Thursday, May 2, 2013

Happy Birthday to my Cortney!

 18 years ago today, my little dolly, Cortney was born.  No one knew what this little baby had in store for us.  She has taught us so many things about life.  
She is the happiest, most loved little (big) girl in the entire world.  
This poem best sums up what words fail to describe.....
It still makes me cry when I read it.

Welcome to Holland
 Emily Perl Kingsley.

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.

She is my Holland.
Beautiful, sweet Holland.


~amy~ said...

happy birthday to your beautiful girl!

Stef H said...

18? already? sheesh! she was just becoming a teenager when i started following you. where in the world did time go???

HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY COURTNEY! may your day be filled with wonderful blessings!

hugs :)

Scrapbook-ChickADoodle said...

Happy Birthday, Courtney!

Thanks so much for sharing Welcome to Holland. I work with special needs children and this is something I'd like to share with them and the other nurses who work with them.

Houses Built of Cards said...

How the time flies! Happy Birthday Cortney!!! Hope you all have a very special and fabulous day celebrating!!!

Margie Higuchi said...

What a great poem...thank you for sharing this <3

So many wonderful wishes to Cortney - have a extra special day sweet girl :) xo

Regina said...

Happy birthday Cortney! Enjoy the day! Hugs to you and your family.

Debby said...

Wow, tears. Such a beautiful way to describe your life, And your Holland is beautiful and st. Happy Birthday Cortney.

RhondaZ said...

Happy Birthday, Cortney. Thank you for sharing the poem. It is beautiful and I was very touched.

Sis Patterson said...

Happy Birthday, Cortney!

Melissa said...

Happy Birthday to Miss Cortney! Your poem made me tear up. (mind you I cry at the card section at the store)

Sharon Johnson said...

Happy Belated Birthday to Cortney! A beautiful post.

~Tammy~ said...

Oh my reading that totally sums it up in such a wonderful perspective. There is a few people I would love to share this with!

You are so blessed! Happy Birthday Courtney!

Anonymous said...

A very special Happy Birthday, Courtney!

Anonymous said...

Happy belated birthday Miss Cortney. Love the smile she always has on her face, can tell she is a happy girl. We are blessed to have you share with us. Love and hugs

mamia (me and mine in Alabama) said...

Beautifully said. We have a Holland in our family, my nephew Jamie. He will turn 30 in about a week and has blessed the lives of everyone he has ever met. Jamie has Down's and was born to young parents, 18 and 21. It was very hard for them at first, they had so many questions many of them beginning with "why". My brother told me not long ago that he "got it" after I told him that God chose them to be Jamie's parents because he couldn't entrust his angels to just anybody. Jamie's mother was killed in a car wreck two years ago and that has been very hard to explain to him. My brother has done an amazing job since then, he put Jamie in adult daycare at first but he stayed sick so he took early retirement and stays home with him now. Now the two of them just hang out and do what Jamie loves most, play his music instruments(he has every instrument ever made) and sing. They neither one can play a single instrument but Jamie thinks
they are rock stars. Your beautiful Cortney is truly a gift from God and her smile is contagious.