A friend of ours is also having some unexpected medical adventures with her family, and posted the following to her blog. We really liked it, and we wanted to share it for y'all to read as well. Thanks, Kate. :)
WELCOME TO HOLLAND
byc1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reservedI 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......
Emily Perl Kingsley.
Emily Perl Kingsley.
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.
So, we read that and really identified with it. As we got pregnant with Anya, we booked an amazing trip to Italy. We did not get to Italy. We were definitely rerouted to Holland. Not Amsterdam either. We enjoyed Holland, after the acculturation process. It took a while.
Shel and I have been making more and more elaborate analogies about where exactly we are now, and where we've been over all the various adventures we've had in the last 6 years.
I'll make a bad Airplane joke and say that we're in a Turkish Prison.
Shel doesn't want to make morbid humor on the blog, so I'll respect that.
More later, after we get home.
I saw my 12th and 13th former student as we went down to grab lunch. There's something profoundly cool about being surrounded by people that I helped in one way or another....or profoundly creepy. I'm going to go with profoundly cool though. :)