Thursday, March 22, 2007


I was given these two poems: they are very good. Hope they move you as they did me.

~Author Unknown~
I am the child who cannot talk.You often pity me, I see it in your eyes.You wonder how much I am aware of -- I see that as well.I am aware of much, whether you are happy or sad or fearful,patient or impatient, full of love and desire,or if you are just doing your duty by me.I marvel at your frustration, knowing mine to be far greater,for I cannot express myself or my needs as you do.You cannot conceive my isolation, so complete it is at times.I do not gift you with clever conversation, cute remarks to be laughed over and repeated.I do not give you answers to your everyday questions,responses over my well-being, sharing my needs,or comments about the world about me.I do not give you rewards as defined by the world's standards -- great strides in development that you can credit yourself;I do not give you understanding as you know it.What I give you is so much more valuable -- I give you instead opportunities. Opportunities to discover the depth of your character, not mine;the depth of your love, your commitment, your patience, your abilities;the opportunity to explore your spirit more deeply than you imagined possible.I drive you further than you would ever go on your own, working harder,seeking answers to your many questions with no answers.I am the child who cannot talk.I am the child who cannot walk.The world seems to pass me by.You see the longing in my eyes to get out of this chair, to run and play like other children.There is much you take for granted.I want the toys on the shelf, I need to go to the bathroom, oh I've dropped my fork again.I am dependent on you in these ways.My gift to you is to make you more aware of your great fortune,your healthy back and legs, your ability to do for yourself.Sometimes people appear not to notice me; I always notice them.I feel not so much envy as desire, desire to stand upright,to put one foot in front of the other, to be independent. I give you awareness. I am the child who cannot walk.I am the child who is mentally impaired.I don't learn easily, if you judge me by the world's measuring stick,what I do know is infinite joy in simple things.I am not burdened as you are with the strife's and conflicts of a more complicated life.My gift to you is to grant you the freedom to enjoy things as a child,to teach you how much your arms around me mean, to give you love.I give you the gift of simplicity.I am the child who is mentally impaired.I am the disabled child.I am your teacher. If you allow me,I will teach you what is really important in life.I will give you and teach you unconditional love.I gift you with my innocent trust, my dependency upon you.I teach you about how precious this life is and about not taking things for granted.I teach you about forgetting your own needs and desires and dreams.I teach you giving.Most of all I teach you hope and faith.I am the disabled child.
And just in case you don't know Welcome to Holland, this is that one:
Welcome to Holland
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.


Dave said...

Hi! Thanks for posting those poems. I really enjoyed them. I wasn't familiar with Welcome to Holland, but it's such a wonderful read. Thanks for introducing it to me. Take care. Happy Spring!

Anonymous said...

Tiffany, I often use the Holland illustration with people...haven't used it in awhile and was glad to see it again! It's such a great analogy to help people try to understand.
At a ladies retreat I went to about a year ago, the speaker used this and I was bawling--it was so good.
Thank you for sharing both!
In Christ, Wendy G from OK

Borbe Bunch said...

Thanks Tiffany for posting Welcome to Holland...I loved it.
Of course it touches close to home :) Being welcomed into a new "land" with raising a special needs son, can be viewed with complete devestation, OR with JOY knowing that our GREAT God does NOT make mistakes and HE landed the "plane" into this new territory and we are now mommys to special little boys.
In the beginning days of Ezra's life, the verse in Psalms that talks of how WE plan, but GOD directs our steps was encouragement to me...God's ways are better than ours.
Thank you again. :)