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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Welcome to Holland-by Emily Perl Kingsley

When you're planning 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.


At 12:59 PM, Blogger Bonnie, Clyde, Bubba Jr. & Charleigh-Jo said...

I love this. I've heard it once before, a lady told it in reference to giving birth to a child with disabilities during a fundraiser I attended for the United Way. The lady telling it was so filled with emotion about her determiniation to help children with disabilites- It's a great analogy and I'm glad you reminded me of it!

B from MSN

At 6:26 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Yes, I saw it on a disability website and I realized that interratial/international adoption is similar, in that the child is different than I once imagined, and also that the adoption is a different scenario than I once thought of as "having" a baby. Scott and I have always wanted to adopt a daughter from China and did not go through any pregnency issues before making our decision. However, I used to long for a biological daughter, and now that my view has shifted, I couldn't imagine my daughter being any other way, but via landing in "Holland".

At 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'd not heard this before. Thanks for posting it here.

One day we need to get together and swap stories.

I'll keep dropping by the site and looking for more little gems like this one.


At 8:57 PM, Blogger M3 (Mary-Mia) said...

Neat story!

Hey we're DTC July and are in San Jose, CA. Is Elk Grove near that? I'll have to Google it.

Take care,
Mary-Mia / Do They Have Salsa in China?

At 9:34 PM, Blogger Karen said...

They have to have salsa in China..don't they??

Elk Grove is about an hour and a half from San Jose. I was born in San Jose!


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