We first read this in our adoption classes from the agency. I(Chriss) feel that it is a way to describe how I feel many times. So many around us have "flown" many times to Australia and we have learned about the experience from them and watched them go over and over again. We are on the boat now, heading over but no idea how long we are going to be in the water, but we are thrilled to be in the water.
Long Journey, Wonderful Destination
Dear Abby: A few years ago, you printed an essay titled “Welcome to Holland” by Emily Perl Kingsley. The subject was having a child with Down Syndrome. Enclosed is an article my daughter, Diane Armitage, wrote, inspired by “Welcome to Holland.” Her message is directed to childless couples who are considering adoption. (Diane and her husband are the parents of two adopted children.) Perhaps you will consider it worth publishing.–Kathryn Relnalda, Blairstown, NJ
Dear Kathryn: I’m delighted to share what your daughter wrote, and I’m sure many readers will appreciate its insight:
Different Trips to the Same Place
Deciding to have a baby is like planning a trip to Australia. You’ve heard it’s a wonderful place, you’ve read many guidebooks and feel certain you’re ready to go. Everyone you know has traveled there by plane. They say it can be a turbulent flight with occasional rough landings, but you can look forward to being pampered on the trip.So you go to the airport and ask the ticket agent for a ticket to Australia. All around you,excited people are boarding planes for Australia. It seems there is no seat for you; you’ll have to wait for the next flight. Impatient, but anticipating a wonderful trip, you wait–and wait–and wait.Flights to Australia continue to come and go. People say silly things like, “Relax. You’ll get on a flight soon.” Other people actually get on the plane and then cancel their trip, to which you cry, “It’s not fair!” After a long time the ticket agent tells you, “I’m sorry, we’re not going to be able to get you on a plane to Australia. Perhaps you should think about going by boat.” “By BOAT!” you say. “Going by boat will take a very long time and it costs a great deal of money. I really had my heart set on going by plane.” So you go home and think about not going to Australia at all. You wonder if Australia will be as beautiful if you approach it by sea rather than air. But you have long dreamed of this wonderful place, and finally decide to travel by boat. It is a long trip, many months over many rough seas. No one pampers you. You wonder if you will ever see Australia. Meanwhile, your friends have flown back and forth to Australia two or three more times, marveling about each trip. Then one glorious day, the boat docks in Australia. It is more exquisite than you ever imagined, and the beauty is magnified by your long days at sea. You have made many wonderful friends during your voyage, and you find yourself comparing stories with others who also traveled by sea rather than by air. People continue to fly to Australia as often as they like, but you are able to travel only once, perhaps twice. Some say things like, “Oh, be glad you didn’t fly. My flight was horrible; traveling by sea is so easy.” You will always wonder what it would have been like to fly to Australia. Still, you know God blessed you with a special appreciation of Australia, and the beauty of Australia is not in the way you get there, but in the place itself.