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Parent to Parent Stories

Welcome to Holland - Elise & Misty

Picture of women sitting at a table painting on canvases

Have you ever felt like you don't quite fit in? Maybe you feel like no one really understands what it's like to parent a child with a disability. Let's be honest, we love our kids and would do anything for them. We see their worth and appreciate their unique abilities and strengths. But parenting our kids with special needs is very VERY hard sometimes.... most of the time.

I was fortunate to participate in a group called Holland Series. It was life changing! I had never met the moms in this group before, but we all had something in common, we were all parenting a child with a disability. Our kids were all different; they had their own struggles, challenges, gifts and abilities, yet I have never felt more understood in my life. We talked about our past experiences and how our child has changed us into who we are now. We learned about grief, how to care for ourselves and how to navigate different resources. 

Imagine a place where you can really share your deepest joys over the seemingly simplest accomplishments, a place where you can share the deep love you have for your child and the immense love they can radiate to the world. Imagine a place where you can share your deepest fears, your everyday struggles without any judgement, and you are completely understood! Why? because we are all walking a similar journey, one that we never signed up for. One that we are in, not because we are any better than anyone else, but because we are blessed to be in. It is a journey walked by a chosen few. I am so glad to not have to walk it alone. I may not fit in most places, but I know I can find support, help and understanding with those walking this journey. Thank you for walking with me.

Elise Hawkins

Although the Holland classes were designed for parents with younger children and/or new diagnoses, I joined when my daughter was 16 years old. Our journey has had several diagnoses over the years, and recent serious medical challenges. It has been an emotional rollercoaster that may slow down at times, but never really ends. It can also be isolating. This was a perfect opportunity for me to meet new people, make connections, and explore some of the emotions that go along with having a child with special needs. In the Holland class, I found understanding and acceptance among other mothers on their own journeys with children with special needs. We bonded over the incredible joy that also comes with hardships in raising our children. Once a week, it was a therapeutic time to reflect and relate, to share gratitude and grief, a safe place to talk about some things we might not often share. I found the coursework to be thought provoking, helpful and enlightening. I would absolutely recommend this class to parents of children of any age.  

Misty Karr

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