Saturday, October 25, 2008

Who Are We to Question God's Plan?

Today's Wall Street Journal features the story of Parker Carden and his family of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Parker was diagnosed prenatally with a rare genetic abnormality of the kidneys that can kill an infant in the first year ("autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease").

The Parker family was faced with the question on whether to terminate their pregnancy, a decision so traumatic that it nearly cost them their marriage. Advanced prenatal genetic testing, which provided the Parker family with the early diagnosis for their son, "allows parents to take on the role of gene police," according to researcher Evelyne Schuster, who's quoted in
the Wall Street Journal article.

In other words, prenatal tests allow families to obtain an abortion and avoid the prospect of bringing into the world a seriously, even catastrophically, ill child.

The Parkers refused to do this, and Jennifer Carden explains her family's decision at her blog, "
Our Family Whirlwind":

Things get better everyday and we are blessed that Parker is in our lives. He has taught us more compassion and love than we have ever known. He makes great strides everyday and no one...NO ONE... can put a cap on his potential. Not doctors, idiots commenting on-line about the article, or anybody else. Who are we to question God's plan for us individually, us as a family, or Parker's path. What I know is that our family is full of love and admiration for each other. Parker is such a sweet and loving boy. Thank you God for letting us be his parents. No matter what happens, God gives us the strength to get through our days together. I love my children more than anything in the world. I have four great boys-all special in their own individual way. I have a great husband who supports us and allows me to stay home to raise our children and give more time to Parker.
Parker Carden is now 20 months old. His kidneys function at about 60 percent of normal range. He will be confined to a wheelchair before he can walk. But he has the immortal love of his family, and the protection of God.

This is one powerful story of family commitment and strength, shared in a time when values of life, faith, and family are at risk
more than any other time in history.