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Welcome to Holland?

From Kate:

It has been difficult these last few days for our family. Trying to just sort out so much information in such a short amount of time has been testing and frustrating. Making sure the medical team is on the same page with our needs and wishes has been so incredibly surreal. Like Mark said before, who knew we would have to fight and arm ourselves so much to make sure everyone knows how to take care of our precious Getty. We are no longer in the fog, we get it, we know our next steps and if anyone gets in our way, oh boy I would hate to be that person. 🙂

I received a really inspirational parable that was given to me by a dear friend. Thank you Meri. I hope the author does not mind me sharing it. My purpose for sharing it, is because though I draw strength from the message, I believe it also has a universal message of acceptance and understanding. Those things we hold so tight perhaps need some re-evaluation.

Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley

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 interesting.

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 different guide books. 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 than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you have been there for a while and 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 the wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say ….

“Yes, that is where I was supposed to go. That is 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 morning that fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things…..about Holland.

And that is where Mark and I are. Holland is our new destination and we have bought the guidebooks, Getty is in her stroller, Cooper is leashed up and we are ready for a glorious walk together as a family.

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  • Katie says:

    Awesome analogy, I love it.

  • Eileen Grega says:

    And we are all learning from you too! Thank you for allowing us to be part of your destination! Love ya girl!

  • julia says:

    dear Kate, mark and little getty owl,
    i came across your site today through a dear friend who is going to be a vendor at the crafts fair. i have a little girls who was also born this year at the same kaiser in February, and i’m so moved by your story. thank you for sharing your deep love, strength and courage. i love getty and hope to meet her one day. she is so beautiful and blessed to be surrounded by such a loving family. my prayers and thoughts are with you.

  • Katie R. says:

    What a loveley and insightful way to describe this new place you find yourself in. It’s actually a good lesson for all of us…life is sometimes expecting Michelangelo’s David, but getting a windmill instead. We all need to learn to enjoy the windmills too!

  • Evelyn & Evin Stump says:

    Note to Kate from Evin, father of Mark. Kate, you may remember that weekend we all spent in Monterrey. At one point I gave you a hug and told you I was glad Mark had found you. Every day lately I get gladder. You are a strong, resilient, intelligent, loving woman. Mark is so lucky. So is Getty.

    Love, Evin

    P.S. Evelyn is glad, too!

  • Morgan says:

    That was perfect. Loved it.

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