|Nella Cordelia and Lainey. Visit Kelle Hampton's blog (links in the text below) because the photographs of these beautiful girls are far more captivating than what I can convey in an illustration|
My words are so small and will not adequately describe the heart achingly beautiful world that author, photographer, craft wizard, mother and advocate, Kelle Hampton has graciously shared in her blog, Enjoying the Small Things. I cannot remember how I happened upon her writing and her striking photography. But, I do remember the first post I read which chronicled -with the most open of hearts- the birth story of her 2nd baby, Nella Cordelia. Among other exquisite attributes, Nella was (unexpectedly) born with Down Syndrome. Kelle straightforwardly recounted the story of Nella’s entry into the world with such palpable emotion, I could not help but feel forever connected to her experience. From the bounty of tender, thoughtful feedback left by her followers, I suspect that I am not alone in realizing that we have all been positively affected by the existence of this little girl. We have wept with Kelle over the roller coaster of emotions and events; our hearts, too, have swelled with the triumph of each milestone Nella reaches. We swoon with giddy delight at the tender, simple moments shared between Nella and her equally enchanting, older sister, Lainey. And, we are warmed by the humor Kelle manages to infuse in her writing and captivated by Kelle's fabulous photography. Kelle’s journey has become our journey into awareness, appreciation, inspiration, motivation, and, above all, a greater connection to and understanding of the human experience. For these reasons, I implore you to visit Kelle’s blog, or, at the very least, to watch this video. But, consider yourself warned, you will need a box of tissue.
And, after you watch the video, and peruse Kelle’s blog and fall in love with her children, please, if you are able, take a moment to donate to Nella’s ONEder Fund. The proceeds help to support the National Down Syndrome Society which “works to create a culture that fully accepts and includes the 400,000 Americans with Down syndrome.” I have never been one to jump on board the bandwagon of “causes.” But, I hold a soft spot in my heart for Nella, a baby I have never met, because she was born very near to the date, Violet, our baby, was born. I can not help but find something so familiar in the photos of Nella-something I see daily in Violet- the unbridled joy which glows upon her face. And, I have an overflowing pot of gratitude for Kelle, for opening up her home and her heart and for always reminding me to stop and enjoy the small things.