Sunday, February 19, 2006

Welcome To Holland

This was passed on to me from a friend when Noah was in NICU. It explains this whole experience so well and I love it.

by Emily Perl Kingsley.
c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. 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 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.


Anonymous said...

Hi Noah,
Praise the Lord. You are home again andhave the opprotunity to contine boning with Joshua and Kailyn. Love and prayers to you all.
Auntie Bertha

Anonymous said...

Oviously, I did not check my spelling.So here goes.
Praise the Lord. You are home again and have the opportunity to continue bonding with Kailyn and Joshua. Love and prayers to alll of you.
Auntie Bertha
PS Would you believe that I'm dislexic? Well Noah, you will have to put up with your eccentric aunt .

Anonymous said...

Nichole! I heard this at a MOM's group a couple months ago and have been searching for it ever since to send to you! An amazing article. The lady who shared it had her son speak on the Attitude of Gratitude. He was her Holland! You can read more about Gabe at
for anyone interested. (You might remember him from Oprah a while ago).
God Bless you 5! I have been so encouraged by your strength, Nichole. You and Brad have been amazing examples to me, and to many of my friends out here -not to mention everyone who's lives you and Noah have touched. Noah is so blessed to have God-given parents, friends, and family like he has!

Kerri Kincaid