Monday, January 2, 2017

ARPKD and what it means for the future of our family..

As most of you know, at 30 weeks gestation Jason and I received the devastating news that our first pregnancy was not going according to plan. Parker was diagnosed via ultrasound with Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease. It's a mouth-full right?

When Parker was born, and eventually transferred to Children's Hospital, we met with a geneticist. She ran extensive tests on Parker and thoroughly explained the details of ARPKD to us (mostly in terminology that we didn't understand). The odds of this happening to us again were likely a 1/4 chance, but since Parker's results weren't straight forward, Jason and I needed to be tested as well. At the time that didn't mean much to us. We were fighting day and night for Parker, so the distant future wasn't something we could concern ourselves with at the time. Not to mention, these tests were pretty costly. Our main priority was, and still is Parker's health and well-being, but he's 5 now and pretty stable, so we've been discussing expanding our family more and more. This Summer we finally moved forward with getting our parental genetic testing completed, and the odds were confirmed. Any child that Jason and I conceive would have a 1/4 chance of actively fighting ARPKD. We won the genetic lottery, right? We are in contact with many ARPKD and kidney related families. And we wholeheartedly respect each families choice of how they expanded their family, but for US we just can't see knowingly risking that with another child. So this new information, which we were sort of prepared for, has kind of thrown us for a loop on IF or HOW we would expand our family. The only conclusion that we can both agree on is adoption.

Adoption, however, is probably the most complicated thing I have ever tried to research. I mean I'm pretty sure that this could legitimately be a chapter in a college level Quantum Physics class. There is open adoption or closed adoption. There is domestic adoption and international adoption. There is the foster system, independent adoption, adoption agencies, and the crazy people on Craigslist trying to scam you out of your entire savings account. We have been researching this for 2 years now and are no closer to understanding what is best for our family, emotionally and financially, than we were when we started. We aren't even certain that there is an adoption route that is both emotionally and financially right for our family, but it's something we are determined to find out.

What we are asking of you guys is if you have had a personal adoption experience, know someone who has had a personal adoption experience, work in a field that gives you hands-on experience with adoption, know someone who works in a field with hands on adoption experience, know a church or social worker who has a program that can point us in the right direction, etc.. anything at all that will help us, please share your stories with us. We want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly. We want to hear pros and cons of every aspect. At this point, taking out a billboard sounds like the least complicated option (j/k...), so we appreciate all of the help!

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