#23 – Bloom – Finding The Beauty in The Unexpected – Kelle Hampton

Love me. Love me. I’m not what you expected, but oh, please love me.

That was the most defining moment of my life. That was the beginning of my story.

From the outside looking in, Kelle Hampton had the perfect life: a beautiful two-year-old daughter, a loving husband, a thriving photography career, and great friends. When she learned she was pregnant with her second child, she and her husband, Brett, were ecstatic. Her pregnancy went smoothly and the ultrasounds showed a beautiful, healthy, high-kicking baby girl.

But when her new daughter was placed in her arms in the delivery room, Kelle knew instantly that something was wrong. Nella looked different than her two-year-old sister, Lainey, had at birth. As she watched friends and family celebrate with champagne toasts and endless photographs, a terrified Kelle was certain that Nella had Down syndrome—a fear her pediatrician soon confirmed. Yet gradually Kelle’s fear and pain were vanquished by joy, as she embraced the realization that she had been chosen to experience an extraordinary and special gift.

With lyrical prose and gorgeous full-color photography, Bloom takes readers on a wondrous journey through Nella’s first year of life—a gripping, hilarious, and intensely poignant trip of transformation in which a mother learns that perfection comes in all different shapes. It is a story about embracing life and really living it, of being fearless and accepting difference, of going beyond constricting definitions of beauty, and of the awesome power of perspective. As Kelle writes, “There is us. Our Family. We will embrace this beauty and make something of it. We will hold our precious gift and know that we are lucky.” – Publishers Website

I have to say there was a lot of talk of this book on twitter, so I knew that I had to get it and read it for myself to see what all the hype was about.  At about page 10 I was bawling like a baby, just imaging what the parents of this beautiful baby were going through.  When having my own children, there were a few really scary moments especially with my 2nd and 3rd child, so I have some idea of how they were feeling; but nothing could I imagine prepare anyone for something like this.  I have to admit, I was really enjoying the memoir up until near the end and Kelle was coming around, she had taken on this almost over the top mother of this beautiful child, who nearly goes overboard.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have close friends that have children with disabilities, and have cared for children who have severe and not so severe ones in my education as a health care professional, I realize that you can take on enormous projects and do it with grace, but I found Kelle to be nearly super-human in a sense in the book.  Hands down you will be bawling the ugly cry for sure.  Just make sure you have the tissue box ready.  Oh, one more thing…The photographs are absolutely STUNNING !! it is a gorgeous book !

Kelle’s Website Reading GuideFacebookTwitterYouTubeExcerpt

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