Caterina Scorsone knows her girls are "perfect" just as they are.
The Grey's Anatomy actress, 39, details her tight-knit relationship with her three daughters for PEOPLE's cover story this week, including what she's learned since becoming mom to Eliza, 8, Pippa, who turns 4 next month, and Lucky, 10 months.
Scorsone reflects on raising Pippa, who was born with Down syndrome, saying her "difference lit a match in my life and in the life of my family."
"When my daughter Pippa was born, I was scared. I didn't know anything about trisomy 21, the name for the occurrence of a third copy of the 21st chromosome, better known as Down syndrome," she says. "… I didn't know anything. All I knew about Down syndrome was that people were afraid of it, so I figured I should be too."
The star explains how she quickly shifted her perspective, seeing any of Pippa's differences as beautiful individuality like anyone else's unique attributes. Scorsone says Pippa's arrival "cracked open a door in my life" — for the better.
"It suddenly became crystal clear," she says, adding, "There is no standard, objective, perfect human being. The metrics of perfection are arbitrary and imposed in the service of those who fit them. My daughter is perfect. Exactly the way she is."
"Pippa is perfect exactly as she is. So are you, and so am I. The only way we lose sight of that perfection is to look for it somewhere else," she says.
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Watch the full episode of People Cover Story: Caterina Scorsone streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.
Scorsone says her life has been infused with kindness ever since Pippa was born — and since she connected with other families with differently abled children.
"I didn't really know what family could feel like until I entered the disability community and met other families that loved and included a person with Down syndrome," she says. "These hilarious, real humans reached their arms around us when Pippa was born and pulled us into the most joyful, fierce hug we've ever experienced."
Remarking on what she now knows that she didn't prior to welcoming Pippa, Scorsone says "the birth of a baby with Down syndrome is something to be celebrated rather than feared."
Caterina Scorsone 'Awestruck by the Love' from Her Daughters on First Mother's Day After Split
Back in April 2019, Scorsone, who shares her children with ex Rob Giles, opened up to PEOPLE about parenting, saying that "one thing that changes when you have kids is that nothing is in your control anymore."
She added at the time, "You have to roll with whatever is happening and there are people that are now in your life very intimately and in your space who have distinctly different personalities from you."
For more on Caterina Scorsone's life with her three daughters, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
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