May Book Club Review: "Bloom"

For the month of May, I joined with Aubrey and Kaylee for a book club!
I was very excited to find out that the book for the month would be, Bloom by Kelle Hampton! I had heard a lot about the book. And I was very eager to read it!

One of the things that most intrigued me was that it was based on Kelle's Daughter, Nella, who was born with Downs Syndrome (DS).

This past school year, I had the privilege of being a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) to a 9 year old boy with DS. It was one of the most challenging, fun, and rewarding experiences that I have ever had. He was the most loving young boy that I have ever had the company of, and he opened my heart and mind to the wonderful things that DS has to offer.
This little boy taught me so much. He allowed me to love and accept others more easily and deeply. And showed me that even though DS may classify people as "different" they are still God's little lambs. And they deserve the same love and care as anyone else in this world!

First and foremost, I truly loved this book! Kelle is an inspiring woman in many different ways. But I have to first I didn't know how to feel about her.
How could she have such a hard time accepting her new baby girl?
Couldn't she just understand that this was God's plan for her? Couldn't she realize that the love for her child should overcome any imperfection?

It's easy to point the finger and judge a woman in her position.
But then I tried to put myself in her shoes.
What if for 9 months, I dreamed and planned and envisioned my baby girl one way, and then when she arrived, be rocked by the truth that she would not be that perfect little girl that I had hoped and dreamed for. All the hopes and dreams I had for her...they may not come true, and they would all be different.

But perfection, it's not achievable in this world.
And who says that perfection means being aesthetically and mentally what the world thinks we should all be?

I love this quote from the book,

"The concept of perfection is not flawless or ripped from a magazine. It's happiness. Happiness with its messiness and not-quite-thereness. It's knowing 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."

Kelle is all about celebrating every moment in our lives. Whether they be big life events such as a birth or wedding, or a small everyday kinda things like baking cookies, enjoying a cup of coffee and a good book, or the way your little baby cuddles up to you in the morning after they wake up

Life is not perfect, and the path that God has set out for us will not be kittens and rainbows at every turn.  There will be hard and dark times for us in this life. But even through the not so sunny times, we often find a I small bloom within us beginning to sprout after our journey has begun. We learn and grow in times of hardship, we love more deeply and think more thoughtfully, and live out the little things of life in celebration.

 "My sister told me she wished I could see what she saw--

because what she was was wonderful. She said I was lucky--that I'd been offered a shortcut to what life is all about when some people search their whole lives and never know. She said I had a secret--a secret to happiness and that, while people may look at me and pity me, in time I'd feel like I knew something they didn't."

That's the thing with the hardships in our lives.
God places them their so that we may bloom and grow from them.
Kelle was given a gift, a gift that many mother's and family members don't get the chance to experience. To love and care for a child with DS opens up your heart and mind to a whole new realm of love and acceptance. And Kelle, you were given that gift. And oh, how you cherished it! You are Lucky


"Although I might not have known it, my heart began its healing process the moment my eyes met Nella's for the first time...Healing was there, burrowing its roots deep into my heart, painfully yet purposefully cutting through, the way the strong roots do until they are grounded deep enough to anchor what they know will follow--growth."

I hope this post has convinced you to read this book!
If you have ever had the privilege of having your life touched by someone with DS, then you will wholeheartedly appreciate, accept, and love this book and the precious little girl who's pictures inhabit it's pages. If you have never had a connection with a person with DS, be ready for Kelle, Nella, and the whole Hampton clan to rock your world with love and a bloom of hope. You heart and perspective will forever be changed by reading the words in this memoir.
Take my advice...READ IT! You won't regret it :)

Happy Friday and much love,