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Dad, Mom, and baby Meghan

Dad, Mom, and baby Meghan

Meghan through the years

Meghan's age

Lilypie Kids birthday PicLilypie Kids birthday Ticker

Trisomy 21 trio of cuties

10 Things Every Child with Autism Wishes you knew

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A whole new meaning to "Welcome to Holland"

I would wager that most parents who has a child born with Down syndrome, and I imagine other disabilities receives this poem. Yesterday I received a link to a horrific article about a new way to dispose of children born with Down syndrome and other life changing or life threatening issues: http://www.commonvoice.com/article.asp?colid=4300

I warn you, I believe it is one of the most upsetting things I have read in a very long time, disgusting, inhuman, and heart-breaking. I know that at times we wish we did not know anything about what happens elsewhere, but I believe as humans we HAVE to care about the whole world and her people, God's people, and not just those in our little circle of friends, workplace, congregation...

Read it first, and then read welcome to Holland below, and wonder if perhaps we need to write a new poem for parents, I for one will never read it again in the same light.

WELCOME TO HOLLAND

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 Rembrandt's.

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.

1 comment:

Beautiful artwork featuring children

Such a beautiful Video

I have a voice

Gifts video

WDSD