Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Our trip to holland - Tulips are my new favorite flower

Braden is still trying to get over this bronchitis-like episode, along with mommy & daddy. The good news is that he is now able to clear stuff out of his mouth on his own, and after two consecutive weeks of checks, he has no pnuemonia - what a fighter we have!

I am going to share a little story with you called "Welcome to Holland", written by a special needs mom, Emily Perl Kingsley 1987. I thought this illustrated what I have struggled at times to convey myself, about what it is to be a parent of a special needs child.

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.

The first picture on here is of Braden and his handprint ornament, that another special needs mom, Stacie - a friend of ours, made for Braden. A precious keepsake we will treasure. As we embark on our trip home for the holidays, we will probably take a small break from our blogging, unless there is any major news to note. We hope that your families will receive many blessings this holiday season, and that you will experience lots of joy. With love from our family to yours - Merry Christmas!

Kodi, Brad, & Braden

Friday, December 08, 2006

12-7-06 update

Braden and parents upon returning from our glorious trip, caught the bug. While mommy & daddy are recovering mostly, poor little guy has a cough that is sticking with him. He is on a regimen of augmenten, so we hope this will knock it out.

We have some good news to share about his head growth. In past postings I have shared with you, that slow head growth is not good, because the brain needs to grow. In the early stages of regular doctor visits once we finally got to go home from the NICU... Braden was only charting on the growth scale in the FOURTH percentile, way below his peers, and didn't even come close to approaching the range of normal. This week when we went to see our local nuero, we got some exciting news that gives us hope (God just seems to know when we need that little glimmer to pick our spirits up)... Braden actually fits INSIDE a pattern that puts him near the 25th percentile!!! God continues to bless us with his unending love - THANK YOU!!!!

We are preparing to fly home again for Christmas. After a wonderful experience with Continental over THanksgiving, we decided to save Braden four travel days of living in a carseat just to get to KS & back (not even counting driving around in KS to see family). We will only have to spend two half days travelling to & from, rather than TWO two-day trips just to reach our destination. Brad's brother has graciously offered us his Yukon so we can travel to Western KS to see my family, so they can all meet Braden. We are so thankful, and excited!

We will probably not have anything to post until we get to KS and it's near Christmas, but we want to thank you for your postings and prayers. Thanks for stopping by.

Kodi, Brad, Baby Bee