Again - nobody is talking about not changing API and ABI _ever_. It's ok to keep it stable for a defined period of time, say, across a major version. The change you're describing happened in 2003. Since then, there were other changes - but it didn't change the fact that network drivers compiled for FreeBSD 7.0 will work fine with FreeBSD 7.4 once it's released.
Btw - of course there was a migration period, during which kernel warned about drivers that didn't declare themselves as MPSAFE ("Giant-free").