Sunday, February 17, 2008

Someone's reading my mind . . .

Welcome to Holland by: Emily 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 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 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 hs 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 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

I hope this helps some of you who are, like me, still wondering why, how, and all the other questions.

That about sums it up. Beautiful, well said.


Kim said...

Oh Aimee - What a great explaination. It made me cry. It is different but I have heard something similar about miscariage too - you have to morn the loss of a dream. Emily is so lucky to have you for her Mom!

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baby trevor's mommy said...

I LOVE that poem! Being a newbie IS mommy myself...that one spoke to my heart the first time I read it! I'm glad you found it too!

Your babes are beautiful! I have a "thing" for baby bootays...and loved the sweat pea pix!


Karen said...

A meeting was held quite far from Earth!
It's time again for another birth.
Said the Angels to the LORD above,
This Special Child will need much love.

Her progress may be very slow,
Accomplishments she may not show.
And she'll require extra care
From the folks he meets down there.

She may not run or laugh or play,
His thoughts may seem quite far away,
In many ways she won't adapt,
And he'll be known as handicapped.

So let's be careful where she's sent,
We want her life to be content.
Please LORD, find the parents who
Will do a special job for you.

They will not realize right away
The leading role they're asked to play,
But with this child sent from above
Comes stronger faith and richer love.

And soon they'll know the privilege given
In caring for their gift from Heaven.
Their precious charge, so meek and mild,

Reagan Leigh said...

Wow, that's a great explaination. I found your blog from the IS forum. I've also been there and I have a few concerns about the therapies they are offering you through ECI (I know you have other things on your mind right now and I pray that Emily is well soon)! You mentioned that Emily has vision problems...I really think she should be getting vision services as well. My daughter Reagan just started and I've heard wonderful things, I only wish we could have gotten the services for her sooner! Also, with her feeding difficulties, Emily should also be receiving OT for feeding issues at the very least. I really think you need to talk to ECI about reevaluating her sooner rather than later. (Something to keep in mind, many times if you go through your insurance and get private therapy services you can get more sessions per month, ECI is very limited in the amount of times they can come out.) I think you are being shortchanged. You have to be careful, not all services are created equally!!
Take care,