Thursday, December 9, 2010

Welcome to Holland?

Remember here when I gave you the analogy of going to Australia in regards to infertility and adoption. Well recently I found myself answering questions about adopting and raising a special needs baby. And they always take me by surprise because 1.) a lot of the time I forget Gabriel is considered special needs and 2.) I forget that we could potentially adopt a special needs baby this time... the special needs just doesn't seem to be like a big deal to me.

But to other's it is. And then I remembered reading a different analogy by Emily Pearl Kingsley; a mama of a special needs child. So I thought I'd share it with you :)
Welcome to Holland!

It's like this... When you're going to have a baby (or planning to adopt), it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. you buy a bunch of guidebooks 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 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 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 you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, 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." The pain of that will never go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss. But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you will never be free to enjoy the very special, very lovely things about Holland.

And that's kind of the story... while I may not have envisioned being the mother to a special needs child, I was meant to be. And while it may take Gabriel a little longer to learn to crawl, walk or throw a ball with his left hand, he's exactly what God wanted him to be. And we are so happy to be where we are today.

1 comment:

Dardi said...

Oh my gosh, Meredith, that is just awesome. Thank you for sharing your heart! This just really made me smile this morning!!