Monday, September 7, 2009

Grace is ONE!

Hi Everyone,
Today is Grace's first birthday. We wanted to thank all of you for sharing in her has been an amazing journey so far! Your thoughts and prayers have been so comforting. We wanted to share these two things, we have both of them hanging on our fridge. Grace is one amazing little girl, we are so lucky to have her in our lives!

"Why I was Born" Author Unknown...

I was born to learn and love like everyone else. My body is imperfect, but my spirit needs no help. I was born to give to you, with open hand and heart. I'm the strongest soul you know, though I don't look the part.
I was born to teach you hope, faith, and patience, too. I came because no one else can do what I do. So the next time you think of me as broken, damaged, torn, know that I am here to lift you up...
That's why I was born.

by Emily Perl Kingsley.
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.

Thanks for all your support, love, and prayers,
Amanda, Beau, and Grace