Sunday, June 14, 2009

June 14th

Hope Noelle introduced us to Holland, a place that we never wanted to go... Although I have no idea who wrote this, I read this right after she died and it has stayed with me. Now, here we are three years later... on her birthday and on her death day... the day we let her go.

"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 guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, Michelangelo’s 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 flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland, and there you must stay.The most 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 guidebooks. 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 has Rembrandt's. 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'. The pain of that will never, 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 Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland."

Hope and Holland. We learned so much from a 9.1 inch, 8.6 ounce little girl and our hearts still mourn for her. We have looked around and caught our breath, we have seen the windmills and the tulips and still, we miss her. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her or look at her little urn sitting on the fireplace and wonder how different life would have been. Today, I look at Hope's younger siblings... my 13 month old daughter Chayse and at my growing belly with our soon to be born son, and think of how truly blessed we are. Thank you, God, for all of the beauty you have given to us in both of our girls and in our son. We would have never known the beauties of this country without God's plan. Holland truly is beautiful this time of year... Happy birthday sweet baby girl, happy birthday.


Spear Family said...

You are such an amazing person. The way You have handled the past is a true testimony for that. We Love You both and have You in Our thoughts and prayers during this time. Hope all is well with Chayse and new CNB. Will talk soon, Anissa

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for letting me tag along on this new journey :) I cannot wait to meet your baby boy.. btw, have you come up with any names yet? :)

Claudia said...

This was so beautiful! I'm smiling and crying at the same time thinking about you and Hope. I'm so thankful that you've included me in your blogging family and that we can learn to enjoy Holland together!

Regan Luthin said...

Christy, this is absolutely beautiful. God has given you quite a testimony to his faithfulness, especially when His plan looks different from what we always imagined and hoped for. I am so thankful for your friendship in my life and, even though I've never gotten to meet little Chayse, she holds a special place in my heart, just like her mommy. Love you, fried, Regan