I found this story in a book my grandmother sent me, knowing life wasn't turning out the way I was wanting it to for my little girl. I thought today would be a good day to share it.
" 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 Micheangelo 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!"
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 take 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 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, 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 your didn't get to go to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely thing...about Holland."
That was written by Emily Perl Kingsley and I couldn't have said it better myself. It's so true. When I look at Gracie I'm reminded that God is in control and I am not. There was definitely a change in our flight plan. But we have tulips, windmills, and Rembrandts. Things that parents in "Italy" won't get to experience. I'm so thankful to be a part of this little girl's life. I don't know what the future has in store for her but I know God's got a great plan for her. I look forward to celebrating her 7th birthday. Not only will we be celebrating her 7th year of life but 7 years of some major accomplishments that this sweet girl has acheived!
Matthew 6:28 "And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lillies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin."