Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected – A Memoir by Kelle Hampton
Publisher: William Morrow
From the cover:
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.
I rarely rate a book five stars, but Bloom by Kelle Hampton is about as close to perfection as you’re ever going to get. I truly feel like this is one of those books that everyone should read because there is something to gain from it and learn from Hampton’s experience. Bloom is about one mother learning to cope with her daughter’s diagnosis of Down Syndrome. And she goes on quite an adventure as she tries to figure out how to control and deal with the different emotions and feelings after learning about her daughter.
I know that a lot of people probably won’t want to read this book because of the depressing premise, but let me just tell you now that its so worth it! I felt like I got so much out of this book that it was worth spilling a few tears. Even though there were sad and depressing moments scattered throughout the book, by the time I turned the last page, I couldn’t help but think that was one beautiful and breath taking story.
Even though this book was about Hampton’s personal journey, I felt like the book taught me so much about compassion, kindness, and patience. As a society, we’re so quick to judge others and we have this undefined mindset of what is considered normal and what isn’t. I thought Hampton brought up a good point when she questioned who is society to decide who is normal and who isn’t. Just because some people are born with an extra chromosome, it doesn’t mean they are any less “normal” or that they should be treated differently.
I absolutely loved Bloom. I loved the gorgeous pictures that filled up the book alongside Hampton’s wonderful writing. Bloom is one of those books that will reach inside of you, touch your heart, and just leave you thinking about it long after its over.