Welcome to 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 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 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 some horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy a new guidebook. 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, 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.”

The pain of that will never, ever, go away, because the loss of that dream is a 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.

Written by Emily Perl Kingsley

Some Mothers Chosen By God 

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures and a couple by habit.

This year, nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children.

Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen?

Somehow, I visualize God hovering over earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation.

As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

“Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron saint, Matthew.

“Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron saint, Cecelia.

“Rudledge, Carrie, twins. Patron saint… give her Gerard, He’s used to profanity.”

Finally, He passes a name to an angel and smiles, “Give her a handicapped child.”

The angel is curious. “Why this one, God? She’s so happy.”

“Exactly,” smiles God. “Could I give a handicapped child a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel.”

“But has she patience?” asks the angel.

“I don’t want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she’ll handle it.”

“I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I’m going to give her has his own world and that’s not going to be easy.”

“But Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.”

God smiles. “No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.”

The angel gasps, “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?”

God nods. “If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she’ll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child who is less than perfect. She doesn’t realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a ‘spoken word.’ She will never consider a ‘step’ ordinary.”

“When her child says ‘Momma’ for the first time, she will be present at a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations.”

“I will permit her to see clearly the things I see… ignorance, cruelty, prejudice… and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.”

“And what about her patron saint” asks the angel, his pen poised in mid-air.

God smiles. “A mirror will suffice.”

Written by Erma Bombeck


A Special Drop of Love   

A special drop of love was deposited in my womb with care   
The unconditional love you give to me is so very rare
When you were born, Oh! What a glorious day!

I never knew there could be a love so strong
I am so blessed, because in my heart there is a song
A song of peace and assurance
A song of strength and endurance
When I look into your eyes, my heart feels your love
A Special Drop of Love came from heaven above

Your smile gives your face that special glow
Whenever you look at me, my love for you continues to grow
The Hugs! The Kisses!
These are moments of pure gold
They are treasures I have hidden deep within my soul
Many told me you would not make it this far
But look at you now, gleaming like a shining star
Every sound you make is like music to my ears
The look you give me helps wipe away my tears

Many have wondered, “Why me?”
I looked at you and wondered, “Don’t they see what I see?”
Many have wondered, “What am I going to do?”
But when I look at you, I know I can make it through
Yes, I get tired sometimes and the tears begin to flow
But then you reach for my hand and that’s when I know
That healing comes after the pain
And the sun comes after the rain

God trusted me with such a treasure
The joy I feel is beyond measure
As each day turns into night
I feel the strength to continue to fight
As each night turns into day I know that God hears every prayer I pray
My hopes and my dreams are far beyond me
Your encouragement and joy allows me to be free

A Special Drop of Love came from above
A precious little package for me to LOVE
I know I am strong and can conquer any trial
When I look in your face and see your smile  

Written by Bishop Helen E London



4 Responses to “Poems for Inspiration”

  1. misswhiplash Says:

    These are really beautiful poems. I have a friend who has three autisic children, her life is turmoil from one day to the next. Also she is a single parent as her husband (even though he was a doctor) could not take the strain. Yet she is alwasy cheerful and bright and is even studying to do teaching.
    I wish you all well and may God Bless you All

    • I loved all these poems and hoped that by sharing them I could help other mothers out there that are struggling to remain positive when sometimes the comments and criticism from the world can be so negative. I’m glad your friend has been able to remain so positive through everything – she sounds like a very strong woman and I’m sure God has great plans for her and her three beautiful children. 🙂

  2. Ian Webster Says:

    There is so much soppy sentimental stuff out there to “help” parents of children with disabilities. These are pure gems. The Holland story particularly says it more clearly and simply than I have ever heard tell.
    Thanks for sharing these wonderful gifts.

    • The Holland poem is my favorite too. The first time I read it I was just so amazed at how well it captured my feelings and helped me to see that although my journey is not what I had planned there were still many beautiful and wonderful things to be discovered 🙂

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