Everyday I learn something new… and so does Addie. Today she is 5 months young, and showing me new things everyday.
Happy birthday, beautiful.
Looking back to before she was born, I want her to know how excited we were to be having a baby- HER! … Here I am at 35 weeks.
Parenthood is scary, but knowing that I have such an amazing daughter, makes each day beautiful!
There is a poem I’d like to share, called Going to Holland. It was shared with me to “make me feel better”. I know it makes people feel better, and I understand what it is trying to convey, but it is not how I feel. I’ve never been sad that Addie has achondroplasia. I am scared sometimes- I don’t know what the future holds- but I am not sad, I am not disappointed, I do not feel shafted. Having an LP child, I know some times a parent’s reaction can be anger, and that is OK for them. I just don’t have anger at her. I feel angry at God or a higher power when I watch her cry and can’t hold her and make it better. When she is getting poked and prodded, wrapped up, imaged, scanned and more. I do not consider Addie disabled, and I will not treat like she is.
Going to Holland
(Emily Perl Kingsley)
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability –
To try and help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it,
to imagine how it would feel. It is like this…
When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous trip – to Italy.
You buy a bunch of guidebooks 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 sent 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 awhile 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 Significant loss.
But if you spend the rest of 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.
…but I am in Italy. Well, no. I’m in Rhode Island, which is not where I want to be, Italy isn’t either, but if we’re on the topic, here goes: Parenthood is Italy, as this author describes. Or, in my case, Holland. I’ve been there, and I loved it! I have never been to Italy, and while I do hope to go someday, I will always have a place in my heart for the trip I took with USA Field Hockey to Holland. I know plenty of parents with children who have no diagnosis and they are not having a good time.
It may get hard for parents of LP, but it’s damn hard to be a parent in general. Sure, my opinion my change, but being blessed that Addie chose us will never be Holland (although I’ve been and I loved it), she is Italy (where perhaps someday we will all travel to together). My dream was not to have an AH or LP child, my dream was to be with the man of my dreams and have beautiful children. Here she is, as Adelaide Eileen. There is no significant loss, there is no pain. There is beauty, little giggles, big coos, snuggles and kisses. Sometimes there are tears, but would the smiles be as big without them?
Happy 5 months April 17th babies!