Apr 1, 2011

Holland

Zac took Brady yesterday morning for his first one on one with D. McGee. Really all that the testing involved was Brady answering questions, drawing pictures...that sort of thing. Not really much to tell there, we're just still plugging away trying to make sense out of what our *new* life might involve. To be honest, this week I've been quite sad. I've had extreme ups and downs - feeling so happy that we are getting answers and will be equipped with tools that will help our family function, and there is another part of me that is grieving the *idea* of a life that isn't going to be my reality. I love Brady so much and wouldn't trade him for another child EVER...but I feel lonely and confused...lonely in a way that I've never felt before. I think it comes from just knowing that most of my friends can't fully relate to what we are going through...they are very kind and understanding...but they just don't get it. It's like when you have a specific pain and you try so hard to explain it to someone and they ask if there is anything they can do..but they don't feel it. My sister in law Cari called me the other night and was a huge source of encouragement for me. Not only does she have two adopted children (and there are struggles there) but also a child with Fragile X - I think she is going to be one of the tools God uses in our lives...she has so much knowledge now that she's been down the road of *Special Needs* for over 16 years. Anyways, she shared this poem with me that is puts my feelings into words and actually made me cry the first time she read it to me because it's just...well....it.
WELCOME TO HOLLAND

by Emily Perl Kingsley c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved


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.

4 comments:

Janet said...

Thanks for sharing the poem, Alyssa. God is on your side and will be your Help no matter what. Dad and I are praying for you to enter into His rest. Brayden is very blessed to have you as his mommy. He is loved soooo much!

Cari said...

My thoughts exactly the first time I read it! Love you.

Jeanie said...

The death of a dream is just that - - The death of a dream - - and VERY painful! But God has awesome things in store in and through Brayden. That doesn't make the pain go away, I know, but somehow I hope it helps you hold tighter to the One who loves Brady and you most! I love you Springy, and will keep praying for you AND your precious Brady.

Melody said...

Okey dokey. Thanks for sharing the poem. I have heard it before and absolutely love it. And I love you! I love the way you are processing things and growing through this. I know it's not fun and it's VERY painful, but your handling it; you're not running away or jumping into denial.

I'm all caught up on reading the blog now. THANKS for sharing!!

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