Director’s Note – February 2017

It was August of 1975 and we were expecting our third child in as many years (a surprise) but we were excited, nonetheless. Little did we know that this “surprise” baby would change the entire trajectory of our lives. A typical labor and delivery brought forth a little girl that we named Rebecca. She was whisked away immediately which startled me a bit. I asked a few questions and was reassured by the staff that everything was “fine”. Exhausted, I took advantage of that time to rest while my husband made the obligatory phone calls to family and friends. A short time later a grim face doctor entered the room and announced, rather matter of factory, with no emotion at all, “Your baby has Down Syndrome”. He would not make eye contact and nothing else was said. My husband had to leave to take care of our children and I was taken to recovery. I began to weep uncontrollably. I’m sure it was loud as a nurse came to check on me. I explained through my sobs what had just happened. “Have you held your baby?” she asked quietly. “No, I had not” I replied. She smiled and left the room but returned a few minutes later with sweet little Rebecca wrapped in a warm blanket. She gave her to me and said “you will feel better when you see her, she’s beautiful”. It made all the difference. She was so wise. I knew it might be difficult but it would be OK. My husband soon returned and comforted me so well. I never saw that nurse again but I am so grateful to her. She brought me back to the reality of this little gift of life we were given. In hindsight I have come to realize that all those tears were a bit selfish and even a little foolish as Rebecca has been a gift, not only to us but to so many others. What a blessing for all of us!!!

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