Welcome Holland

One of my dearest friends recently welcomed her 5th baby into the world. Words can’t describe this child’s beauty. She is tiny; just 5 lb 2 oz – a full term, petite little girl. She is welcomed and loved by a mommy and daddy and 3 big sisters and one big brother as well as loving grandparents, aunts, uncles and a church family of which I am blessed to be a part. This precious child has perfect little features. She has a beautifully shaped, round little head, the tiniest little hands and feet and gorgeous almond shaped eyes. She has Down’s Syndrome. Her name is Holland. I love her name and the story behind it…


Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

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 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.

Lord, Thank you for my dear friends and for the gift that you’ve given them. Little Holland Grace is a gift from your hand. She has some special needs. Don’t we all? Thank you for everything about her that makes her unique. She is lovely. I pray that as she grows she will radiate your love and bless others with everything about her that is Holland. You know the plans you have for each of your children… And we trust you completely.

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2 Responses to “Welcome Holland”

  1. True Greatness « The Jobe Journal Says:

    […] see her articulate what the Lord is teaching her. She recently knitted a sweet baby hat for little Holland. Precious. Lord help me celebrate evidences of true beauty in my daughter – that which is […]

  2. thejoythejourneythejob Says:

    Beautiful Story!! Holland is very blessed to have such wonderful family and friends!

    Brandi @ My Cup Runneth Over…

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