"Welcome to Holland" poem

Allison - posted on 11/13/2008 ( 6 moms have responded )

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everyone needs to search for and read the poem "Welcome to Holland"

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Jennifer - posted on 11/13/2008

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Posting the poem for those who haven't seen 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.

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Monica - posted on 09/05/2011

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Thank you for posting this, it had ben printed in a my local Cerebral Palsy's magazine years ago, and I had lost track of it.

Carmel - posted on 08/29/2011

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I was born with a disability but it wasn't confirmed as a form of autism until recently. Perhaps my parents were disappointed that I was not the child they were hoping for. I managed to do quite well academically but still have issues with socialising. Ironically, I believe both my parents had traces of autistic spectrum disorder too, especially my father.

Julie - posted on 11/13/2008

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My daughter's nephrologist gave us this poem 5 years ago when Lili went in the hospital to start dialysis. I LOVE this poem!!!

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