Shannon's Reviews > Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected--A Memoir

Bloom by Kelle Hampton
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May 09, 12


I began reading Kelle Hampton's blog shortly after the birth of her second child, Nella, who was born with Down Syndrome. As a mother of a child with autism, I tend to gravitate toward positive, uplifting blogs of families with special needs children. At first, I was put off by the depths of despair Kelle spoke of surrounding the birth of Nella and the realization of her diagnosis. I would have been sad and concerned, aware of the health risks and challenges that can accompany this diagnosis, but admittedly I felt she came across as rather selfish. However, I read on, and came to adore Kelle's blog and her positive outlook on life. She did have a very dramatic low point, but she appears to have bounced back rather quickly and does not play the 'poor me' card. Her efforts to raise awareness have been impressive, as have her fundraising achievements for Down Syndrome. So, when the book came out, I bought it immediately.

Bloom retells the story Kelle shared on her blog about Nella's birth, but it delves more deeply into it, including her family dynamic and what it was like going home and adjusting and dealing with her worries for her daughter's future. I like how she discusses stereotypes and how her mind has changed so much, and also how she wants to change the minds of others about children with special needs.

We all have our moments where our behavior is less than something to be proud of. Kelle bares all with her brutally honest account of the first days of Nella's life. I cringed, I cried, I read the book cover to cover in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. I admire the courage it took to be so candid where most people would have sugar-coated their feelings or said nothing at all, despite my original reaction to the story when I first read it nearly two years ago. Bloom is a beautiful story, well-written and beautifully captured in lovely photographs.
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