Welcome to Holland
By: Emily Perl Kingsley
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with special needs-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, its like planning a fabulous vacation trip-to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make wonderful plans. The Coliseum, Michelangelo's 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'll 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 must meet a whole new group of people you never would 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 awhile and you catch your breath, you look around and you begin to notice that Holland has a lot to offer. 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 in your head, "Yes.....I know how great Italy is. I had planned to go there too."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away.......because the loss of that dream is a VERY significant loss. But.......if you spend the rest of your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, very wonderful things.......about Holland.
i just loved that!!! i think it is a great picture of where i am at, personally. gavin is a miracle.....nothing short of it. there is not a doubt in my mind that he will continue to get stronger and stronger. i have faith in a very big God to get us there. however, i know that the road to getting him there is a long one. it is a road that is filled with appointments, therapies, and possible surgeries. my job as his mommy is to do EVERYTHING i can to get as much support for him! the earlier the better! that's exactly what we are doing. and we will continue to do it.....
we, as always appreciate your prayers. and honestly........i ask sincererly for sensitivity. we have very fragile moments. this has been a very tough time for us. although we LOVE our son more than words could ever describe and although we have grown accustomed to this "way of life", we are still mourning the loss of what many consider as "typical" and "normal". thank you for loving on us during our sad days and rejoicing with us during the happy ones. lately, there have been more happy ones. i'd say that's a pretty good thing :)
all my love,
ps. the boys taking a snooze...