Welcome To Holland - A poem written by a parent looking back on the birth of her disabled child
When you're going to have a baby, it's like you're planning a vacation to Italy.

You're all excited, you learn a few phrases in Italian so you can get around and then it comes time to pack your bags and head for the airport - for Italy.

Only when you land, the stewardess says "Welcome to Holland". You look on at one another in disbelief and shock saying "Holland? What are you talking about? I signed up for Italy!" But they explain there's been a change of plans and you've landed in Holland and there you must stay. "But I don't know anything about Holland! I don't want to stay!" you say.

But you do stay. You go and buy some new guidebooks, you learn some new phrases and you meet people you never knew existed. The important thing is that you are not in a filthy, plague infested slum, full of pestilence and famine. You are simply in a different place than you had planned. It's slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy but after you've been there a little while and you have a chance to catch your breath, you discover that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland has Rembrandts.

But everyone else you know is busy coming and going from Italy. They're all bragging about what a great time they had there and for the rest of your life you will say "Yes, that's what I had planned".

The pain of that will never, ever go away. You have to accept that pain, because the loss of that dream, the loss of that plan, is a very, very significant loss.

But if you spend you're life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you will never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland!