Welcome to Holland

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From somewhere on the internet…

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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9 Comments

  1. Hi Lizz-

    My name is Lori, I am a friend of Ginny Stofer, and she directed me to your blog.

    I am a fellow mom, and I just wanted to let you know this is a beautiful post. I’ve not been in your place, but I’m so impressed by you! I enjoy reading!

    Lori

  2. I am so proud of you.
    I am so proud and thankful that you and Jamie have each other.
    I am a very lucky Nana!
    God Bless you a millions times over !!!

  3. Hi. I know of you through 2peas, but you don’t know me. Anyway, my friend had a son with mental issues and she read this poem at his first birthday. It was heart wrenching. She passed out a single, yellow tuplip to everyone at the party. Everytime I look at that flower I think of her little boy and the fight he will have for the rest of his life…and I think of his mother and how brave she is and how loving she is. When I saw you had your little one early I gasped outloud. I’m so glad he is doing well and that you’ve found this poem. I hope it brings you as much peace about your situation as it brought to my friend. Congratulations on your little guy!!
    Jennifer

  4. I love this post. My DS was born with a relatively minor birth defect that’s being treated, but it was not at all what we expected. We maybe didn’t end up all the way in Holland, but perhaps Switzerland. It’s not easy, that’s for sure. Our challenges are not nearly as great as yours, but I understand in a small way. We are trying to embrace our detour as well.

    I’m so glad Max is doing well and your family is in my thoughts.

  5. wow lizz. That was SO SO lovely. Baby D is also from holland and even though we did not stay as long, we know what you mean. I hope you get to come home from holland real soon! Michelle from the nest

  6. That piece is distributed as adoption literature too. We found it helpful not only for us, but for explaining what we were going through to other people. I’m glad it’s been a good tool for you, too

  7. Great Post.

    You have a beautiful little boy. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, may Max getting stronger everyday and be able to come home soon.

    Jodi (from 2peas)

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