Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wait, Holland??

A friend sent this to me shortly after Sweet Pea was born and we heard the diagnosis.  And yes, I know Sarge told me about it, but he never showed me where he found it =)


Welcome 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 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 Rembrandt.

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.

©1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved.


I can honestly say that I spent some time mourning the loss of my trip to Italy, but I am starting to see the beauty and joy that comes from being in Holland.  It's not what I expected, but in some way it's exactly what I needed.


  1. I heard this years ago and have always loved it. I work with chilren who have special needs and I have always hoped that I have been able to make Holland feel a little more like home for the families that I serve. I am thinking of you and sending my best your way!

  2. Lynette, my mother also went to Holland, an unexpected but blessed journey and God has been her personal tour guide every step of the way as He will be yours :)

    There are so many beautiful sites to see, joys to experience and trust me, you will stand in awe of Him & of His provision for you and your family! The challenges pale in comparison!!

    Thank you so much for sharing :) I continue to send hugs & prayers as a fellow believer and a Spark friend who understands!! Bless you :) ~Deej