Monday, August 27, 2012



Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected - A Memoir by Kelle Hampton was recommended to me by my sister. I don’t read Hampton’s blog so I was unfamiliar with the story except for what my sister had told me.

Good Read’s Synopsis: "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."

What I Thought: I am not a mother so I can only imagine the gamut of emotions having a child with Down’s Syndrome would put me through. I thought Hampton’s story was poignant and honest. If faced with it, I hope I’d come out on the other side of an experience like this with the grace and growth she showed. The insight into DS was interesting as well as I am not versed on this topic. It was a conversationally-written, quick read and a thought-provoking departure from my normal read. The family photos of her cute kids were a nice addition that gave the story a beautiful face.

Rating: * * * 1/2

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