Chastity and Kirk Barker, of San Antonio, Texas, have been married for almost 18 years and share two children, named Cameron and Caitlin, together.
When Chastity fell ill during her first pregnancy, Cameron’s life almost never came to be. However, rather than take their doctor’s advice and pursue an abortion, the couple decided to keep their baby. Today, 17-year-old Cameron is a “poster child” for the Barkers’ mission: to help other moms choose life and trust in God.
An Impossible Decision
In January of 2002, Chastity fell sick while she was pregnant with her first baby. “She lost 42 pounds in one month,” Kirk told The Epoch Times. “For that month, she was hospitalized most of that time. Eventually, the doctor told her, ‘Look, there’s nothing else that we can do.’”
The expectant parents were told that if they didn’t terminate the pregnancy, Chastity’s life would be at risk. “[The doctor] didn’t want to work,” Kirk speculated. “[He] never gave her an official diagnosis and all the nurses were pushing him to do blood work.”
“I was scared,” Chastity remembered, alluding to that moment. “I mean, I didn’t want to have [the abortion], but I was scared that I was going to die.”
Although Kirk didn’t want to go through with the procedure at that time, it was a hard choice as a husband to make between the life of his partner and the life of their unborn child. “Looking back on it now, I just wish we would have trusted God more,” he said. “And even though we didn’t go through with it, it still affects us today.”
Frightened for Chastity’s health, the couple heeded their doctor’s advice and booked a termination.
However, on the day of the appointment, a stranger on the sidewalk intervened. A pro-life protester whom they encountered prayed for the troubled couple. Chastity and Kirk nonetheless proceeded to the clinic reception, but then came the second intervention of the day; before the couple was going to sign, they were handed what they now call a “death certificate” for their unborn son.
It was the last straw.
“God intervened in my life,” said Kirk. “We got up and we walked out, and two weeks later, God healed her. Today we have an awesome 17-year-old son who just graduated high school.”
When the couple decided to pursue their pregnancy come what may, Chastity’s family was very supportive. Loved ones rallied around to do what they could to the best of their ability to ensure the expectant mom’s ongoing health and comfort.
Chastity made it to full-term with both her own and her baby’s health intact. Her labor was induced, and she gave birth to Cameron via cesarean section.
“When he was first born, he didn’t cry,” Chastity recalled. “I just felt like, you know, everything was okay. There were no complications because I was worried about that. […] He was such a good baby.”
Kirk felt the same thing upon seeing Cameron for the first time.
“It was just so exciting to see my son,” Kirk said. “You know, he was very active in Mama’s belly and he was a very active young child.”
Since Cameron’s birth, the couple revealed that they have not had any communication with the doctor who recommended Cameron’s abortion. At one stage, Kirk said, Chastity was drafting a letter, but she eventually decided not to go through with sending it.
“Our hearts were full of anger for 13 years,” Kirk said. “We were really upset with it. … We almost killed our son. And if it wasn’t for the last-minute intervention, we probably would have [gone] through it.”
‘We All Love Each Other’
As for Cameron, who supports his parents in their effort to share their story, he admitted feeling tongue-tied but overwhelmingly grateful for the decision that his mom and dad made. “I was grateful that they chose life for me,” he told The Epoch Times. “Because growing up, I wouldn’t have been able to experience that.”
“Playing soccer, playing video games with my dad, playing with all the toys I did when I was younger,” he continued, “just, like, all the memories.”
Every family experiences their ups and downs, “But at the end of the day,” Cameron reflected, “we all love each other. We get through it.”
However, Chastity’s pregnancy complication with her son is not the only traumatic ordeal that the family has had to endure. On July 2, 2019, then-14-year-old Caitlin, Cameron’s younger sister, fell suddenly sick and was rushed to the emergency room. Her condition quickly deteriorated, and the illness left her paralyzed from the neck down.
“She spent 35 days on a breathing tube and a feeding tube,” Kirk said. “Her heart rate dropped so low that the decision was almost made to, you know, pull the tubes.” But once again, Chastity and Kirk leaned on their faith and persevered.
After 113 days in the hospital, Caitlin returned home. However, since this ordeal, the family has vowed to help her reassess her ambitions in light of her setback and “make her shine.”
“She started getting used to one arm,” Kirk said, “and she fights today, still, to get used to that second arm. But she hasn’t given up, you know, she’s happy.”
Ask, Seek, and Trust
It is the Barker family’s hope that their journey will inspire other parents to ask questions, seek help, and always trust in God.
“Don’t let your decision be based off of fear,” Kirk implored. “You know, there are a lot of charities and organizations that will help moms through the process [of exploring their options], and so we just encourage them to hear our story and seek the help they need before they make a decision that might affect them for the rest of their life.”
“I was a non-believer most of my life,” the father of two admitted. “I turned my back on God […] one day God showed me I was wrong, and so I was blessed with the opportunity to speak.”
The Barkers are thankful that they chose life that day. However, Kirk realizes that “not a lot of kids are that fortunate. A lot of kids don’t survive their abortion appointment, unfortunately.”
Additionally, the dad of two is grateful for the father-son moments he may otherwise have missed. Meanwhile, both parents are proud of rising to their “responsibility,” as Kirk called it, to do everything they could to create a life for Cameron, rather than taking it away.
This couple almost signed the "Death sentence" for their son!
Posted by Inspired on Wednesday, September 2, 2020
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