Sunday, December 30, 2012

Two years.

The week of Christmas was the two year anniversary of what I like to refer to as the doctor's appointment from hell.  In case you're new to the blog, you can read about it here.  I thought about that terrible day two years ago and I thought about it last week.
 It's a hard thing to fully explain to people what that day was like.  How our whole world felt like it was crashing down around us.  It's hard to explain to people what our life is like with Blake.   Our good friend Emily Morgan asked me if I had ever read, "Welcome to Holland." I hadn't so she gave me a copy.  It's the BEST metaphor for what our life is like.
Welcome To Holland
by Emily Kingshy
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 guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The
Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You 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
So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new
language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would have never
met. It's just a different place. It's slower-paced (or faster-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.
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 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, 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 may never
be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.
Isn't that amazingly written?  It's so true.  Life isn't terrible with Blake.  It's not what we would have ever expected, but we have adjusted.  It's not bad.  It's harder, for sure.  Look at the alternative.  There was a 90% chance he wasn't supposed to be here.  Sometimes, I let myself try to imagine what would have happened if that a-hole of a doctor would have been right.  That Blake wouldn't have made it past birth.  It is unimaginable.
Blake is who he is.  I have adjusted to this life.  Our family has adjusted.  You know what?  I think we are better individuals and better as a family because of Blake.   I thank God for this wonderful blessing named Blake every single day. :)


Karen Frohwein said...

Excellent post. I have always liked that Holland story. Your family has adjusted with those new guidebooks in hand and a life with that wonderful blessing, Blake. Thanks for continuing to share your story and remind us all that sometimes are blessings come with some surprises.

Mary or Jerod said...

I love you and your family, and you help me remember that life is what you make of it. :)

Jamie Dee said...

I find it so purposeful that you posted that article "Welcome to Holland." Each year I have the seniors read that and write about their own "Holland" experience. I often mention your family when we discuss the article. The students can relate to the article because of your family. I, too, can do that now. We all need to understand that everyone's experiences are meaningful, and perhaps, through understanding, our lives and society will better themselves. We are all truly blessed, and I find that even more true because of the shootings in Newtown. Thank you for sharing a truly inspirational story. Much love to all of you.