Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wooden Shoes

Back in April of last year I posted about how We're planning a trip to Holland, in reference to this poem by Emily Perl Kingsley:

by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability-to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...

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 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 awhile and you catch your breath, you look around...and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills...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 your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to go to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things...about Holland.

Since, I wrote that post, Marty and I have, literally, been to Holland (well, at least the airport, there). While we were there we picked up this pair of wooden shoes, because they are a beautiful symbol of Holland and all that it means to live there. We bought these thinking we'd be using them in our final giveaway, just before travelling to meet our boys. Now, that we've given the funding Giant back to God, we're just going to give these away! It's so much fun to be able to just bless our friends, knowing that God is going to provide in His way and in His time.

Here's how this is going to work. I want you to leave me a comment about your trip (planned or unplanned) to Holland. Or about how you advocate, pray or support an "extra-special" orphan. I'm going to choose a winner from the comments on Valentine's Day. I'm hoping to do a post with some of your comments from this post on Valentine's Day! If you send me a picture of the "extra-special" person in your life to go along with your comment, you can have two entries to win these little wooden shoes.

You can contact me using my profile on the right hand side. There's a link to email me there.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...

Hidden in Christ,

1 comment:

  1. I became a Christmas Warrior and later a Prayer Warrior for Wyatt 26HA on Reece's Rainbow. He started out as just a picture of a poor little orphan boy far, far away. Then as I began to advocate, raise money and pray for him little Wyatt became a small precious boy, just as real as my own children. His needs are great, but our Lord is good.

    To say my life is forever changed is an understatement.