Hi! This poem was on a friend's blog and thought that I would share....
Welcome to Holland
"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 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 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 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 will learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you never would have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you have been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that 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 loss of that will never, ever go away, because the loss of that dream is a 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."
……Emily Pearl Kingsley (founder of the USA Down Syndrome Association)
(Reproduced from AFASIC News No. 78 May 1995)
I know this is how we feel and will always feel about our Emma. What a sweet girl! There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about how much joy she has brought us, how much joy she will continue to bring us, and how lucky we are to have her!