Friday, June 27, 2008

God's Plan & Welcome to Holland

It's funny how sometimes it takes awhile for things to sink in... to process information... to understand why God dealt you the hand he did.

Each and every day Julie and I think about why God chose us to be the caregivers of our beautiful Lily. I don't understand it. Why us? Why not someone more capable, holy and worthy of such a gift? Obviously he chose us for a reason. Obviously he has a plan for us and Lily. We don't understand it... but we are honored to be her parents and thank him everyday for giving us her.

She is the most lovable and sweet baby I have ever met (and we have 3 other pretty darn sweet ones). I still have no idea what our future has in store for us on this journey with Lily... I just know that Julie and I will love and care for her unconditionally for the rest of her life.

We read a children's book to our kiddos called "God Gave Us You". That book inspired the URL of this blog. We will never understand God's Plan for us, but he dealt us this hand for a reason. We will make the best of it.

Below is a reading a friend of mine with a Special Needs child passed along to me when we learned of Lily's diagnosis. The goof-ball I am... I did not read it until tonight. It had an impact on me. I thought I would post it here for others to enjoy.

(BTW... the capable, holy and worthy reference above applies exclusively to me. Anyone who knows us realizes Julie is there but wonders about the knucklehead she married.)


Emily Perl Kingsley.
c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

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 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.


Anonymous said...

Was so pleased to read the blog about Lily and the special note about thinking you are going to Italy but ending up in Holland. I have a child with a disability (Aspergers or Autism. He is 16 yrs old now but the early years were horrific in terms of attempting to understand the whys and the hows of accepting the loss of "normal". Realizing and recognizing the joys of living and nor worrying, trusting in God's plan, seeing accomplishment rather than placing importance on the small stuff and most of all faith development are all the tools you will need. It is an adventure and a journey and it is amazing. We are chosen to take it.
Sandy Youmatz

Unknown said...

This is one of my favorites. I have welcome to Holland on my blog also. I think I tear up everytime I read it. LOL