Friday, April 22, 2011

We're Heading to Holland!

Our adoption training day was many things: a great chance to meet new people (people just like us!), fun, informational, overwhelming, scary, exciting, and the list could go on.

I'll blog about a few of the many important things from the day, but I thought I'd share the essay below. It was something I've heard before, and was repeated again yesterday. It applies to us, and to all of my friends that have given up "the biological dream". It was originally written about children with disabilities, but can certainly apply to those of us that thought having biological children would be easy...and was part of our "plan".

by: Emily Perl Kingsley.

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.

Both literally and figuratively, I have been to Italy. And, both literally and figuratively I have wanted to go to Holland. So, to Holland we will go. We'll admire the tulips and windmills, and will make it a grand adventure along the way. A true Thompson Family Adventure.

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