Beautiful Photos Of Hope
Little Abigail Noelle Jones is being called a miracle baby. And though her life may wind up being short, we agree with her parents who insist that it will be no less meaningful than had it been long. Abigail's story is heartbreaking. But the heartache is trumped by the beauty of her family celebrating her life, no matter how short it may be.
The odds were stacked against Abigail from the beginning. Early in the pregnancy, the little girl was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. It was a shock to her parents, Erika and Stephen, but certainly nothing these loving parents couldn't handle. They knew that they, and their 2-year-old daughter Audrey, would love Abigail no matter what.
But then things got worse. The family was told that little Abigail would likely not survive the entire pregnancy. This is because, at the 26-week ultrasound, doctors discovered a brain tumor. By the 30-week ultrasound, this tumor was described as being "massive." And Erika, being a nurse who works in neurology, knew just how grim the outlook was.
And so, Erika turned to God in prayer.
"‘I don't want to walk this path, I don't want to sacrifice my daughter,’ I said. I imagined God just saying, ‘I'm so sorry' and crying with us. We prepared ourselves for the worst and decided that she would have a meaningful life, no matter how short it might be.”
But little Abigail surprised everyone. She survived the pregnancy and was born! Given her condition, her parents expected that she would die shortly after the birth. But again, she didn't! And so, her parents celebrated their precious baby the way most parents do — with a newborn photo shoot, done by photographer Mary Huszcza of 808 Photography.
If this were a story, and I could write the ending I want, I'd write that doctors found the tumor to have disappeared and everyone lived happily ever after. But this is no fairy tale — it is real life.
Instead, after her birth, doctors found that little Abigail's tumor had grown and was likely aggressive and cancerous. Options were limited due to Abigail's young age. Chemotherapy would likely kill her, and a risky operation to remove the tumor wouldn't keep it from growing back. And so, the Jones family decided they would take their precious baby home and leave the rest up to God.
Her mom says, "If she dies, I don’t want it to be in plastic box in a hospital NICU. It will be home with us, surrounded by love and in our arms.”
And sweet Abigail continues to be the miracle baby. Over one month later, she is still defying the odds. Nothing has changed with her tumor — it's still there. But her parents say that, to an outsider, you'd never guess anything was wrong. She's had her feeding tube removed, and she's even been gaining weight.
“She is the chillest baby ever. She just loves to be held. She watches your face, tracks it with her eyes.”
And so, the Jones family cherishes every day with their youngest member, and continues to trust in God. They know He has great plans for this sweet girl:
“If He doesn’t heal her on earth, He will heal her the second she takes her last breath,” she said. “We know this is tragic, but Abigail’s life has a purpose.”
And their faith during this difficult time is a powerful inspiration to all of us. The beauty of their love, not just for their baby girl, but also for the Almighty Creator, overshadows the sadness and shines as a beacon of hope.
"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31
If you’re still in need of inspiration, you can find it HERE!
Credit: ABC News