Since the birth of his first child 25 years ago to the birth of his last child 14 years ago, Rick Becker has watched all seven of his children born at home. By the time Rick and his wife Nancy were expecting their sixth child, things seemed to be routine.
Nicholas, or ‘Nicky’, was born just like all of his other five brothers and sisters. Rick and Nancy never had an ultrasound for any of their children as Rick says, “We would never be upset with any child God gave us.” Their midwife Lynn knew this. After Nicky was born, Lynn went about her work, doing nothing different than the past, allowing Rick and Nancy time with their newborn son.
After spending some time with Nicky, things seemed different. “Is he alright?”, Rick asked. Nancy responded, “I don’t know.” After going downstairs to ask Lynn, Lynn told Rick that Nicky had down syndrome. Immediately Rick rushed back to his room informing his wife as they began to weep with one another. However, the weeping was not because disappointment, but because they knew that certain opportunities or possibilities in life were now limited for their child. Rick says each child is a beautiful icon, but when talking about his son Nicholas he says, “Nicky is a special icon. He is the image of a God that loves us not for what we can do, or what we can accomplish, but loves us for who we are. How can someone like that be a burden?”
When pregnant with their final child, Lynn suggested to Rick that they get an ultrasound as their chance of having another child with down syndrome had increased. Rick and Nancy agreed. Throughout their ultrasound appointment the doctor made unusual, and rather condescending, statements about the severe chance of down syndrome. Rick says that the doctor had basically, through his choice of words, although never blatantly stating, told him and his wife that they should not be having another child or even be going through with this pregnancy, though there appeared to be no signs of down syndrome. Remaining steadfast in their faith and trust in God, their seventh child Katharine was born healthy and happy.