on her wall about it and said she'd have her daughter wear the colors. Another mom of two of Samantha's school friends must have seen one of the posts, too. After the Just Like You video was shown to the school population (the feedback from which I have not yet received), one of the girls wrote the note shown above.
Brings tears to your eyes, doesn't it?
Protector and friend.
And if there's one, there are others, you can be sure.