My Journey to Holland By Alma Balderas

When you live in a time where all eyes are on you and everyone has an opinion, even though they are not in your situation, it is very easy to feel isolated, judged and lost when you are walking a journey that is not only challenging but also new to you. I was fortunate enough that when I was feeling isolated, judged and lost I found a group of individuals who were not only walking a similar journey, they were also so kind, accepting, understanding and were hurting and healing as I was.

This group of parents, with facilitators from Parent to Parent/Children’s Village, is called Holland- Where we all had been a little blindsided by life and were Gifted the opportunity to love, parent and care for a very special child (ren).  There is where I found a bit of guidance, A LOT of support, love and understanding. For the first time in about a year and half I felt understood, I felt heard, and I felt loved. We rallied around each other’s struggles, sharing experiences, and encouraged each other in a way you’d never expect from a group of strangers whom at the end of eight weeks you’d proudly call friends.

Sharing the experiences of parenting our children, in a safe environment, with folks who simply “get it”, where you can talk freely about your challenges, worries, and laugh in celebration of your victories, big or small. Holland was where I finally began my healing process, learned to accept my son’s diagnosis, learned to be kind to myself and learned the power of having your Village with you.  I highly encourage anyone who is having to learn to deal with their loved one with special needs, to take advantage of the  safe and supportive environment of a Holland group… what you get out of it might just be more than you’d ever expected.

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