Welcome to the Abel Speaks Podcast where we speak to commonly asked questions by parents who have received a life-limiting diagnosis for their child. We’re Daniel and Kelly Crawford, and we’re glad that you’ve joined us. Hi, welcome back to the Able Speaks Podcast, and we’re going to jump right into today’s question, which is what will my baby look like? And so in the context of most of the parents listening in here, you’ve received some sort of a life-limiting diagnosis, some sort of a genetic abnormality, whatever it might be.
Yeah, this is just a really common question that we get from parents, and initially, I think they’re almost embarrassed or ashamed to discuss that with us or bring it to light. And so it’s normal. There’s no shame in asking or thinking that of just, “Hey, what will my child look like if they’re going to look different than maybe a typical newborn?” Wondering what that difference is a normal question to ask. So there’s no shame in processing through that as a parent.
We usually encourage parents to not Google their child’s diagnosis and start looking at photos. It just does not help and is usually an extreme version of what might be. And so we just have never found that to be a helpful resource in this regard. But then what we were told when we met with our mentor couple, they weren’t called that at the time, but she told me that she talked about her daughter, Ava, and she talked about how beautiful Ava was and that all of the things that were unique about Ava and made her her ended up being their favorite things about her and the most distinguishing aspects of her little body and who she was.
And so that’s what we usually tell parents that we’re meeting with because that was our same experience with Abel, which is he had the overlapping fingers, he had a clubbed foot, and all of those things were things that we came to love about him and were just a part of who he was. And so I would just say that if there are parents that are listening that are pregnant right now, it’s normal for it to be hard to wrap your mind around that being true. But once we get to lay eyes on our child and meet our child, every parent thinks their kid is the cutest kid. And that’s true whether they have a life-limiting diagnosis or they don’t. And so for us, Abel was the cutest thing since the beginning of time. And so for us, it’s just like, hey, we loved the way that God created him the way that he looked. And so I don’t know if you would add to that, but-
Yeah, I think the reason the Google search is not … So, A, to recap what I heard you say, which is, hey, it’s a really normal question to ask and wonder. And so feel no guilt, no shame, no conflicted emotions about that. I would say if you set to, “Hey, I’m going to start to act on that question and try and maybe find out and learn more for myself,” that the general internet is probably not going to yield the most comforting results, whether that’s just because of the quality of the photos or sometimes they’re just like sketches and just things like that. You’re probably not going to find anything good there.
But the other thing I think you said is so true is your child, it’s in a whole different category of any other number of children, whether it’s a similar diagnoses, different diagnoses. There’s just something sacred about this is the child who we’ve thought about and talked about and prayed about and awaited this chance to finally see and hold them, and they do all the same sweet things. It’s, “Oh, he had dad’s big ears, he had mama’s mouth,” whatever it is. And there’s just, of the 150 families and sets of parents that have welcomed children and cherished their children up to this point, we have yet to have a single one that was anywhere less than elated to see and to hold and to kiss and to just love their child that they finally had the opportunity to meet. And so, anything else you would add?
Yeah, and I think just the consistent thing that we hear from the families that we get to walk with is just how beautiful their child is and was and that they couldn’t have imagined it during the pregnancy, but that they think that they’re just the cutest thing ever. And so I think that that’s was our experience and that’s the experience of the parents that we get to walk with. And so I think just trying to shift our mindset to this is the unique things about them, and they’re different than maybe a typical baby, but seeing them as sweet, unique aspects of our children I think is a healthy shift to make.
And I think one of the most consistent words, whether we see a post or just photos that sent to us is just, she’s perfect. And just what a beautiful … Just to step back and just think about that where, hey, in the eyes of the world, in the eyes of a generic Google search, it’s like, yeah, I noticed that looks different. And there’s that facial feature that that’s atypical and whatever it is, but just in the eyes of mom and dad with baby boy or baby girl to just say, “She is exactly who we’ve been thinking about praying about and that the Lord has entrusted to us and we love her.” We love him exactly the way we have received and been blessed by them.
Yeah, I think it’s also a connecting that to how the Lord views us, I think is a really sweet … It deepens our understanding of like, man, that’s how God sees us as beautiful and perfect, only because his son died for our sins. And so we’re washed clean. And I think it’s just another element of how God uses our kids’ story to teach us more about a father’s love for his kids. And so I think there’s just another redemptive aspect to this journey, and we always say [inaudible 00:07:05] God, Abel would still be here, but there are I think sweet moments of like, man, I have a better understanding of the nature and character of God because of this road that we are walking. And so-
Wherever you are in the journey, that may be something that you wrestle with and that might feel difficult even to rest in and take us at our word on. But as you’re going to sonograms and as you’re just whatever the case be, as that question will come up, we hope that some of the things we just shared over the last few minutes that you can listen back to and that as we speak that over you, just know that the moment of getting to meet and see and hold and cherish your child will be one that you never forget, and that will be well worth it. And so that wraps up this episode of the Abel Speaks Podcast. We will see you next time.
Hey, friends, thanks for listening in. We hope this content has been helpful. At Abel Speaks, we exist to support families who have chosen to carry a child with a life-limiting diagnosis, and we want you to know that the foundation of that support is rooted in relationships. And so if you are a parent in this circumstance, and by all means, continue listening in, but we’d really encourage you to reach out by sending an email to email@example.com.
Again, our heartfelt prayer is that this episode has served you in some way and that we might have the opportunity to serve you further in the future. The Abel Speaks Podcast is produced by the team at Tarnow and Company and mixed and edited by the team at Sound of a Rose.