Wednesday, April 24

Welcome to Holland.

Most of you know that Devin & I are in the process of adopting a baby.  While I don't really want this blog to start chronicling every detail of the process, it is a HUGE part of our lives right now.  Leaving it off wouldn't seem right.  Kind of like Zack without Kelly.  Or chocolate without peanut butter.  McDonald's without their amazing diet coke.  Therefore...proceed with caution in this post.

We had to attend an adoption class last week as a part of our homestudy.  I haven't had to go to a class since college.  So... Let's go back 10 years & discuss what class was like for D&A in college.  Being that we were both education majors, we had some overlapping classes.  Picture this:

Dev: Arrives to class 10 minutes early.
Abs: Arrives 10 minutes late.

Dev: Wears jeans, & a freshly ironed shirt.
Abs: Wears sweatpants & whatever shirt may have been on the floor.  50/50 chance for make-up.

Dev: Supplies on the table: Leather bound notebook, pens in every color, matching folders.
Abs: Has to ask him for a pen, may or may not have her homework.  

Dev: Raises his hand for every question.
Abs: Talks to the person next to her.  

That pretty much covers it.  They say opposites attract & they are right (whoever "they" are).  Now, I consider myself a very organized, thought-out person & I think DC would describe me as that also....but he also calls me his little free spirit.  But hey - free spirits can be dang good teachers.  Just ask all 8 classes of kids I taught how to read.  #AEIOU

I found that nothing had changed 10 years later when we found ourselves back in class.  I went to get coffee, he sat us in the front row.  He had his notebook, I had to dump out my purse for a pen.  His eyes never left the speaker, I got elbowed for texting.  But man, do I love my little rule-follower daddy-to-be.  

The class was great & we are learning a lot about raising an adopted child, dealing with issues that may arise & just how to parent in general.  I'm thankful that we are discussing things ahead of time.  Because I know our world is about to be ROCKED.

The speaker started out by reading an essay called "Welcome to Holland" & I found my eyes filling up with tears the entire time.  I think it describes my feelings perfectly about this whole process.

Welcome To Holland
By: Emily Perl Kingsley

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.

This is my Holland.  And it's just about ready.
(artwork by my kindergarten class.  otherwise known as the coolest thing I have ever laid my eyes on.)


  1. It's so crazy that you posted this on the same day I posted our story. I love this analogy, and it's all so true. I'm still praying for a miracle and that we'll still get to go to Italy some day. Who knows! But I will say that Holland is absolutely amazing (aside from that creepy red light district of course. Tee hee!).

  2. I thought that too, Trish. We must have both had it on our hearts. ;) I pray that we will go to Italy someday also...both figuratively and literally!! ;) I know that "Holland" is amazing just through seeing it in your eyes & I feel like I am so close I can almost touch it!

  3. The day we took our classes was in January and the furnace broke! They had to bring in a portable space heater and we wore our coats the whole first day. The next day Matt and I brought our own personal space heater:) Oh, memories:) Our Holland is totally amazing and breath taking, although exhausting. You are so close, you can almost touch it girly! Love that nursery, can't wait to see it in person soon!

  4. Loved this post, Abs! I have been so excited for you and Devin in your decision to go to Holland, but it was so good for me to read this and remember the pain you have and still are experiencing as you navigate this new journey. Having been to Italy and now going to Holland myself, I will say this. There really is something so special, so unique, and so exciting about going to Holland. I only wish more people would make plans to go there, too. Excited to continue sharing this experience with you! Love you girl!

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