Kelle Hampton of Enjoying the Small Things had everything ready for her new baby girl, down to party favors for delivery room visitors and a chalkboard sign ready at home welcoming the baby to their perfect American family: two half-brothers and a sister already at home.
What never entered Kelle's mind is that Nella Cordelia might not be who Kelle thought she would be—something she knew intuitively the minute Nella was placed in her arms. In this memoir, Kelle takes us through her journey from the moment she realized Nella had Down syndrome through their first year together: a year filled with heartache, acceptance, incredible joy, and a more accurate definition of perfection.
Kelle is an upbeat, young, hip mom. She wears cute clothes and makes party favors for delivery room visitors. (People do that?) The last thing she would have imagined is that her daughter isn't…"perfect." This is not what she signed up for; this does not fit her dreams. Kelle is honest about her initial disappointment. She never glosses over the shock of being told her baby has Down syndrome. She admits the terrible burden of guilt of wishing Nella were someone else. I think that must be really hard to do, knowing you are going to have critical readers who call you a selfish person.
This memoir isn't so much about Nella; it is almost entirely about Kelle's personal journey. I admit that I skipped large portions of the second half of the book because it seemed redundant, and I didn't need to know all the organizations she'd spoken to, parties she had attended, etc. Kelle is less of a lyrical memoir writer and more Pioneer-Womanish, so if you like a hip, sometimes flippant and less poetic style, this is a great memoir to read.