Friday, February 27, 2009

Welcome to Holland

This is a poem I found through one of the mom's who's part of the S.B. Kids group I joined on BabyCenter.com. She sent it to me when I first joined the site and although it made me cry the first time I read it, I really felt like it described the feelings I had when we first found out that something was not right with our baby. Although now those feelings are already fading and I don't feel that overwhelming sadness or helplessness, it was a sweet and honest way to help others know a little about what it is like. I wanted to share it with you. :)


"Welcome to Holland"
By Emily Perl Kingsley, 1987. All rights reserved.
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 some of that pain 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

6 comments:

Carli said...

Great story! Love you!!

truly blessed said...

You never know what your future will hold.
We try so hard to plan things out just so, but then God steps in and changes things around and makes them even more special and beautiful than we can ever imagine.
Love you guys,
Mary

Papi said...

The character of the people of Holland, its qualities of toughness, of endurance, of enterprise ... spring from the peculiar nature of the country, which differs from that of any other country in the world. The age-long struggle against ocean and floods ... which has converted the marshes, by toilsome labour and skill, into fertile and productive soil, has left its impress on the whole history of this people. (History of Holland)

I am so confident that you, David and baby will have the same love, endurance and determination in creating a beautiful life.

Joanna and David said...

Thank you so much for your comments (all of you). They are so uplifting and we love reading them and seeing loved ones take time to look at our blog. :)

Johnson A GoGo! said...

Love you all so much! You and David inspire me. Can't wait to meet your little Doodlebug!

Joy said...

What a beautiful poem! It made me cry! It really explains life so perfectly. Thank you for sharing it!

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