Welcome to Afghanistan(CP version)


In the extra needs world, there is a poem called Welcome to Holland. It is often given to newcomers when their child is diagnosed. This poem misses out the horrible parts of raising a child with extra needs. 

Here is my version of the famous poem:

You walk into the NICU crying. The NICU has signs in Arabian. You cant read any of them. The locals try to calm you down. The country is at war- you can never leave. You hear reassuring voices and you feel better for a few minutes. 

The truth is this NICU in Afghanistan is like hell for you. However, that terrible feeling in your stomach doesnt recede. Not only that, you think a fresh new wave of fear will come. You are so sure of it. 

You walk on past some people who are talking. Although their voices are low, you hear words like severe brain damage, CVI, epilepsy, seizures and CP. And, you get scared all over again. 

Presently, you look at your child. He/she is very happy and making progress. For the first time, that awful feeling abates a little. What's more, you allow yourself to feel hopeful. 

Each person will recover in their own way. Some people are naturally sunny and go straight to acceptance. Others take much longer and shuffle around. You must accept the fact you may be here for ages. 

Yet, you will leave Afghanistan with your boy/girl. That happens after a while. You learn more about the condition and realise all is not lost. And, your child will make progress.  

Plus, you will have changed for the better. Also, your child will have taught you some very important life lessons. Lessons you would never have learned otherwise. You meet people some people you may never have as well. 

The worst time of your life is over. You have left the NICU behind forever. Now, the only way is forward/up. And, things improve. You feel hope, grief and other emotions. Crying is good- it helps you. Eventually, you will stop crying and mature. 

© Tharini, all rights reserved. Date written- 24/10/2013.  

I wrote this for parents who have been forced into the extra needs world. I'm happy if you share this around. The more people I help, the better. Please tell me if you want to blog about it etc. And, remember to cite my name or link back to this post. Include my email address as well. The original poem was written for the DS community. My version is for the CP community. 

Thank you. 

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed your interpretation of the Holland vs. Germany story. The first time I heard the Holland story, I actually hated it. I wanted to go to Holland, not Germany and I was angry that I would be going. The way you did this one--you are so right. I've learned things I never knew I needed to learn. Generally, I'm more patient than I would've been without my special girl. Very good way to describe our journey.


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