finding beauty in the unexpected
by Kelle Hampton
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.
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.”
- easily the most beautiful book I’ve ever read.
- Kelle is a truly amazing writer. It may sound strange for me to say a book is well-written, but some are written significantly better than others, and this one was fantastic.
- This entire book is packed with the truthful, raw feelings Kelle felt as she experienced the birth of her daughter Nella.
- It’s inspirational in many ways, but it especially reminded me that we’re all special, unique, and different, and that’s the beauty of life! We were all created perfectly in His image.
- This isn’t a religious/Christian book necessarily, but Kelle does touch on faith. The 2nd chapter is about her childhood and young adult life, how her family dynamic changed dramatically as a child and how church/religion is not the same thing as choosing to live in faith and have a real Christian relationship with God.
It reminded me that we may all have this image of what our *perfect* life would look like, but that’s not what life is about. It’s not about having the ideal home, family, relationships, etc. Life is about making the most out of what we’ve been given, and by doing just that, we find peace, joy, and true happiness.
- A quote from page 54:
“The concept of perfection is not flawless or ripped from a magazine. It’s happiness. Happiness with all its messiness and not-quite-thereness. It’s knowing that life is short, and the moments we choose to fill our cup with should be purposeful and rich. That we should be present for life, that we should drink deeply. And that’s perfection.