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Monday, August 29, 2011

Support and "Welcome to Holland"

As we have started telling family and friends about Oliver and Fragile X we have felt a wonderful outpouring of love and support. It definitely makes it easier to handle challenges when you have love ones around to lift you up.

Thank you for the phone calls, emails, texts, and prayers. We really appreciate it.

I thought I'd share one email I received:

My Dear Megan~

You may have already seen/heard this poem and you will probably get it from many well-wishing people, but I wanted to send it on to you.

I want to say that I'm sorry, but I have to think about and clarify what I am sorry for.

I am sorry that the news of Oliver's condition came, but not sorry that Oliver came.

I am sorry that you will have 2x the work load with 2 special needs kids, but I am not sorry that you will have 2x the growth from the experience of raising 2 special kids (and not in their needs. Just plain special. Actually you are raising 4 special kids, it's just that 2 of them give you bonus growth -- a 2fer of sorts!)

I am sorry that you are far away. It's a selfish one for me.

I am happy that you are a smart and strong, faith-filled woman who faces challenges head on. Who also recognized the hand of the Lord in her life and in her sustenance. He is the only one to fully understand you and your needs, as well as each member of your family's needs.

I love you.

You are in my constant prayers.

--Name Witheld

This great friend also sent me this:

Welcome To Holland
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 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.

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