Happy 2016, everybody!
We are humbled and grateful to have surpassed 36 WEEKS of Abel on New Year’s Day, because we know that crossing into 2016 with our first son was a far cry from a guaranteed. Nevertheless, here we are and our little man has fought all the way to his initially-projected birth month!
As we look forward to his arrival any week now, we wanted to look BACK on the months with Abel that have already changed our lives. So in all honesty this post is really for ourselves and our son, but we hope you too will enjoy a photo review of our 2015 “Adventures with Abel”
April 24, 2015 was a Friday. It was a good Friday for yours truly if you catch my drift, and it turns out the next generation of the Crawford’s commenced as a result. This can undoubtedly be filed in the “T.M.I.” category but hey, just staying true to the full historical account of my boy’s life. No photos here, folks… keep going
Our little sunflower seed of a fella flew under the radar until Monday, May 25th when I was hosting a small study session at our place that afternoon and Kelly got home. Once everyone cleared out, the following footage was sneakily archived… I like to consider myself a reasonably difficult guy to catch off-guard, so credit to m’lady where credit is due. (We added the captions at the end and made it the initial text message to our families)
Two days later, I wrapped up a very special 10 months being in the Watermark Residency program. Our director & friend Blake Holmes abhors Joe’s Crab Shack, so naturally this signed shirt was our gift to him… Loved having this crew in our lives in 2014-15, and they were our first local friends to catch our big news.
The following week, the brand new Crawford family of 3 kicked off Summertime with a trip down to Haiti (where our story began back in January 2012). Kelly & Abel with friends Madison, Ciara, Jackie & Hannah.
June 21st brought a pair of fun first’s for Big Daddy Daniel – first Sunday to help serve as a worship leader at our home church, and first ever Father’s Day! Kelly’s dad Gary (aka Grandpa Stal) and Toni came down & caught a service.
The first appointment with our OB, Dr. Martin, followed the next day. Here is a shot of our little Tweety Bird of a guy at 8 weeks & 3 days old, his heart beating like a drum for us to hear via ultrasound.
We headed for the Rockies with the Crawford club in Vail, CO. (Back row) Drew, Rachel, Steve, Karen, Camille (Front row) Angela, Kelly & Abel, Daniel. Hiking, hanging, and “Foot-Golf” was a hit…
Kicked off our Watermark community group with the Wall’s and the Everett’s, and have loved hanging with them each week — a decent view of downtown D-town at sundown
**July 13th, 2015. Kelly receives a call from our doctor. We learn that our child is a boy, and that our boy was conceived with Trisomy-18. Statistics would inform us that this condition is incompatible with life outside of the womb, and oftentimes incompatible with life inside of the womb. We began praying otherwise. For more on those first few weeks after Abel’s diagnosis, you can see our initial post: Our First Son
If you’re gonna start your kid off with an IMAX movie experience, it may as well be the fifth installment of Mission Impossible… oh what’s up baby bump?
The big trip to the small town of Proctor, OK… We visited Paul & Melissa, saw our nephew Townes & met our newborn niece Violet, and unexpectedly returned to Dallas with a furry new family member: our adopted goldendoodle, Dena Marie (you don’t give YOUR pets middle names??) She was left in a sad state of affairs as you can see, but after a trim & a tick-bath Dena made the transition to city life pretty seamlessly… now we can’t imagine our apartment without her 🙂
Every Tuesday evening in Dallas, the largest worship gathering of young adults in the country called ‘The Porch’ takes place at Watermark. Our friend & colleague Jonathan Pokluda directs the ministry, and gave a message on August 18th about “Praying to a Good Father” which included Abel’s story… We would love for you to listen to JP’s sermon, which concluded with he and 3000+ folks praying for our son.
Abel’s first trip down to west Houston for a Crawford family visit… We were warmly greeted as always at his dad’s old stomping grounds, and Lupe Tortilla was inhaled per usual.
SMUdents are back! The Watermark College team (Adam, Caroline, Paige, Daniel) kicking off another school year the old-fashioned way… with an on-campus snowball fight in 85 degree weather.
Perhaps the most special memory we will have when looking back on our 2015 with Abel is simple, but powerful. The day before my birthday, we wrote a post inviting folks to lift us up by taking advantage of a tool we have sitting in our pockets. And so began a new daily tradition: praying with our brothers & sisters every day at 1:29PM representing Abel’s forecasted birthday of Jan 29th (1/29). I must say that for us Abel is on our mind nearly all the time, so these alarms have mainly become a daily reminder that there have been people all over (and beyond) our country petitioning the Lord on our son’s behalf. And that has encouraged & strengthened us more than you know. THANK YOU.
The graphic above shows the best birthday present I could’ve asked for, but that Saturday put a nice cherry on top… football & friends at the Deep Ellum Brewery, followed by Will Reagan / Josh Garrels tickets that graciously fell into our lap. This is where we fell in love with Will’s song Hidden as Abel kicked approvingly.
Finally, we capped off September with a very special lake trip to the Marble Falls area. This was a resource that a brother & his family chose to steward in this way, and it blessed the heck out of us. It turns out my buddy wasn’t lying about the sunrises, and Kelly’s twin sister Amanda came & churned out some homemade pasta.
ONE28 Fall Retreat! Holding it down with 50 Mustangs in Anna, TX.
When a sweet friend hooks you up with free Ben Rector tickets, you brave the elements to go sing along.
And sometimes you know a lovely & talented photographer who volunteers to take maternity photos that you’ll cherish forever… Mary Driver is a winner! (maryfieldsphotography.com) Abel at 7 months and counting, and further documentation that Dad out-kicked his coverage.
A Halloween community punkin-carvin’ contest, and an un-enthused Olaf.
It was a Brownwood Birthday for Mama K… once again, we were blessed by the generous stewardship of some dear friends for this perfect little getaway to relax on the ranch and celebrate 29 years of Kelly + 28 weeks of Abel.
It’s estimated that more than 90% of babies diagnosed with chromosomal abnormalities are “terminated” by abortion — never given a chance, or a choice. We spent an hour with the folks at the Stand For Life Movement to share why we decided to choose LIFE for our son, and will have a short video to post for you guys soon… In the meantime, we encourage you to check out #StandForLife.org and follow their social media platforms for new stories of choosing life each & every day.
A Family Thanksgiving: Organized chaos don’t scare us… down from Oklahoma and up from Houston, our families made the 4hr trek to the Big D for Turkey Day! It was a sweet thing to have the whole crew come our way as we crossed into our “no travel” zone, and it wouldn’t have been possible without 3 friends opening up their homes to us as they went out of town for the holiday.
December 1, 2013 we said our vows. Two years and one early Christmas bonus later, we decided that a spa day and a steak dinner was in order!
Caroline & Paige along with a dozen Mustang gals held a little prayer shower for Kelly, which touched her (and my) heart. The ‘breakfast club’ here can attest to the Mama’s world-class smoothies.
‘Twas the season for Christmas shindigs! Closed out the Fall semester with our students at SMU (including a movie night for Kelly to watch ELF for the first time — yes, you read that correctly) then our annual Watermark Staff party followed… No elders went bobbing for fruitcake in tubs of eggnog this year, but we still managed to have a great night anyway.
I can confidently say that the Lord’s greatest provision as we’ve started our life together in Dallas has been our church body, and they’ve provided amazing love & support in this season with Abel.
A Very Merry 2015 Christmas time, as “selfie stick” made its debut.
And last but not least, we had a wild n crazy New Years party of five (well, 9 with canines) and rung in 2016 with Conner & CC Wood — very thankful for two of the most faithful friends we could ask for.
Which brings us to January 2016…
where Abel’s dad will continue writing notes to him, Abel’s mom will continue carrying him, and both will continue to ask God for the following & invite you to join us:
- Miraculous healing of the defect in Abel’s heart, and full cognitive functioning in Abel’s brain… that somehow, someway, he would be born with no symptoms of Trisomy 18.
- Precious time on earth with our son in any scenario.
- Ultimately, a peace that surpasses all understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6) as we strive to abide with Jesus (John 15:4-5), maintain an eternal perspective (2 Corinthians 4:16-18), and trust the Lord’s heart & intentions with the life of this child (Psalm 139:13-18).
D&K, and A