Welcome to Holland

Have You ever read the poem “Welcome to Holland”? I get so very moved, every time I read it.

It is nearly impossible for Your family and friends to comprehend the feelings and sence of grief, that comes with having a handicapped child. Emily Perl Kingsley descibes it perfectly in her story below:


When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a faboulous 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 exiting.
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 place.
A disgusting, filthy place full of pestilence, famine and disease.
It’s just a different place.
So you must go 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 have never 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 can 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 rave about how wonderful Italy is.
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 will never quite go away..
for loosing a dream is significant.
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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