"A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps"
I was trying to buy shoes today for Seber. Size 10 or size 11? It's rather difficult to know what size he is when he's half way around the world. I really should have checked that out when we visited him, but I didn't think of that as I savoured the moments playing with him and spending time with him.
This isn't how I envisioned my life to be.
So many unknowns. YET...
so much to look forward to!
I love the poem, "Welcome to Holland", written by an advocate of Down syndrome.
If I read that poem from a Christian perspective, I'm reminded of the many blessings we would miss out on if we didn't follow God's call in our lives. Even though we may have planned on going to Italy, we are going to Holland (which is awesome, because I love Holland, and I can't wait to experience the joys and blessings that await us)!!
Longtime Sesame Street writer Emily Perl Kingsley has been advocating for people with disabilities since 1974, when her son, Jason (co-author of Count Us In: Growing Up With Down Syndrome), was born with Down syndrome. In 1987, she wrote Welcome To Holland, which has remained a source of comfort and inspiration ever since.
Welcome to Holland
BY EMILY PERL KINGSLEY
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 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 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 never would 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 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 go to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things...about Holland.
©1987 BY EMILY PERL KINGSLEY.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Continuing to give thanks...
-having lunch with awesome, supportive, adoption mommy friends
-waking up to an e-mail that says the last document has been received and is on its way to the High Commissions! (hurry, Visa, hurry)!!
-sharing stories at dinner time
-deep theological discussions with our 6 year old!
-her study buddies
-our renovated toy room (before and after)
-how he loves wood working, even when under strict supervision of his niece