Sunday, March 8, 2009

Welcome To Holland

An amazing family gave us this essay and it truly sums up how we feel.

Welcome to Holland
By: Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around....and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away...because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But...if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things...about Holland.

7 comments:

  1. The essay is beautiful...thank you for sharing it. And I just want you to know that I want to learn everything I can about Holland. Avery and I loved our visit today!! We will be praying for you this week. Lots of love :-)

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  2. What a great analogy. Thanks for sharing it and for continuing to give us a glimpse into your life (aka, Holland).

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  3. Still praying for you guys!

    Rebecca Freshwater

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  4. I think we can all relate to this essay when things don't go as they thought they would in our lives. I know when we lost our first to miscarriage it definitely felt like that. Thank you so much for sharing this. Awesome!

    Cheers to Holland anyway! Praying for you guys!!

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  5. Beautifully said. Love you guys!

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  6. I often check your blog while I am at work, and this time was no different except that now my coworkers are wondering why there are tears in my eyes. Such a beautiful essay. Thanks for sharing. Praying for you all!

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  7. I have read this before somewhere. It is wonderful and full of so much truth. Thank you for sharing it... Love, Amy Noble

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