Monday, January 17, 2011

A Different Dream For My Child

I've always said it's hard enough to raise a child in this world when everything is right with them. Add any kind of complication and it can be overwhelming. I have the deepest respect for parents of children with special needs. It's a completely different level of parenting. I have several friends with special needs children and it has been no picnic for them.

One day I summoned the courage to ask a girlfriend what it was like. She said," To summarize something I read once, it's like getting on a plane and going to Italy. You've planned the trip. You've read about Italy. You know all the sights you are going to see and the things you want to experience. And you're so excited. You can hardly wait! But when the plane lands, the steward announces,'Welcome to Holland!' (She was paraphrasing the linked essay- TOTALLY worth the read!) And while Holland is not Italy, there are beautiful things in Holland that you will never experience in Italy."

This week I've been looking through a book called A Different Dream For My Child. Written by Jolene Philo, it's a collection of meditations for parents of critically or chronically ill children. It's words of encouragement, her personal stories, Bible scripture and some very honest and candid experiences. Sometimes, a parent needs to know they're not alone. That they're not the only one in Holland. And this collection does just that. Thoughtful, inspiring, comforting, this book is like rain in the desert for parents of special needs children.

We have one copy to give away. Simply leave a comment on our site and you qualify. We'll choose a winner by January 25th. Like our facebook page and let us know in another comment, and that enters you twice!

Yours, contemplating Holland,


Jolene Philo is the parent of a son with special needs, taught kids with learning disabilities for 25 years, and served as director of assimilation and discipleship at her church for 4 years. Her book, A Different Dream for My Child: Meditations for Parents of Critically and Chronically Ill Children was released by Discovery House Publishers in 2009. She is currently working on a new book, Different Dream Parenting: Raising a Child with Special Needs. She blogs about special needs at and about daily life at


  1. That is a great way to describe raising a special needs child. It's not what you anticipated, but it can still be a great journey.

  2. Thank you for the lovely review, Melissa. You're right. No parent of a child with special needs should go to Holland alone.