I just wanted to share this poem I read ...

Valerie - posted on 03/23/2009 ( 23 moms have responded )

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Welcome to Holland

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability to try and help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel.

Its like this.....

When you are going to have a baby its like planing a fabulous vacation trip-to italy.You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans.The coliseum the Michelangelo David,the gondolas etc.You may learn some handy phrases in in italian.Its all exciting.You pack your bags and off you go.Several hours later the plane lands and 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 Ive dreamed of going to Italy."

But there has been a change of flight plan and youve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they havnt taken you to a horrible,disgusting place full of pestilence,famine and disease.Its just a different place.So you must go out and buy different guide books and learn a new language.You will meet a whole bunch of people you never would have met.

Its just a different place,slower pace than Italy,less flashy than Italy.After a while you catch your breath and look around you 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 thats where I was supposed to go,that's what I had planned."

The pain of that will never go away,because the loss of that dream is a significant loss.But if you spend your whole life mourning the fact that you didnt go to Italy you may never be free to enjoy the very special and the lovely things about Holland.
By Emily Perl Kingsley

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23 Comments

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April - posted on 04/26/2009

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Amen! I have one of each. I thank God my kids are only 18 months apart in age and that my son wasn't diagnosed until 3 years old because I probably would have never had my daughter and I would be able to see just how incredibly special my son is. Also, my daughter ,even at 5 years old, has an enormous compassion for other children that you don't normally see in little girls her age. I am sure it is because she has always acted as the older sister even though she is younger. They are both really amazing! Holland is a hard place to live, but it stills rocks!!!! God put us there because we are strong enough.

Susan - posted on 04/25/2009

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Hey I love Holland after seeing the way some Italiens behave towards our little girl I wouldn't trade her for anything. Sometimes we wonder what it would be like if she was different but then we think we are lucky we have her.

April - posted on 04/24/2009

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OMG!!!!! I am balling here. For the first time I feel like someone understands. And by the way, I have found that I wouldn't trade Holland for Italy or any where else in the world! It is way too beautiful here!!!

Emily - posted on 04/23/2009

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Thankyou for posting that. It does make alot of sense. Is it bad that I still want Italy??? Im not yet fully happy with Holland and how to deal with it .

Samantha - posted on 04/18/2009

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I read this before my son was diagnoised and before we even suspected anything was wrong. So when we started with the diagnosis, it helped to remember and i belive its the reason i have accepted it so well.

[deleted account]

Oh my goodness, thank you so much for sharing this. You are so very right, this is exactly how I feel. We were not able to have children of our own so we decided to go through the foster care system. We were introduce to a wonderful little boy and then he came to live with us. We are in the process of terminating parental rights and adoption. He has lived with us a little over a year now and as time went on, I began to notice certain things, even though other people seemed to notice it before I did. I think I didn't want to see it. So now we couldn't have our own and my biggest fear was having a child with Autism but this is what God has given me. He hasn't been formally diagnosed yet, but has been diagnosed with Sensory Integration Disorder and Auditory Processing Disorder (I think that is what its called.) We are taking him to a great children's place and he will be tested and formally diagnosed there. I know there are issues, I'm just not exactly sure what they are but I know they are going to fall within the spectrum. Sorry this turned out to be so long, but I could so relate to this poem. My heart broke at first and sometimes it still does, but I have to be able to see the tulips as well...

Julie

Christy - posted on 04/17/2009

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I liked this poem alot . I have four children one with pdd-nos ,my other children do not.my youngest is the one ,but having three other children first , I came to relize that they all have thier weaknesses and thier strenghts,and to me my son is who he is and thats alright with me.

Hazel - posted on 04/17/2009

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A dear friend sent this to me at one of those moments I needed lifting. I cried so hard, but then it gave me the strength to move on and move forward. It is inspirational!

Jane - posted on 04/14/2009

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My friend gave this to me a year ago.  I cried.  It really hits home....the last line in the poem is what convicted me the most.  If you keep mourning.....for so long I felt so cheated, but after embracing the challenge and path that God has given me,(some days are better than others) it has been a little easier.  :) 

Maria - posted on 04/13/2009

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My daughter's special education preschool teacher passes this poem out to all the parents in the packets they send home the first day of school. I love it! It makes me tear up but it also helps me put things in perspective! Thanks for posting it!

Jenn - posted on 04/08/2009

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What a way to put it! I can relate to this writing so much. The end of the poem really is what moving forward is all about considering if you do keep mouring, you'll never get to enjoy ....that part is hard at times. Thanks for posting, it was uplifting to me. :o)

Lisa - posted on 04/02/2009

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We have a 20 year old autistic daughter and this poem is so very true.  There are so many wonderful things you can miss along the way if  all you see is the bad.  And even the bad at its worst can sometimes be seen as good.  Thank you for sharing this with everyone.

[deleted account]

Thanks for posting, I have read this poem before but its just as special to read it again. I live in Italy and Holland and get to reap the benfits from both. So I am priveledged to have a 7 yr old who is AS and a 5yr old, who doesnt. I thank GD for both...

Linda - posted on 04/02/2009

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Thank you, my son was diagnosed 13 years ago and it still hurts, that poem is so true, life does go on,maybe not on the same path as most but a good path all the same,you meet people who just know how you feel,they have an understanding,we may not belong to the Italy club but i'm proud to belong to the holland club,in our club we know what is really important in life.......HAPPY KIDS...XXX

Christi - posted on 04/01/2009

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Thank you so much for posting this.  My son was diagnosed about 1 yr ago and he is now 10 yrs old.  When I first found out that he had ADD and Asperger's I was devestated.  I'm still learning how to cope!  It gets a little easier all the time.  Thank you!!

Tera - posted on 03/31/2009

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This makes sense to me alot! you do dream of having the "perfect" dream but sometimes life throws u a curve ball and what u have dreamt before hand doesn't seem to matter anymore and your new dream is to be happy with how your life has worked out! thanks for posting this it has made me think alot about how i was feeling before,

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i can totally relate to everything you have written here  and yes ur dreams become differant dreams but just as speacial as any other

Cindy - posted on 03/24/2009

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This is so beautifull, thank you for posting it. It has given me new hope and strength.

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