Friday, July 22, 2011

The Beginning

Not only did we have to handle the fact that we had twins, but that Lorelei was diagnosed with Down Syndrome.  Would we mourn?  Would we worry?  Would we be happy about the challende?...

We were all of those!  Emily Perl Kingsley says it best:


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.

We are lucky and get to enjoy Italy and Holland at the same time! We know there will be challenges, but there are with every baby and every family.  We look forward to learning about the world through the eyes of Lorelei and Mikaela.  They don't see what we see and I believe we need to look at things the way they do to continue to enjoy life.

The girls are only 4 1/2 months old, but we have already seen them meet so many milestones!  They are both growing so fast and seem to be enjoying life.  They life and "talk" to us everyday and Brandon and I take in every "word" with a smile!


  1. Love them and love you! This is a fantastic idea!!

  2. great first post!! love it! :)

  3. This is a great idea to blog your thoughts and feelings about your experience as parents. They are both beautiful and perfect girls. Being a parent is the most precious gift that could ever be given to will go by so quickly it seems but every moment is worth cherishing and experiencing. I love to see pictures and read about your growing angels. Enjoy the rest of your summer. :)

  4. Just found your blog through's fb post and can't wait to catch up with you and your family! My twin girls are 21 months old. Ella has DS and Olivia does not. They are such joys for our whole family! (And they have the dresses in your pic above! lol) ... Please feel free to keep in touch if you want to share experiences; it looks like my girls are about a year older than yours. :)