Saturday, August 27, 2011

July 2011 – A Trip to Holland

We received an email from my sister-in-law a few days after receiving this news… It was titled “Trip to Holland

A Trip to Holland
By Emily Perl 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 your wonderful plans…the
Coliseum, the Sistine Chapel, Gondolas. You may learn some handy phrases in
Italian. It’s all very exciting. After several 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 guidebooks. 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. You begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. And
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 experience will
never, ever, ever, go away. 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.


  1. Holland is a beautiful country,and your Sweet Baby Madison is a BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL little girl. Thank you SO much for sharing this with us, and for helping to educate us. We love you, and we are here to help and support you in any way that we can.
    "Auntie/Grammie" Val! x x x

  2. As Madison's grandparents - Jeanne and Bill - we are very hopeful - as Bill sums it up "Madison will travel to Italy by way of Holland!". Jen and Brian are amazing parents!