I'm going to ask you to please read Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley, before continuing. This is not going to be a long post because the next few links will say it all and nothing I can say sums it up better than Dana Nieder (email@example.com*), the author of Uncommon Sense.
Tonight I stumbled upon one of her blog postings titled Amsterdam International, thanks to a Facebook friend, where she offers a more in depth description of starting a new unexpected life in Holland. She shares how just getting out of the airport is an emotional maze for new ex-pats finding themselves stuck in Amsterdam. If you read Welcome to Holland, written in 1987, the writer focuses on the beautiful ending, but glazes over the middle of the trip. Dana fills in the blanks. Sure, it may come across a little harsh, but her honesty is refreshing. She doesn't try to sugar coat the emotional turmoil and guilt felt by these parents, myself included, and by sharing her own experiences she tells us that it is okay to feel these emotions.
Since starting my own journey about a year ago, it has been a series of ups and downs. There have been times where I felt that my own acceptance of Rae's condition was close and then...WHAM! Something else popped up and we (read "I") have to virtually start over. Dana's words are a source of encouragement. She reassures us that there is an exit from this airport and once we manage to make our way through the doors (with all our baggage) we'll be able to see the tulips and windmills. Sure, it's not Italy, but Holland's not too bad once you make it out of Amsterdam International.
*Dana has encouraged readers to repost and share "Amsterdam International" and all she asks in return is that she is cited and her email is offered in case anyone would like to reach out to her.