Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Our Trips to Holland & Italy

One of my friends from college listened to a CD recording of a speech a lady named Terry gave, and thought of me, so she borrowed it to me. She talked about a book she read called Welcome to Holland. It talks about what life is like raising a child with a disability. She likens it to taking a trip to Italy. You've spent all this time preparing, buying books about Italy, figuring out what sites to see, where to stay, you've even learned some of the language. You pack your bags, go to the airport, board your plane, and just after you've landed the pilot comes over the speaker and says, "Welcome to Holland." You're not prepared for Holland. What's in Holland to see anyway? But then you buy new travel books, and you get out to see the country. You find that there's beauty in Holland too. There's windmills and tulips. While all your friends are in Italy, you've finding the beauty in Holland.

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After I listened to the CD, I talked to Adam about it. But, we decided, our trip wasn't even like that. Our whole lives we wanted to go to Italy. But just as we set our dates, we found out that we were going to Holland instead. So we started learning about Holland, studying the language, reading about things to see while we were there. Then the day finally came when we were to leave. We packed out bags and headed to the hospital... I mean airport. Got on the plane, took the long flight, and finally landed in Holland. We got off the plane and walked into the airport, looking around, but before we could even leave the airport, we were told that we had to get back on the plane and go back to the US. While we could see some tulips and windmills out the airport windows, we never got to fully experience and enjoy them. We loved and cherished what little we did get to see, but we so badly wanted to fully experience it.

At first we thought we were all alone back in the US, while everyone else was in Italy, but then we met some other parents that had canceled trips to Italy, and some that came back from Holland, like us. We learned that there was hope to take another trip, and we talked about rainbows, and all these wonderful things we could actually experience.

Soon we learned that we got to take another trip. We weren't sure if we should prepare for Holland again, or maybe, just maybe Italy, or maybe some other country. We were also afraid that our trip would be canceled again, and how sad we would be. But we started preparing anyway, and later found out we actually got to go to Italy this time. We were still a little skeptical though. We weren't sure if we would actually end up there, and were still nervous that we would end up back in the US again. But the day finally came, we landed in Italy, and saw a beautiful rainbow, and it's been shining ever since!