Happy Birthday, Joshua!

My little man turned 5 this month. Sometimes it is hard to believe how far we have come and how hard we have fought in just 5 short years. To be honest, there were many times I wasn't sure we would make it this far...

I was thinking the other day - as I was making a physical appointment for Joshua with a new doctor - about the three ring binder I have from when he was 2 and 3 years old...it is 1" thick and bursting at the seams. It has all of his medical records/ lab reports/ diagnostics/ x-rays/ and evaluations in it. We traveled all over Southern CA to see the best doctors we could find. There wasn't a week when we weren't going to see someone...hoping they would be the one who could "fix" him. Flash forward...Joshua had his 4 year old physical before we left So. CA last year. We have been in Montana for exactly a year now and he has not seen the doctor ONCE since we have been here...hence the appt. with the NEW doctor. Seriously...he has not been to the doctor once since we got here. Amazing. While I do dread starting over again with a new doctor...she is a D.O. with training in homeopathy. She is open to alternate vaccine schedules...and she is only 2 hours from our home! Yup, 2 hours...I hope it is worth it!

Anyway, Joshua wanted to go fishing for his birthday, so we loaded up the raft and went for a float. Lucky guy - he caught the first fish of the day!!! Like his mo-hawk? Yeah, he wears it well!

Happy Birthday, Little Man! We love you so much and we are so proud of you!

Welcome to Holland...A Poem

A wonderful poem describing life with a special needs child...

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, 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 some horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy a new guidebook. 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, 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.”

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.

Written by Emily Perl Kingsley