Welcome to Holland

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.


Matt and Hilary said...

Whitney, I love this! And I love you! You are such an amazing mother and I admire how strong you are. You inspire me! I would love to see you sometime. Oaklynn is such a lucky little girl to have you for a mother. Congrats on your little girl soon to be born too! I hope everything goes well and you have a stress free delivery! Love ya Whit!

missgkotter said...

Hello, my name is Micki and I am friends with your sisters Shay and Lauren and your sister in law Jessica. Shay posted your blog and I wanted to check it out. I have to tell you that I was so impressed with your analogy. What a beautiful way to express what has happened in your life. I taught Special Education for 10 years and I wish I would have had those words to give to parents. I hope many people find what they need from your blog!

Anonymous said...

I just need to say thank you for putting exactly how I feel into words. Our little Brenna Just turned 2 years old And we found out in february that she has Retracted as well. We also have a little second baby who was just recently born as well. My girlfriend told me about your site Saying we had a lot in common With our scenarios. The couple months we have known about this Have been extremely up and down It does not change the fact that you mourn for not being able to ever go to Italy, But makes you truely appreciate every beautiful thing about life as it is. I believe God does not make mistakes, and does not give you more than you can handle. I came across a quote that meant a lot to my husband and I from an unknown author...
" I thought I would teach my daughter about the world, it turns out I need to teach the world about my daughter. They see a little girl who can't talk, I see a miracle who does not need words."
I would love to talk to you sometime if you are up for it.

Christina Anglum said...

What a beautifully written analogy.

Unknown said...

you have the most beautiful words! Your explanation is probably exactly what my daughter is feeling right now. Bless you and your family on your journey through life!