Kelsea and I, as every single human being does, still struggle with this. As humans, we are selfish and we want what makes us happy. Sure, we can do many things that are for the good of others and make others happy, but most choices are made because of how they will impact yourself.
I came across a poem a "friend" had posted on the "MOO" Facebook Page (Mothers of Omphaloceles....I'm thinking about petitioning to get it changed it to Parents of Omphaloceles.......or POO!!!)) that Kelsea and I belong to. This was a poem that I think either Darlos Mummert or Mary Jensen shared with one of my Special Education Undergrad classes. Many of you have probably seen it before, but recently, it has definitely hit close to home. I think it is titled "Welcome to Holland."
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.This is a poem that she wrote in 1987 (I think) to explain what it is like to have a child with a disability. Now, I am not sure if having an Omphalocele is considered having a disability, and we could care less, but this poem explains how I feel sometimes. There are many times when we have had to make the choice to be upset because we didn't get to go to Italy or be happy because we are in Holland. I have even written before about how I prayed for Kelsea to experience "normal" pregnant things last fall instead of worrying about Hayden and how he was growing.
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 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…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 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.
by Emily Perl Kingsley
At times, I do wish that Hayden could lay on my chest and fall asleep. You always see pictures in magazines and on the Internet of father's sleeping with their son/daughter on their chest. Well, with Hayden's Omphalocele, I can't do that. Kelsea, being the expert Special Education teacher that she is, has been able to make modifications and it kind of works for her to burp him on her shoulder. However, at the same time, every Monday night, when we watch the new episode from the documentary Children's For Hope, which is a 6-part documentary that takes you behind the scenes at Children's Hospital St. Louis, we are so grateful that God has blessed us with this beautiful baby boy. When you see the strength that other families have in situations that make ours look like a walk in the park, it makes you grateful. Putting our trust in God has completely taken the "choice" out of our hands and we have completely forgotten about "Italy."
I still do worry about the future and everything that Hayden will possibly endure, but he is my son, and father's worry about and want the best for their sons!
Last week at church, a powerful video was shown that made me think about a choice I made a couple of years ago. If you have ever watched Duck Dynasty, I am sure, like me, you had a hard time turning the channel. This is a show that is VERY low on "exciting" things that happen list, but it is hard to turn off! Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the family on this show, was talking about what his life was like when he was 28 years old and the choice he made to turn his life over to God.
Watching this video puts in to perspective what making the choice to follow Jesus can do. I am so thankful that I made this choice 2.5 years ago. Again, I am far from perfect, but I am happy to know that I am not necessarily choosing my own path, but that God is playing a part which road I travel.
The road He has laid out for Kelsea, Hayden, and I on Monday will, once again, take us back to Children's in St. Louis. Hayden will have surgery at 9 a.m. Monday morning to hopefully fix his inguinal hernias. After two trips to the ER because we couldn't reduce his hernia over the past 6 weeks, Kelsea and I felt it was best to have this corrected now instead of waiting until his closure surgery. As a new parent, I am learning that worrying is something that I never really knew before Hayden came in to the picture. The procedure on Monday is a pretty simple one and one of the most common performed in babies. However, as with any surgery, there are possible complications and this does make me think about the choice that was made to move forward with this. I am wondering about what it would be like if he didn't have the surgery on Monday and if we made the right decision. Luckily, we ALL have God on our side to take that thought away and remind us that this was not something I chose to have done......it is His plan and His choice.