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


Anonymous said...

I love the Welcome to Holland story! It was included in some of the literature they gave us for McKenna! It is SO True about what we moms experience! Here's to the futures of our special kiddos!!! Please know that you guys continue to be in our thoughts and prayers!

Anonymous said...

I have not forgotten about you! I love all the pictures! Braden has become a little chub and quite the traveler too! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers!
Your TCH nurse,
Kristy Briscoe

Debra Rose said...


Thank you so much for the Holland story. I also have a friend here that has a child with special needs. Logan is 5 years old now. I am going to share that wonderful story with her.

Your family's always in our prayers. Cant wait to see you at St. Andrews on Christmas, if your in time.

Debra Rose, St. Andrews Family

Laura Mead said...

I have just completed reading and viewing the myspace site and the blog-spot. What a wonderful way for you to record your lives. I feel even more up-to-date with your lives then just the visit last week. I am so glad to know your daily triumphs and struggles as it allows me a way prayerfully remember your family.

May many blessings find your family during this new year.

Kerrimomofcp said...

That was beautiful. :) The only thing i disagree with is that Holland can be pretty flashy lol