Thursday, August 4, 2011

Navigating the Airport is the First Part of a Trip

A couple weeks ago, I shared with you an essay called Welcome to Holland that is often used to help explain what it's like to have a special needs child.

And while it does offer a glimpse of what our lives can be like, it kind of glosses over that initial adjustment phase, which, by the way, is an ongoing process and can pop up multiple times for many years after diagnosis.

To be totally truthful, our lives are messy.

Yes, we may one day reach a level of acceptance and we love our children no matter what, and we've learned valuable life lessons and good has come out of all of this.  But I think all of us with special needs kiddos would take that diagnosis away in a heartbeat if we could.  We are trying to make the best of what we've been given.  We are trying to look beyond what the world sees as imperfection and really get to know our child's heart and soul.

And that can sound heroic or all butterflies and rainbows.  But it's not.  It's simply how we get through life, how we get through our day, and sometimes the next hour.

I found something online that's kind of a "spin-off" of the Welcome to Holland essay and I want to share it with you.  Because I think it gives a more realistic picture of what it can be like when you first find out you're one of those people - a special needs parent.

Now I must first warn you of a couple things:

1.  It would be good to re-read the Welcome to Holland essay first.
2.  There are a couple of times that language I don't use is thrown around - remember I'm not the author!
3.  This is not pretty, flowery reading.  But it's pretty dog-gone close to the emotions I felt when I go back to the birth of Lily Bird and all her medical issues.  And then again at 18 months when she started losing skills and we faced yet another hurdle(s) with her.  And even some days still.
4.  The author never mentions the Lord and of course, He is what saved me through all of this and helped me get out of the airport.  And He is still the One who saves me when I find myself back at the airport some days.  You'll understand after you read.

Before you can learn to love Holland, you must first get through Amsterdam International. (click on link)

Feel free to share any thoughts or comments and we'll talk some more about Holland and Amsterdam tomorrow.


  1. When you fly, there are those that are needed to sit in the exit rows to assist those needing help getting off the plane in the event of an emergency. Well, could it also be that God needed you to go through Amsterdam International for the others who also have been diverted? There are so many you have helped and others who may have dodged some heavy obstacles that you may never know about from your experience there. Still, there may be other ways God may have needed you to go through it to prepare and strengthen you for something else.

  2. I totally agree with you. I have met a whole group of people who have done nothing but enrich my life and open my eyes that I would've totally missed otherwise. They are such a blessing to me and I hope to one day be that person for someone else. And yes, God uses these things in ways I may never understand but all I know is that my life is richer for having Lily in it. Thanks for your comment.


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