Thursday, July 28, 2016

Behind the Mic Book Review : Bloom: finding beauty in the unexpected by Kelle Hampton

Bloom: finding beauty in the unexpected, by Kelle Hampton is a book that is candid, honest, raw and yet, a refreshing look into the diagnosis of a life-changing disability.  Kelle's second child, Nella, was born with Down syndrome. Kelle's heart sank the moment she saw her baby girl.  Altho she felt like she was alone, she never really was.  Kelle's husband, Brett, along with countless girlfriends, held Kelle up when everything seemed to be shattering around her.  They cheered her on as she bravely faced the yet unknown challenges that she would have to come up to the plate and conquer.  While she didn't hold back the ravages of her emotions and the pain that shook her insides to the core, you can clearly see, early on, the kind of person Kelle really is... She was able to develop deep relationships that sustained her and helped her to heal, while she changed her perspective.  She began to realize that the pain of her little girl's diagnosis seemed to blur her vision to the fact that Nella was a healthy, beautiful baby!  When the challenges presented themselves, she wouldn't be alone in surmounting them.  Dr. Foley was on the front line of support and would lovingly remind her that little Nella was already making advancement.  She passed her hearing test, her jaudice numbers were disappearing, and her heart test was fine, which not always, unfortunately, can be said of those with Down syndrome.  As you go along on the journey with Kelle, you begin to see that, despite the earth shattering change that occurred, she knew she couldn't stay down in the mire of negativity, or under the control of her "sadness demons" as she called them.  She had to begin to "flip the switch in her head" as her sister Carin called it.  She also asked her to ''discard the old glasses and put on the new ones, because, life is how you look at it."  There are countless illustrative word pictures in this book that I am going to keep in my "positive thinking memory recall list" (Yes, I made  that up....aren't you amazed?? :) )  In writing this book, Kelle, has given such a gift to all who live with a disability and their parents and caregivers.  Kelle was inspired by a statement she read while pregnant with Nella... It said:"Living a life of comfort, does nothing to help us grow, and hard times shape us into interesting, developed characters." Getting out of our comfort zone, helps us to "Bloom" finding beauty in the unexpected and "waking up to live and love fully!"

Kelle, Brett, Austyn, Brandyn, Lainey and Nella-

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your journey in this book! You all have shown that to Bloom means to embrace and accept Nella for who she is and help others to do that, too. Awareness of that kind has a ripple effect, and this book and your sharing it, has done that so beautifully! Many hugs to all of you as your story continues to Bloom!  

Want to read Bloom for yourself?? Order it here:

Michelle Fischer is host of  A View from My Window, a podcast produced by The Arc of Indiana