Kris and Nicole Crawford stand apart.
They waited to kiss one another until they were standing at the altar. Instead of the standard luxury cars medical doctors often sport, Kris drives a 10-year-old black truck—a gift from his father-in-law—and Nicole a five-year-old gray sedan. Nicole gave up her profession and her paycheck in order to stay at home with their son, Riah.
“I didn’t quit my job as an R.N. directly because of Riah. I enjoyed nursing a lot,” she said. “It was financially a hard decision at the time. But with everything that was going on—dealing with Postpartum depression, working full time, learning to be a mother—it was the best decision for us.”
The couple is accustomed to making hard decisions together. They’ve chosen to do without while they stick to a three-year plan to pay off Kris’ medical student loans, bucking the trend of a 30-year plan most doctors assume. When they’re debt free, they plan to move to Africa, India, or anywhere that will have them, to practice medicine and help the poor. They aren’t fixated on any one country or even what job. Just “not someplace nice or easy.”
“It’s what I was meant to do,” said Kris. “It’s what we were meant to do together, as a family. Nicole is so adventurous. We went to Africa while she was pregnant with Riah. She’s sitting in the car, bouncing around on these back roads with her belly, and smiling. She’s up for anything, and she’s incredibly strong. That’s what I love about her.”
“Kris loves to volunteer. That’s sort of how we got together. He volunteered one night to help me put the chairs up on the table at the coffee shop that I was working at, so I could sweep,” Nicole said. “But, sometimes he volunteers a little too much, and we have to talk about that. He makes good decisions and that’s why I can trust him to make decisions for our family.”
Their family is about to get bigger. Nicole is 33 weeks pregnant with a baby girl—the second of six children they plan to have—and probably the last to be born in the states.
Kris practices family medicine at In His Image in Tulsa. He and Nicole have been married for five years and live in West Tulsa.