Friday, May 25, 2007

Welcome To Holland

The story below was given to us this past week by the Turner family in the UK. They also have a sweet boy with HLHS (charlieturner.blogspot.com). In their journey with Charlie's condition, someone gave them this story to help describe what life with a special needs child is like. It vividly illustrates what we wrote about last time with changing dreams & has touched our hearts. Thank you, Turners, for this wonderful story. Enjoy!


"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, Michelangelo’s 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 flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland, and there you must stay.

The most 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 guidebooks. 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 awhile and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland 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."


We may or may not experience Italy down the road. Only God knows whether our journey will take us there. But for now, our Holland is bright. We would have never known the beauties of this country without God's plan for Isaac. Holland truly is beautiful this time of year...

35 comments:

anita said...

WOW! Isn't that awesome!! None of us can say "we know how you feel" but these guys can, huh? Praise the Lord! Love y'all!!

Carlyn said...

Isaac is PRECIOUS! Keep holding him!

Carlyn

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story. :-) Next time I'm coming during the day so that i can see precious Isaac awake! How wonderful to hear of his steady improvements! Tuesday was such a blessing. Seeing you is always like a breath of fresh air...

You're in my prayers as always. Much love!!!

Lindsay

Anonymous said...

That was a touching story. Thanks for sharing!

Isaac looks so sweet!

Love & Prayers,

Bryant & Hilary

Anonymous said...

That's a great analogy! Thanks for sharing it.

In Him,
Bruce

Anonymous said...

That is a great story. Probably couldn't be described any better!
What a cutie pie you have!! And he's wearing clothes now too.... Im so happy for you all :)
Kerry

Crystal S said...

Nice story. I understand what this is like. I have been to "Holland" many times. While I always thought my life was supposed to go the "normal" direction, I ended up with a disability. I am stuck in that pathway for life. I have to deal with being in "Holland" and adjusting to their ways. Holland does have beauty so I have to focus on the good side of this all. Isaac will do the same as he grows up. Just tell him to look at the good side and keep his head up! God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Holding a finger and gazing at the face of the person holding him. What a sweet, precious little picture! God has blessed you with this journey with little Isaaic. Praise the Lord! We are praying for you:)
-v&c

Anonymous said...

how precious the picture is. keep them coming. we are so glad to hear about all of the progress going on there in chapel hill. we can't wait to have the three of you home and hear you (Patience) singing again with the worship band. continuing to pray here.

Anonymous said...

how AWESOME is our God! He is AMAZING! Issac's journey is such a testimony to our God. I am thankful for the honor of praying for Issac and for you guys posting and allowing us to share in this with you. I look forward to seeing baby Issac at C3 soon! I know you guys will be so glad to have him home. What a joyous day that is going to be! Thank you for being strong in your faith in the Holy One and sharing it with us. You are such an encouragement to us all! Our Father's Love is truly amazing!

Pete, Alison and Charlie said...

Dear Patience and Jordan - I'm so glad you liked the Holland story! It meant so much to us, and I had a feeling you might like it too! So glad to see Isaac looking so brilliant - he's getting cuter by the day! Have fun tiptoeing through those tulips!
Holding you in our prayers,
love and support,
Alison xxx

Victoria said...

You are soo cute Isaac! I cant wait until I get to see you in person for the first time. You have got such an awesome story to tell one day. Love you bunches!!

Patience and Jordan-
I love you guys too!! I cant wait to see you too Patience!! Love you both!

Geraldine Vanderveen said...

Hi Patience,

I have followed your beautiful little boy's progress for some time now, and as a special needs mom myself, you are doing such a great job. I have heard the "Welcome to Holland" poem before too and in fact know of a part 2. If you go to my son, Connor's website
www.caringbridge.org/visit/connorv
and look at the Nov. 21, 2006 entry it is there. It is also very beautiful and fitting! Remember to keep the faith and God will do the rest!
Blessings
Geraldine Vanderveen

Gina Witcher / Runnermom4 said...

I have read the Turner's blog and also their other blog about their son Will that had another type of condition that did not allow him to live outside the womb for more than 15 minutes.

All the families I have known with a special needs child are the most amazing families, and they appreciate the life most of us take for granted.

This has been an incredible journey to travel with you guys. Even though none of us have had to bear your deepest pain, we have hurt in ways that have surprised us. We have grown in ways we didn't know we needed to. We have loved in ways we didn't know we could love a stranger, and many of us have found a community of friends on this blog whom we keep in touch with regularly. We all look forward to continuing this journey with you in "Holland"

We love you guys,
The Witchers

Jane-Jane said...

Well said... thank you for sharing this beautiful writing.

Anonymous said...

Patience and Jordan,
I loved the Holland story and it touched me, too. Also, I agree totally with RunnerMom4's blog comment. We are blessed by God to walk along side your path. You have a great cloud of witnesses who are cheering you on. I Love you three very much, Isaac's FL grandma

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story!!!

The day that YOU post Isaac's first smile on this blog, WOW, what a blessing that will be.

He WILL be home soon. I have never believed otherwise.

Luv u guys

Anonymous said...

I loved the story. So true in life....Be glad in any situation God puts you in and bloom where you are planted!

A neighbor and I were talking tonight about Isaac and we thought back to March at our Connect Group we said "man has done all he can now all we can hope for is a miracle and for God to step in"

Well folks, it looks like we have ourselves a miracle...... Dawn

The Marshalls said...

as i was checking up on baby leino, i looked online to learn more about his condition. the more i read, the more encouraged i got. http://tchin.org/portraits/gibson-1.htm

you should visit that site when you have time. it's another miracle story and i thought you and yours could appreciate it. your family is held so dear to my heart as i follow your baby's precious life. consider my prayers constant. blessing your way!!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing story.

Delea. said...

That is a beautiful story. He is so cute!. Our prayers never stop.
love you guys.
Delea

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story!

Nikki said...

I think everyone has a "Holland" story, you plan your whole life for "Italy", but God has other plans. They push you to the limits and sometimes make you want to give up. God is always there holding your hand to bring you to "Italy" you're just going a different way. You get to see things that, had life been easier, you would have never experienced. God has gotten me through the struggles of my "Holland" and I wouldn't have it any other way. I know that what I've struggled with is nothing to what Isaac will experience, but know that God is always there even when you don't know how it will work out. You three are in my prayers daily and I can't wait to see what God has planned for your angel. I love you guys :)

Anonymous said...

As a mother you read this story and it really makes sense!I am so happy to see Issac looking so good!And what a pretty baby he is!I pray everything keeps going great for you..it does my heart good to see that baby and just how peaceful he looks!He finally looks like he should, carefree and enjoying life, what a good feeling!
A.Ballard

Anonymous said...

The progress lately has been such a blessing and I am so happy to hear you are looking forward to coming home. Isaac is so precious and how wonderful to share with others your journey. It makes it easier to share with others who really understand.
God is great and the prayers continue.
Love
Laura

Anonymous said...

AMEN!!!!!!!!!
God had a plan and has a plan...keep your eyes on the sites ahead! Thank you for allowing us to tag along on the journey :)
Love and Prayers...hug Isaac extra times from us :)

Anonymous said...

Patience, I read your blog often though rarely comment. Your strength through this marathon of a journey is greatly inspiring. Before I even read on I knew which story you had posted. I love "Welcome to Holland". Though I've worked with special ed since college I hadn't read that story until a few months ago...but it really touched me. I see the difficulty the parents of my students have been through on each of their individual journeys, but I know the love that most of them have for their children. When I look at the smiles on their faces each day I am reminded how wonderful "Holland" really is. You are so blessed for the things Isaac will teach you. I learn from my kids everyday. I am praying that God will continue to provide physical, emotional, and spiritual strength to you, Jordan, and Isaac as your explore each day in Holland. :) ~Jen Kilpatrick

Renee said...

Praise be to God !! He is making you and your precious boy stronger stronger in Him.

Kellee Flatt said...

I've heard that story before, and I actually thought of it for you and your family. I have a sister with special needs, and I think it describes life perfectly. My husband and I empathize with you.... we know the road is rough, and at times you just don't know how you can make it through... but just remember the old cliche story of "Footprints" When you think you can't go on.... that is when Jesus will carry you. Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with you. Thanks for letting us join your extended family, and be on the journey with you.

Anonymous said...

Jordan and Patience,

God is so awesome! His love is evident in the postings that are placed on this blog. It is so wonderful to read the passages of others who can REALLY understand your pain and struggles, your ups and downs, and your moments of long awaited victories. For them to share their experiences and offer words of encouragement is one of the greatest blessings you can ever receive.

It certainly pays to be a child of God - no matter what!

Rebecca VanderWerff

Anonymous said...

God is great and its awesome to know that He's with us no matter where we are ... "Holland" or "Italy".

I pray for continual joy/happiness and healing in God's time and His way.

Gina Witcher / Runnermom4 said...

I thought you guys might be interested in a little boy named Dax. He is 3 years old and desperately needs a liver transplant. He was born with a condition where the doctors said he wouldn't live past 1. He was adopted at 2 months old. You may already have found his blog. If not it is "ottingers.blogspot.com"

Just thought you might be interested since you now understand what these parents are going through.

Alli Tiner said...

Very touching story. Isaac is very precious.

Becky Wyatt said...

what a little cutie pie!!

ExPat Mom said...

I can really relate to the Italy/Holland analogy. Although my son´s problems are nowhere near what little Isaac is facing, it was pretty much a shock. We had ultrasounds saying everything was ok, and then when he was born, the nurse came in and told me that my baby wasn´t normal and that he had to go for surgery almost immediately. His intestines didn´t connect with the outside of his body and he had to go through 3 surgeries (which is minor for this type of problem) in the next year.

I really hope and pray that you will get your miracle for Isaac, but should it not happen, rest assured that there is a very special place for him in Heaven. I have three little angels there myself.