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Monday, August 8, 2011

The Beauty of Holland

As the mother of a deaf child, I feel as though the sharing of this poem is similar to an initiation into the worldwide group of mother's with deaf children. Enjoy.
 
The Beauty of Holland

"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 trip--to Italy! You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You even 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 flight attendant 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 has 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 learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you never would 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. Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandt's.
"But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all talking 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.'

"But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't go to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland"

--Emily Perl Kingsley

 
Things that we have learned since April 4, 2011:
the day I called my husband from the audi's office to tell him our son was in fact deaf.

ask every question you can think of. (and WRITE down all the answers)

it can only go up from here.

challenges like these only make us stronger.

differences are what make us all unique indiviuals. embrace those differences.

this experience has taught us true compassion.

we are blessed with a good, loving and healthy baby and will never take that for granted.

we are not alone.

be patient.
but never give up.

as much as I love Italy, and as familiar as I was with the country... Learning Holland has been a growing experience for all of us.

take it one.day.at.a.time.

4 comments:

  1. just beautiful XOXOXOX

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  2. This is so beautiful!! Love you H!

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  3. i love this! and you! and Hunter! and Blair too!!!

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  4. I just found your blog through Butters' blog, and your journey to this point echoes my own! Your son is almost exactly a year older than mine (4/20 for m Peter), Peter has a Nana Bev, too. And I wrote about reading this poem :). I can't wait to read the rest of your postings! Peterstale.blogspot.com is where I am. Thanks so much for sharing, it really helps to know there are so many other families like ours out there! -Ellen

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