Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected: A Memoir
“Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected should be a handbook for all parents with Down’s syndrome children—and especially for those without them.”
Kelle Hampton knows the moment Nella is placed in her arms that she has Down’s syndrome, something her family and friends either don’t notice or choose to avoid.
Dr. Foley, her wonderful pediatrician, arrives, sits by Kelle’s bed and gently confirms her fears. The doctor then says the most important words, “But Kelle, she is beautiful and perfect.” Ms. Hampton’s dad adds, “That’s okay, we love her.”
And so begins a new and different journey for Kelle Hampton and the tiny “gift” placed in her arms. If she feels disappointment, it dissipates as Nella snuggles in to nurse—”a blessed angel.”
Despite the love surrounding this special, perfect baby, Ms. Hampton knows that their lives will change, but doesn’t yet realize it will be for the better. It’s little Lainey, who, upon meeting her new baby sister, demonstrates to her mother what unconditional love and pride look like.
As Ms. Hampton goes through all the steps—shock, disappointment, fear, “What will people say”—she’s brutally honest with her initial feelings toward this sweet baby who will have her own share of struggles throughout her life. Ms. Hampton has moments of darkness and tears, despair, and a feeling of hopelessness for both the baby and her family; she is also blessed with a spiritual connection to God, and a horde of true friends at her side to help her adjust to this exceptional challenge. Acceptance releases her from guilt over these emotions and helps her prepare for a good life—perhaps even a great one.
Author Hampton relates her story to the world with a jumbled mix of sorrow and humor as she struggles on a daily basis not to let regret overcome laughter and acceptance. Raising a baby with Down’s syndrome “is not a job for sissies,” and little Nella’s mom fights like a warrior for both of them.
Kelle Hampton writes in a down-to earth style with gutsy jargon and not a few cuss words sprinkled in; at other times she pens exquisite prose, making her readers feel like they know her . . . are her. She shares her deepest grief with the same depth as her hopes and dreams. Her zest for love overcomes all obstacles, and sets a superb example of overcoming the unexpected in her ceaseless celebration of life.
Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected should be a handbook for all parents with Down’s syndrome children—and especially for those without them.