Thursday, January 15, 2009

Italy vs. Holland

Awhile ago I joined a yahoo group with other women who face the challenges of infertility. We all share and discuss our ups and downs with infertility and adoption adventures. Someone recently wrote in a post of an article she had received from a blog. The woman speaking is talking about her experience with having a child with a disability. I thought it was also a great analogy for infertility and the trials that come with it. I thought I would share it with my family and friends. I know it is hard for those who have not struggled with this trial to fully understand what a couple with infertility goes through. I know my wonderful mother tries to help me, but she knows that she can never fully know where I am coming from. Our struggles with infertility have been the hardest thing that I feel I have ever been through in my entire life. However, I know that I am lucky and have been wonderfully blessed to have had two children that literally fell into my lap. And although I absolutely love my children so very much, and adoption was always in our plans, it doesn't take away the grieving that occurs when you realize your plans and dreams of actually feeling a child inside of you may never happen. This analogy is just one that truly explains in words the feelings I have inside.

"Welcome to Holland"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 somehandy 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.

At this time in my life, I am in Holland, and it's beautiful and exciting and full of adventures and trails that I still have yet to hike. It is hard, at times, to talk to all the people who get to come and go to Italy and tell you all about it, but I really love Holland. Someday I may have a surprise in the mail and find a ticket to Italy waiting for me, but I am not going to waste my days looking at the window and waiting for the mail to come. I am in Holland, and I want to see everything that it has to offer.


The Highland Hill's said...

thats very interesting...and can definitely be applied to all types of situation we face each day...

i don't think i'll ever understand what you're going through...but we always wish the best and hope things work out well and that HF will bless you someday w/ a beautiful child of your own...

The Marcial's said...

What a good outlook on the situation, it definitely makes sense and I know I wouldn't know what that struggle feels like but its a fear that when that time comes I'll be in the same place and i always wonder if I can handle it with as much strength as you do and other women who are in the same similar situation.

PS your 2 kids are freakin adorable, you're a very lucky person!

The Little's said...

I sure love you, Lyns. Thanks for the great post and the new perspective. You're my best friend and one of my most favorite people...I will always be here to hear about and share in your experiences in Holland. Love you so much!

The Christoffersen Family said...

I just read that story!! It's in Jenny McCarthy's book, "Mother Warriors". Its a book on Autism. It's amazing and I think everyone should read it! I really admire you for embracing what you have been given and making the most of it. When it comes to being a parent and not being in "Italy" things can get frustrating and lonely....but Holland really isn't so bad, we're loving it too. :o)

Rebecca said...

Hey Girl,
i like that story!! I agree it can be apllied to several situations in life. You have very beautiful children and you are awesome mother!! I am positve that God will give you the chance you deserve!!!

The Minert's said...

That was an amazing post, it brought me to tears, thankyou for sharing some of your most personal feelings and all I have to say is that you having an amazing family...your two little ones are to die for! ADORABLE! Wish we could see you all more often. Take care, Summer and Chris

Nathan and Toni Southam said...

K, my cousin just posted this not that long ago on her blog. That is crazy. Maybe you two have chatted! Anyways, I really love that story.

elonna said...

What a great story. I sure hope I haven't caused any pain this way... I think you are great! You will find the flowers no matter where life takes you. : )

I found your blog today through Rachel Spikes. I didn't even know you had one. I really love all of the pictures. You are so pretty!

The Highland Hill's said...

Something cool you should check out...

Eddie, Mandy, and baby boys said...

Thanks for the post. It's true that infertility is hard for others to understand. We're on the Holland path as well- it's been difficult and not how we planned, but we have been blessed. Take care in GR. Mandy (Jill Miller's daughter)