…and it WAS a beautiful day

We come with beautiful secrets
We come with purposes written on hearts, written on our souls
We come to every new morning
With possibilities only we can hold
Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces
Calling out the best of who we are
I want to add to the beauty
to tell a better story… (~sara groves)

(the following written by Kelle’s sister)

At 4:24 pm, January 22, 2010, six pound Nella Cordelia Hampton entered the world and our hearts.

Nella has Down’s Syndrome.

There are those moments when you just can’t find the words….when you know that no amount of time, no thesaurus, no edited photos…nothing could possibly do justice to what you feel in your soul. But my sister wants me to get this out….to just rip the band aid off and post something. And through tears, she asked me to hurry…because she needs the comments….she needs the love. So, I will keep typing…and do my best to do justice to the story…a better story that has just begun….whose beginning I am struggling to convey….because so many moments of the last twenty four hours…the conversations…the shared tears….the peace….have felt like magic…as though the stars were aligned and all was and is exactly as it should be. Perfect. When really, God could not feel any closer.

Redemption comes in strange places…small spaces…calling out the best of who we are…an invitation to be beautiful….to add to the beauty…and tell a better story…

(more words and pics from my sister coming soon….in the meantime, let the comments and love begin….)


Leave a Comment
  1. Sending lots of love and virtual {{{{{hugs}}}}} from Lansing!!! I’m so glad you can be there, Carin, and keep us updated! We love Nella’s name and we love Nella!! :)

  2. There is no question why Nella picked you…
    There is no sister to love her sweeter and gentler than Lainey.
    No dad to love her prouder and hold her tighter than Brett.
    No mommy to love her deeper and paint a life for her more full of color than Kelle.
    No circle of family and friends to love her more unconditionally and forever than your beautiful group…
    You are blessed. You are loved. You are surrounded with support and open arms.
    Nella, you made the best possible choice, smart girl.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. As the Mom of a special needs daughter, there are no words I can say to take away the anguish, fear, confusion, and utter dismay along with all the joy in the world you are feeling. It is a HUGE roller coaster of emotions. However, know this…that child, who has downs syndrome, is about to teach your more love, more compassion, more patience, and more faith than you’ve ever experienced in your life thus far. She will show unconditional love and will have you uttering the words someday that mimic…”If only all the world loved like those with special needs…”

    Kelle, there will be years that ask and there will be years that answer. In the end, God NEVER wastes pain. Embrace that baby girl – know that she was sent to you for a reason. Because you are a strong soul – one able to handle the job ahead when it comes to parenting a special needs/downs syndrome child. It takes a special few and YOU ARE ONE OF THEM!!! With your writings, the world is about to embark on some education when it comes to special needs children, life with them, and life in the world as others view them. God knows you can bring awareness if anyone can.

    Be fierce in this new journey as it begins. Dry the sad tears and embark on this chapter of your book in life proudly with happy tears. Announce with affirmation that your child is a down syndrome baby and have no worries when doing so – God is in control.

    Congratulations! We cannot wait to see pictures. I know without a shadow of a doubt that she is beautiful beyond words.

    And about that coffee – us special needs Moms stick together. I’m here and free anytime you’d like to chat or question things. My daughter is 6 years old now – not with downs but with other special needs issues. I’m a seasoned pro at this journey now. Well…not really but I’d like to say I’m somewhat experienced should you ever need a shoulder to lean on. Take a look at my blog post from today…the smile – her smile – is the most beautiful thing ever. Nella will be giving you plenty of those soon.

    PS…What a gorgeous name for a gorgeous little girl.

    Huge hugs friend…

  5. Anonymous says:

    although i do not know you i feel like i do. i fell upon your blog one day from another friends blog and fell in love with your pictures and stories. You are truly an inspirational person and mother. I am a momma too and love being one! Even though i do not know you it seems that you will embrace this like no other. Enjoy your beautiful new addition and i can’t wait to see the new pics and stories.

  6. FAITH

    Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see— Hebrews 11:1

    you are one of the most amazing people I know! Can’t wait to meet Nella and see all of the “fabulousness” she has to offer! Just like her amazing mama!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I as the reader above don’t know you personally, but too stumbled upon your blog from another. I have enjoyed reading about your beautiful Lainey and family and friends. And someone in an earlier post said you have an awesome “network” supporting you and from what I’ve read you do. Nella is a very lucky girl to have come into this world with a great family, but most importantly a momma who will love her like no other. You too are very lucky, you now have two beautiful girls to share the things sisters do and you get double the love everyday. We will be sure to keep you all in our prayers, especially for all the emotions you will be going through. Congrats on your new addition to your family.

  8. Congratulations, Kelle, on the newest love of your life!! I’m so terrible at writing what I’m feeling and/or thinking, but I think that JennyCB did a pretty good job … “There is no question why Nella picked you!” For that is exactly what I was thinking!

    Sending you love, lots of it, Kelle!! Seriously, wish I was there to rush over and give you a squeeze (but maybe Heidi could give you an extra one from me :)

    PS – I LOVE the name, just gorgeous! Can’t wait to see her precious little face (and hear how big sis, Lainey, is adjusting!)

    Until next time, XOXO …

  9. Anonymous says:

    My sister told me about your blog, and for the past year and a half I have been reading your beautiful stories and seeing Lainey’s pictures. I love your blog! Sometimes after a hard day, I read your stories and they make me realize how blessed I am having my daughter( who is the same age as Lainey). Even though I never met you I feel like through your stories I know you, and you are the most amazing, creative, strong, loving mother!!! Your girls are so blessed to have you!

  10. Kelle and Brett,

    Congratulations on your new little angel. Miss Nella has no idea of what abundant love she is about to soak in. Her name is absolutely beautiful, just as expected. I have no doubt in my mind or heart that you will embrace her and give her the most amazing life. Like always my dear…you will rock it out.
    Though I’ve yet to meet you, I love ya somethin’ silly, and can’t send enough hugs and love to you.


  11. I too am not so good with words. Kelle, you are such a strong incredible momma. I think your journey may sometimes be hard, and challenging, but if anyone can handle it, I know you can. I can just imagine your heart about to burst from the amount of love that you have for your girls. I just know you are going to be awesome. I can’t wait to see the pictures of your new sweetheart, for I am sure that she is beautiful, as is her name.

    You know, Quinn is in special ed, and one of the grils on his bus has down syndrome. And you know what? She is Quinn’s favorite girl friend. And mine too. She is always happy, and smiley, and just a pleasure. I love talking to her when I put Quinn on the bus.

    Sending many big hugs your way and lots of love.

  12. Anonymous says:

    First of all, Congratulations on Nella. What a beautiful name you have chosen for such a speacial baby girl.
    Nella is truly blessed to have you as her Mama.
    Our hearts and our prayers go out to you, Brett, Lainey, and Nella. We are looking forward to seeing pictures, reading stories, and “watching” your second beautiful daughter grow! God Bless you all!

    Amanda, Eli, Ava and Evan

  13. So we’ve talked and texted and I still feel compelled to leave you a comment on your blog. Because this is where we ‘met’ and I know how lovely it is to have all the sentiments in one tidy little spot.

    I keep crying. And the tears are so joyful and so sad. That combination is what all big, powerful, life changing, positive things come from. Those evolutions are never ever easy but always so enriching and SO worth the fear, pain…the cost to learn what you didn’t know you could learn and to experience life in a way you didn’t know you could. Nella is going to change all of our lives in a beautiful and conscious-raising way.

    Little Nella. A reminder of all the ways beauty can enter the world.

  14. Also, I *just* walked in the door from a montana hot springs getaway with a group of ladies for Casey’s baby shower….this was the first stop I made after kissing Margot and Andy. AND, in that tiny town in that narrow valley we all talked about you, sent love your way. Did you feel it last night?

  15. Welcome Nella Cordelia!

    Today in church we sang “Because He Lives” and when we sang vs. 2 I almost bawled right then thinking of you.

    “How sweet to hold a new born baby
    And fee the love and joy She gives
    But greater still the calm assurance
    This child can face uncertain days
    Because He Lives.”

    God gives us gifts we sometimes don’t understand. He gives us strength when we think we’re out. Because He lives we can face tomorrow, all fear is gone, He holds the future. Nella is a special gift of Love. A commenter above said children with special needs love unconditionally. I see Nella showing all of us how to truly love – to love without judgement, without restraint, without conditions or rules, SelfLESSly all our heart.

    Whatever feelings or questions you may have or will have know that- He holds the future. He understands. He LOVES.

    Nella Cordelia couldnt have been born to a more perfect family than yours. You are all so full of (so blessed with) love and joy. I love you! Hugs, tears, and kisses to you, Lainey, Brett, and Nella Cordelia.

  16. Kelle, I have only met you a handful of times through your wonderful friends, and although I don’t know you that well, I do know ONE thing… you can do this! I was with all of your girlfriends Friday night and all they could say is how amazing of a person you are and if anyone can do this, it’s YOU! God throws us curve balls in life and He makes us wonder why, but you have to have FAITH in His plan for you. I have no doubt in my mind that Nella is GORGEOUS, but most of all, she is blessed to have you as her mommy. Stay strong. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers!

  17. Not many words from me except that Matt and I have been lifting you up in prayer since Friday night. You are loved in Indianapolis. Greatly. And most of all, the blessing of Nella is love for us all.


  18. Brit Girl says:

    Dearest Kelle,

    Congratulations to you and Brett on the birth of your daughter Nella Cordelia! That is such a lovely name! I know your life has suddenly taken a different path to the one you were expecting but it is a path that you will make beautiful. And you have an amazing family and group of friends walking right by your side on this new journey. It also goes without saying that Lainey is going to be the most amazing big sister. Lainey and Nella. Two beautiful girls blessed with a beautiful mother. Shipping a whole load of love over to you from the UK.

  19. tears. song just started. it’s perfect. it’s Nella’s song. it makes me smile just like I know Nella Cordelia will make everyone who knows her.

  20. We’ve been in FL this week, three hours away, thinking of you and checking on your blog daily! Congratulations on another beautiful creations- I am so in love with her name. I was just thinking the other day how lucky this new little girl is to be coming into the family she is coming into-and she has no idea. This situation no doubt comes with its share of challenges, but I am confident you will rise to it with the grace, beauty, strength and creativity you are so well known for. Nella will have a wonderful, beautiful life.

  21. Nella, what a beautiful name for a beautiful girl! I haved been waiting and checking everyday to learn of her arrival. It is clear to me why God chose you as well…you are an amazing mother and if anyone can handle this it is you! My favorite uncle is down syndrome and he has brought more love and laughter to our family than you could ever imagine. You are embarking on a wonderful journey… and I cannot wait to see what we all learn from you and your sweet Nella. Sending you and your family lots of love and hugs. XOXO Can’t wait to see her precious face!

  22. Tears won’t stop flowing…for the joy of a new life…for the pain of unanswerable questions. I am praying for you and Brett, that you would sense a peace beyond human understanding. These little ones with such unique needs find very special places in the hearts of those who love them. I know this will be true of Nella.
    Romans 8:26 says, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groads that words cannot express.” I am crying out on your behalf tonight.
    Beautiful name…can’t wait to “see” her! MUCH love, my friend!

  23. Oh Nella! How lucky you are to be in such a fantastic family! I can’t wait to see pictures of you and your big sister playing with your doggies together. What a joyful ride you have ahead of you! Although this might not be what your life plan had been written with – you are fantastic at making lemonade with lemons! Enjoy these new lemons and we can’t wait to taste that new cuteness in your blog. Even though I don’t personally know you, I know that you are lovable and capable of these cards you have been dealt!

  24. Anna Ruth and Amy were so excited to tell me on Friday that you had gone into labor! I couldn’t wait to hear that she had come and what her name was! (We’re also keeping our name a top secret:) )
    From our few meetings and from reading your blog, I can’t imagine a more perfect family for little Nella. I have been thinking about you all weekend and looking forward to a post in which I knew you would happily announce her birth.
    I have so many friends that read your blog, but have yet to meet you. They are all so inspired by your words and pictures and can’t wait to read more as you evolve into a mommy of now two beautiful girls.
    Sending you love, support, encouragement and lots of happy thoughts!


  25. Anonymous says:


    Seems I am in good company: I too stumbled upon your blog a while ago when my sister in law said, “You have to read this!” I am amazed by the grace and goodness I see in each post–and the world needs as much grace and goodness as we can give.

    Congratulations on Nella’s birth! (Can I join the chorus of people who LOVE her name? It’s beautiful.) I have volunteered with special needs children at different times in my life. You are heading toward realms of love you cannot imagine. Tenderness and sweetness and humor. You will also have tough days, as all parents do. It’s okay to be sad, to ask for help, to take time out. Lean on these people who love you.

    I wish you and your beautiful family peace and joy and–most of all–love.

  26. Hi Kelle,
    I’m the girl who asked you-not too long ago-about your scrapbooking software. I just want to say Congratulations and can’t wait to see pics of Lainey’s new little sister. What a blessed girl who will have you as a Mommy!!! I feel sure that she will be as perfect as your first and will forever bless you and your family.
    Congrats again!!!
    : )Keri Brown

  27. kelle,
    oh how i love what BritGirl wrote… it is a path you will make beautiful.

    saturday morning there was a group of kids playing soccer with special olympics… not too far away. all six kids have downs symdrome. and there were mammas talking about how the beginning can be tough… but how okay it is now. and these kids that run and laugh and love… are not defined by what they have, but who they really are. and one of them is so special to my heart… i have loved him completely for eleven years, and he is as much a part of my heart as if he were my own. and his sister? being his sister somehow makes her more. more beautiful. more compassionate.
    i write this to give you hope when the tears overcome you.

    i am praying for your family… praying for peace and love and health and then some more love and peace. somehow God’s plan is perfect… and He will show you in His time. for now, rest in His hands.

  28. I can’t help but picture so many of us here walking this road with you. And even though we are so far away (like across the pond!) we would seriously do anything to help, support and just love you and your family whenever you need it!

  29. Anonymous says:

    You are going to give other parents a whole new out look on life with a child with downs, with your words and photos, they have a soul all by them self. You are going rock it even when times are tough, your readers are sending love and support your way. Even if we have never met! Congrats on such a beautiful little angel, I was lucky to see a picture of her from a friend of yours, she is just divine as I imagined. I can’t wait to read all about sweet little Nella and Lainey Love . You are an amazing mama and photographer. Always in my thoughts and prayers. :)

  30. big, heavy, hot tears as I listen to the beautiful music, and think about sweet little nella.

    through the rollercoaster of emotions and unexpected twists that is life…

    always hold fast to the fact that you are surrounded by loving family and friends, far and near, that will love you, brett, lainey, and nella unconditionally through every high, low, bump, and detour that rollercoaster might take.

    can’t wait for you to be surrounded by the comforts of home…where the four of you can close the blinds, snuggle under the covers, drink each other in, and really begin your journey together. That moment will be here before you know it. :)

    and Nella is simply beautiful. She takes my breath away!!


  31. Hampton Family
    welcome to the world Nella, that is the most beautiful name!

    There are so many beautiful comments to your post and I could not believe the love coming to you and your family, its so powerful it bought tears to my eyes.

    There is a reason Nella picked you to be her mother, Lainey to be her sister, the boys to be her brothers and your husband to be her father. Love is unconditional and can overcome any challenges bought on in life.

    I cannot wait to see the most beautiful pictures of the most beautiful girl taken by the most beautiful mother.

    God bless
    Justine and family

  32. I am a huge believer in if God brings you to it, he will get you through it. Kelle, this little soul has been given to you for a reason. God knew that you had the capacity and the patience to love sweet little Nella how she deserves to be loved. That Lainey will be THE BEST big sister to her sweet little sister, that Brett will love that little girl to pieces and provide for her what she needs, and that the boys will also be the protective loving presence she needs in life.

    Nella’s birth brings with it a Pandora’s Box of emotions and you have the right to feel all of these emotions without feeling guilty of being a bad person or mother for thinking them. You only think these things because you want Nella’s life to be as perfect as it can be and it is perfectly natural to feel scared and not know right now of how the future will be.

    I do know one thing for sure…Nella’s future will be perfect because she has been blessed to be a Cryderman/Hampton. This beautiful relationship you have begun with your daughter will enrich all of your lives in ways that you cannot imagine right now.

    Feel it all, soak it all in, let yourself go there. It still was a beautiful day, and will still be a beautiful life. Welcome to the world Nella Cordelia. You are loved little girl and that is all that matters.

    A thousand hugs,
    Alexis Quinoy-Boe (Richmond, VA)

  33. Girl, you (and your family) are SO stinkin’ loved!!!! I LOVE reading all of your comments. What an amazing support system you have. Smile, Kelle, you are amazing …

  34. When my parents first found out that I was profoundly deaf, they cried. They wept tears of fear at the unknown, tears of saddness, and tears that their babies (I’m a twin) wasn’t the perfect healthy little buddles that they dreamt of. After a period of mourning, they stood up, put on their battle gears and attack the world of uncertainity.

    Yes, there were battles lost but there was also battles won. They fought for us and for that, I am forever grateful at the beautiful life that I was given.

    Kelle, I can’t imagine Nella being with anyone else but you. You have a lot of love to give and you have a lot of courage. I know that deafness and downs is completely different but I truly believe that if i didn’t have the love and courage of my folks, I wouldn’t be where I am in life.

    So cry now and then, get ready to fight. Nella will have a beautiful life to live. Her life is worth fighting for.

    Through the darkness nights of sorrow comes the dawn of hope.

  35. Lurky Mommy says:

    I have been lurking for a while now. I found you through Dig This Chick and have loved watching you savor your life. I am excited that Nella is finally here! I don’t know how you are feeling right now or if you are a believer in Jesus, but I am and I want to share something with you. I imagine your heart feels like it might just burst right now, for many reasons. Maybe you are feeling overwhelmed, mixed with joy and disappointment and any number of other things. Certainly surprised, I am guessing. If I could just give you this little glimpse of hope–2 Corinthians 12 says “my strength is made perfect in weakness”. From your blog, I have seen that God has already given you such a heart for your girls and for selflessly loving and mothering them. I believe that he will give you strength when you are weak and strengthen the weaknesses you may be seeing in Nella right now. He gives it when we need it and doesn’t waste a thing. Every moment is purposeful, even when it is a moment we aren’t expecting. I can almost see Lainey loving on her baby sister and being so excited to meet her. What a gift their relationship will be to both of them and to you and Brett. Please know that I am praying for you and your whole family. I will pray for your peace and comfort and that the new shape of your family will become the perfect fit. XOXOXO
    P.S. My kids have a friend with Down’s (in 3rd grade now) and let me tell you, nobody know how to love and take life by the horns like that little girl! She knows joy with a capital J and everybody loves to be with her because it is so contagious!

  36. I was checking back non stop wanting to hear about the new little girl. I am in tears as I type this to you. I don’t know you, but I read your blog every day and marvel at the love you have for your little girl, and how excited you were to meet your newest little addition. Stay strong-enjoy her new baby smell, cries, and love her-and protect her. She lucky you’re her momma.

  37. Proud Poppa says:

    I was blessed to be present when this precious and beautiful little girl came in a sudden swoosh into the room, our hearts and our world. The room was so filled with love, and music, and laughter and joy…it was only about 30 minutes or so later that the room grew quieter…and the music stopped…and the laughter ended. But hold on…after being called back into the room and stepping to the bedside of my daughter holding our precious Nella Cordelia, I heard her say the words…”They think she has Downs Syndrome.” And for a few seconds I went to places that those words took me…but then, looked down at our face…our precious little face whose eyes, when open, seemed to see things I cannot even see…and those scary words were covered with….LOVE…just LOVE…and quietly, the music resumed…the laughter returned…the joy was restored. We’ve got Nella!!! And we will follow those little feet wherever they lead us…for we know, they lead us to Love. I cannot wait to show her off…and am so incredibly proud of my daughter and my son, Brett, who insisted we go out and get the biggest pink stork we could find to put in their front yard–with a spotlight on it, no less, to tell the world, Nella Cordelia has arrived! Love to all of you who are part of Nella’s big family!

  38. This may be a journey you never thought you would be on, but know this, you are not alone. Just look at each one of these comments and know that there are people out there who love you like crazy and that you inspire on a daily basis. You can lean on all of us because I know that I am one of many who have leaned on you, your inspiring words, your beautiful photos, this amazing community of a blog when I’ve needed a pick-me up. I have goosebumps thinking of how you will change the way the world looks at special needs children through your words, your eyes and your loving ways. Nella couldn’t have been born to a more perfect family that will embrace and love her. Through all of this, I hope you can feel the love being sent to you and the support that is out there waiting for you.

  39. Dear Kelle,

    I stumbled upon your blog while reading Heidi’s. I read most of your blog while my youngest sat on my lap. Having never met you, we still managed to find it so easy to fall in love with your stories, your photos, your life, and most importantly, your family.

    As we scrolled along through your posts, anytime we’d come across a photo of Lainey, Bella would boast, “hey, there’s my little friend again”. I explained as I showed her one of your more recent posts, with your photos outside the coffee shop how a little one was growing inside…she sat up tall on my lap, very matter-of-fact and said, “and I will love that new little friend too”! She couldn’t have put it any better….Nella Cordelia Hampton will be loved, absolutely loved and couldn’t have chosed a better family to do just that. Best wishes to you, the beautiful Hampton family and it’s newest little love!

  40. As a grandmother who began reading your blog a few months ago(at the suggestion of my daughter), I must tell you how clearly I remember the day 24 years ago when my dear friend’s baby was born with Down Syndrome. I remember feeling concern, uncertainty, fear, and, also, sadness. Little did we know then, what an amazing person had just come into our lives. This baby, who is a delightful young lady now, has been the source of joy, laughter, and inspiration to her family, friends, and everyone who knows her. Her sterling character, sense of humor, and organizational skills put the rest of us to shame. Believe me, blessings come in ways you could never imagine. Enjoy your precious Nella.

  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. Dear Kelle,

    I read your blog every day because it gives me such hope and such joy.

    I don’t know what to say. I’m crying as I type this.

    Little Nella couldn’t have chosen a more loving mother.

    Lots of Love,

    Linda (in New Zealand)

  43. I discovered your blog because you purchased a hat from my Etsy store for dear, sweet Nella and I followed a link you provided in your profile and arrived at “Enjoying the Small Things”.

    Since then I have read your blog faithfully and have been struck each and every time by the beauty of your photography and the sincerity of your writing. I can tell you live your life honestly, openly, authentically.

    Nella’s path is going to be different than what you had planned for her, but it will be a meaningful path nonetheless. I am confident that you will have a full and happy life together. She’s a very lucky girl to have you as her momma.

    I am so looking forward to “meeting” her. Take some time to heal, and we will all be waiting here for you when you get back to posting.


  44. I had to come back and check out the comments and WOW!!! You are loved!! And everyone knows the exact thing to be true….you are an awesome mom and this too you will conquer!! Yes, there will be trials and tribulations, but you will rock it like no other. Nella you are BLESSED and you will BLESS us!!

  45. Praying for peace for you. May your mind be at ease, your heart overflowing with love, and your world slow down enough to enjoy the small things. God bless baby Nella and all the people that love her so.

  46. Dear Kelle,
    While on Wylies blog, i stumbled across yours, ever since the first day, ive loved seeing and reading your creative, inspiring words, and also the beautiful pictures of your family. Your blog cheers me up , and gives me a sense of warmth and comfort when im not in the best of moods. I call it my “get-away at home”. Kelle, your’e my rolemodel because your pictures aren’t to capture the perfect pose, they are to capture the moment, because the little things in life are what you want to remember. And thats the kind of photographer I’ve always wanted to be since i was 6. I wish you the best to your new addition Nella (love the name!) No matter what kind of a child she is, with speacial needs or without, she is a major and wonderful addition to your life, and I know she will be such a beautiful and greatly spirited child! And she couldnt of been born into a more loving, caring, and blessed family! I know she’ll get nothing but unconditional love from you! Being 13 and having 3 younger siblings (ages 5,4, and 6 months)I know that children are a handfull, being woken up in the early hours of the day, crying, and diaper changes, while experiencing these moments, you realize that life itself is beautiful and precious, and you want to hold on to every single moment of it. In the long run, you will never experience anything more delicate, delightful, and spendid. And if you ever need a babysitter, I go to the same school that Wylie teaches at, and i visit her a lot so pass it on! Send my love! Until we meet…
    — Lexi Lago. (:

  47. Oh! I forgot to say your in my prayers!

  48. I don’t even know where to begin as tears flow down my face…and it’s not because Nella has Downs Syndrome…it’s because God chose you and Brett to be her parents. It is so amazing how he works. There may be challenges to come, but I know that she will bring you joy beyond what you could ever imagine. I know what it is like to have a child who faces challenges in her life…Carson is a gift from God and I have faced her joys and challenges with friends and family. Just remember that we are all here in your journey with Nella. I can’t wait to see pictures! We love you.

  49. Dear Kelle,

    I’ve been following your blog for over two years and I am constantly amazed at what you great Mom you are – you are a source of inspiration to me, my sister (who also reads your blog religiously and already posted a comment here) and I am sure to so many others. Nella is a smart little girl and she knew how to choose a perfect family – you guys!

    I read someone compare having a special’s needs child to ended up in Holland when you were planning and dreaming about going to Italy. At first you are sad because you wanted to go to Italy and not to Holland. But then you realize that being in Holland is not that bad.. it is just different than being in Italy. Think about all the tulips!:)

    I am looking forward to seeing pictures of Nella and getting more and more inspired by you.

    Keep thinking and sending loving thoughts in your direction!



  50. Here is the link to the story i was referring to – very sweetly written: http://www.specialkidstoday.com/articles/essays/welcome-to-holland-4719/

  51. wow Kelle & Brett – your community is amazing. Ask for love, and you shall receive it, tenfold. I’m just so happy for you guys. I’m sitting here, just picturing your smile as you read your comments, and it warms my heart.

  52. I just finished reading every comment, and I think my favorite is by 13 year old Lexi, who could not have chosen a better role model. And I love her simple take on the beautiful and precious moments of life – she gets it :-)

    And you do to. I said to someone recently, describing your journey of the last few days, about you that “she’s one of the special ones.” You are Kelle. You are so utterly human, and so fully absorbed in immersing yourself in LIFE, the contemplation of it, and the living of it, every bit of it, the high, the low, the mundane, the gritty, the detail, the panorama…that you can’t help your life being beautiful.
    You can’t help it.

    Keep breathing during the next few days. It’s sounds like dumb advice, but it’s the best advice I ever got from anybody. You wouldn’t believe how often we forget to breathe. It’s like magic. In and out, slow.

    All these people who love you, we don’t need you to be amazing right now, we just need you to keep breathing, keep being, and if you just do that, everything’s gonna be alright.

    Let our joy for you buoy you until your fears and joys balance each other out into the sublime workaday, fear-free, confident joy-filled life that is yours for the taking.

    And we all know you’ll be taking it. :-)

    Love you SO much.
    I can’t tell you how much.

  53. Kelle,
    I have been there. I have had my sweet newborn in my arms, then whisked away, then a doctor by my side telling me they needed to do tests to confirm, but they believe he has down’s syndrome. I will never forget the feeling in my soul when I heard those words, and I know you won’t either.
    May God hold you close as you begin this journey with your sweet Nella. I know some of what lies ahead for you and your family, and I know you will rock out in your new role. Rest in the peace that you’re not alone, and all is well. Because, all is well.

  54. Kelle,
    We spoke a couple weeks ago about your Valentine’s MiniShoot. I was bummed that the weather didn’t cooperate because I was so looking forward to meeting you! Ever since I saw Friday’s post I have been checking and checking for the news of your new arrival! I first found your blog through Jen and Kelly’s blogs a couple of Christmas’ ago. We were in NC at my parents and I stayed up late, late one night reading back through your posts. Your writing is beautiful and it is evident that you were meant to be a mother. You are such a beautiful soul and an inspiration to many. Lainey and Nella are so blessed! Having two littles so close together is challenging and you will have your extra challenges but if anyone can do it, YOU can!!!! I can’t wait to see pictures of beautiful Nella and her beautiful big sister Lainey!

  55. As so many have come out, shown their love, I felt compelled to write. To show that love is so strong, distance need not be a barrier to its strength.

    Reading your blog makes me take a step back, look at the small, beautiful things in life and realize that we are all blessed with small miracles, each and every day.

    I awaited your news; the announcement that baby girl had arrived.

    Nella, welcome to the world…

    Your mama is going to make it beautiful.

    You have, and will, bring so much joy.

    With love,
    Bella (Australia)

  56. I love your blog.
    After I get home from school I go straight to the computer so I can see if you have posted. Nella is so lucky to have you as her mom, and I know that you will love her so much! God gave Nella to you for a very special reason, and she is so lucky to have a great family that will love her forever! Can’t wait for pictures!

  57. Congratulations on the birth of this amazing little Nella! What a beautiful name as everyone has already said, and what a beautiful little girl! Although I have not yet met Miss Nella, I know she is gorgeous! I have heard! And I know that such a beautiful person like you with such an amazing soul, has created the same. You have already read my text that I sent Tuna about you and your new gift, and I’m SO glad she showed you! I was touched to know that you loved it! I knew I wouldn’t been alone in thinking everything I sent to her. It has all been proven in these comments. I’ve only met you once, but I feel like I know you so well through your blog! I feel as if you are an older version of me, or well, I would be a younger version of you. In everything we love. Photography, and babies and children the most! Once again Kelle, Nella is a gift, and I know nobody has to convince you of that. When I hear people say “oh, this person has this, and this person has that.” it sounds like they are saying something is wrong with them and it bugs me. Because nothing is. I know they don’t mean it that way though, and I know that it coming out of your mouth and your heart, you won’t mean it either. You know there isn’t anything wrong. If anything its only a blessing, because she’s different than anyone else, she doesn’t have to be the same. Nella Cordelia is truly a gift and as I said before, if there is ONE family who could take everything in the best, its YOU and YOUR family! With your spirit and your heart, that baby will be loved more than anything, no doubt! Lainey doesn’t know if her beautiful sister is a gift or not right now, and that all happened for a reason! Everything happens for a reason! Even though I’m only a teenager, I can promise you everything will be fine! My heart and thoughts go out to you and your new family. I can’t wait to meet little Nella! God Bless! Enjoy the small things, right? :) You will do just that! I know it! You already do!

  58. Kelle,
    Congratulations on the birth of Nella. She’s a really lucky little girl to have you for a mama and to come into the circle of love that your family and friends create around you.

  59. I have a strong suspicion that Grandma Cordelia was looking around in heaven for the most special baby to send to you and she picked Nella just for you, Brett, lainey, brandyn and austyn. She knew it’d be a match made in heaven so she worked her magic.

    That’s what I see when I see Nella…I see magic and she will teach us more than we could ever teach her in her beautiful life. She already has her dance card filled with playdates where she will be loved unconditionally and can take turns on the slide with all her friends.

    It’ll be magical to unfold before our very eyes.

    I’m so honored to know her. She is not broken. She is perfect on every way…especially her beautiful heart…you have a spotless EKG to prove it.:)

    I love you all so much!


  60. Anonymous says:

    When I look at Nella I am truly looking into the eyes of an Angel. She is beautiful and wonderful and amazing and so many more adjectives that would take up a page. She will be our teacher, our friend, and our little love. She was truly born into the most amazing family and she will have the most wonderful big SIS! I am so happy to have shared the last few days with you and Nella.Love you guys! ..and have you heard? she has the BEST name ever!
    Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”

    Samantha Senkarik

  61. i wish after reading all these sweet comments i could come up with the right words…

    but all i can think about is how excited little miss lainey must be! i am sure her heart is bursting with pride and joy over her new little sister…

    and i am sure yours is too!

    extra hugs and love from a total lurker!

  62. Anonymous says:

    I meant to say…Lainey doesn’t know if her beautiful sister has this gift or not right now, and that all happened for a reason!

    Madisyn (again) :)

  63. Kelle-
    Nella is…definitely the luckiest baby in the world. She has YOU as her mom. You are the most amazing person, and you have received the most special baby. Like Ashlee said, God gave her to you for a special reason. He knows what a wonderful, caring, loving and giving person you are, and he gave this baby to you because he knows she will have the most amazing life. No one could take care of her better than you. I look forward to pictures of beautiful Nella and I look forward to seeing how she grows in all the love and care that she gets.
    I love you so much. You are amazing.
    Lots of love,

  64. I’ve been on pins and needles since Friday’s post. I heard from friends of yours of Nella’s safe delivery and beautiful name that I think is just lovely.

    Welcome to the world Nella Cordelia, you have no idea how lucky you are to have the Mama you do! She is one amazing woman and will make your life so full of love!

  65. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations on the birth of your precious daughter, Nella! I am a friend of a friend and follow your blog occasionally. Your photography is beautiful, writing is amazing, and family is adorable! I know you are going to have so much fun with your new sweet bundle of joy… photographing her, playing with her, teaching her things, cuddling up with her and Lainey… My Mom was blessed to teach children with downs syndrome in her early years and she has talked about how much fun and how happy the children are and how they have unconditional love. I don’t know you, but from what I read, it sounds to me like you are the perfect woman, mother, to raise such a blessed child from God. Congrats again and enjoy this precious time. Can’t wait to see pics of your beautiful daughter!

  66. I am Elissa’s sister in law, Lisa. I am a mother of a severely disabled 10 year old. Her name is Lizzy. I have been reading your blog for some time and I love it. You are an incredible woman, mother, wife , and friend! God has given you Nella to show you just how perfect his love is. Oh my gosh, Nella is yours and and she is perfect. I know this without even seeing a single picture. Challenges will be around every single corner, that is for sure, but this is why you were put on this earth…for Nella. My prayer for Lainey is that she will see the love of Jesus in her little sister everyday. My prayer for you and Brett is that you will praise God for the miracle even though you have heart wrenching questions and doubts.

    Much love,

  67. Kelle, words fail me right now as I’m not sure what to say exactly. First of all I know that I want to say CONGRATULATIONS! I also want to tell you that I am saddened by Nella’s condition, but I don’t want it to sound as if it’s a bad thing. Things happen that we don’t fully understand sometimes and we question “why” over and over again, but in the end, there is nothing we can do. We go on with our lives and make the best of it. I have not been in your situation before so I will not even pretend to understand all the many emotions you and Brett are experiencing right now, but I can say, as a mother, I understand how heart wrenching it must be to see your child – your baby – have a disability. No mother wants that for their child, but you know what I instantly thought when I heard about sweet Nella? I thought, “It couldn’t have happened to a better person. I know Kelle will be the best mother to that little girl and she will know how to be strong and endure the many challenges yet to come.” You will. You have been blessed with a gift of loving children, knowing children and teaching them. You are so creative and I know that the love you have for Lainey is just going to spill over onto Nella and those little girls are going to be the most loved little girls ever! I can’t wait to see pictures of her! I can’t wait to visit your blog every day and see all the wonderfully creative things you are doing with your two girls. I can’t wait to see your beautiful pictures. You are awesome and will be a great mother to Nella like you already are to Lainey. Sending you hugs. -tasha-

  68. congratulations on your beautiful nella.
    there is no denying why nella chose you as her family.
    sending you love and happiness as you love upon your two little girls. sisters.
    lucky mama.

  69. Here is a special poem that was given to me. I was thankful that it was framed because I cried all over it.


    A meeting was held quite far from Earth.
    It was time again for another birth.
    Said the Angels to the Lord above,
    “This special child will need much love.
    Her progress may be very slow,
    Accomplishment she may not show.
    And she’ll require extra care
    From the folks she meets down there.
    She may not run or laugh or play,
    Her thoughts may seem quite far away.
    So many times she will be labeled
    ‘different,’ ‘helpless’ and disabled.
    So let’s be careful where she’s sent.
    We want her life to be content.
    Please, Lord, find the parents who
    Will do a special job for you.
    They will not realize right away
    The leading role they are asked to play.
    But with this child sent from above
    Comes stronger faith, and richer love.
    And soon they’ll know the privilege given
    In caring for their gift from heaven.
    Their precious charge, so meek and mild
    Is heaven’s very special child.”

    God Bless
    Lisa Viele

  70. MASTERPIECE: the most outstanding work of a creative artist or craftsman.

    After meeting Nella and holding her in my arms, I am confident that this word describes her. She is a masterpiece that was created by the most incredible craftsman of all, GOD.

    She is a beautiful miracle.

    I love you. Love, Andrea

  71. oh kelle..happy happy birthday to sweet baby Nella. all day on friday i couldn’t wait to hear of the big arrival of baby hampton…and then later that night meeting her and hugging you and feeling all the love of your family and friends. my heart is with you every moment….. remember….you make it kel…you make everything the best. sending you all my love and encouragement. xoxo

  72. Oh Kelle, I keep coming back, because i am amazed, not surprised, but amazed at the outpouring of love I have seen in the few short hours here, and 30 odd posts ago for you and your new, even more fabulous family. And just wanted to pop in once again, because you have not left my mind or my heart for a moment since I first read the wonderful news that Nella is here, and have just this to say: love, love, love,love,love,love,love,love! Because you’ve got exponential amounts of it…being sent to you, and inside you for your girls. YOU, my friend, will be not a darn thing less than absolutely amazing in your role as mamma to both your beautiful girls…and not that I think you would, but don’t you dare, even doubt that for a second.

    I, like the rest of the Kelle tribe here, cannot even wait to see her smiling little face.

    Much, much, love once again,


  73. Marsha Colbert says:

    Dearest Kelle,
    I think it’s safe to say (after 71 posts before me) little Nella is already changing the world around us… and a better place it is because of her.

    Thank you for carrying her ever so safely and delivering her to us. You will rock it out like no other and we will be there to dance and celebrate all that is Nella every step of the way.

    Our love, hugs, and prayers to you and your family,

  74. Anonymous says:


    I don’t know you but I feel like I do. I some how came across your blog maybe 2 years ago & I read it every day! You truly are an amazing woman & mom & Nella is so lucky to have you & your family. I admire you as a mom!

    Baltimore, MD

  75. My little sweet Nella,
    You will tell us all a better story.. a sweeter story…sweet little angel from heaven I can’t wait for this story. I feel so blessed to be a part of your story…After spending three days with you I love you more than words can describe. You are so beautiful inside and out and just perfectly you… Nella. This new journey of life will be wonderful as your sweet daddy says:) Just wonderful because you are in it and I…I get be a part of it. And you will make the world a better place and teach us all what true love is and how just truly amazing life can be because is all that matters is LOVE and love is what you got girl! I love you sweet Nella and Kelle you ROCK IT OUT GIRL! Always and espcially now. xoxo
    Love my Hampton Family… so happy you are part of my life.

  76. To the Beach Vieles:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am weeping on my keyboard but my heart overflows with love and joy. To those who saw and shared my tears this weekend, I cry not because I am not happy with my precious Nella gift…I cry because I love my Nella gift so much and find her…exquuisite!

  77. Anonymous says:

    Congrats on such a precious new girl.

    And like the title of your blog, enjoy the small things. They will make the big challenges ahead seem like a mere speed bump.

    I cannot wait to see how you and your sweet girls will change the world with your new words and pictures to come.


    And of course I’ll be cheering on the men in your family, Brent and his sons.


    Rock the world you Hamptons. Rock the world!

  78. Congratulations Kelle! I am so excited to see photos of your darling new daughter and I know, just from reading your blog over the last several months, that she will be loved by her mom and dad and big sister. I am sure you will soon wonder how you ever survived before she came into your lives!
    Good luck and god bless, and I can’t wait to see photos and hear your stories soon!

  79. Blessings and surprises arrive in our lives in unexpected ways. God has a plan for us and when the unexpected happens; Christ’s teachings want us to embrace the events with faith and open arms. That is what this grandfather of our dear Nella plans to do as our family pulls together even closer.

  80. Kelle,

    Congratulations on your daughter Nella! I found your blog through dig, and have been a daily reader. I have commented before, but didn’t know what to say this morning when I read your sisters post. I have been thinking about you all day and wondering what I could write that would be powerful enough to give you a little more strength during this time.

    I just keep thinking about one of your last posts were you wrote that you couldn’t wait to see what life’s next challenge was, and that you were excited to expand and see what you could accomplish. It is almost as if, without knowing it, you were ready for this. I think that Nella couldn’t be luckier to have you as a mother and you couldn’t be luckier to have her….. I am sure that the love, beauty, and joy that you will find through this experience will surely bring you so much happiness.

    I wish you the very best in this transitional period, and I am sure little Nella will bring us all to a greater enlightenment.

    Much Love,

    SLC, Utah

  81. Anonymous says:

    “Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.”

    There is nothing more special than realizing that we have the capacity to love in ways we never knew.

    You will be an amazing mother to sweet Nella.

    She is as lucky to have you as you are to have her.

    Enjoy every minute- I know you will!


  82. Kelle, I, too have been checking this weekend since I saw you went into labor and feel shocked about this news but agree wholeheartedly with the outpouring of love found here . . . especially what Sage said, and I’m thinking about your “Chicago” post, about saying goodbye to a world you’d once inhabited. Everything is different now, and perhaps somehow richer.

    Of course sweet Nella picked you to be her mama. You are strong enough to advocate for her every step of the way, and she couldn’t possibly be more loved by anyone else.

    Somehow it doesn’t feel nearly enough to leave a comment here, especially because I don’t know you, but I hope that it helps lift you up, all this support. Didn’t Mother Theresa say something about how important it is to just do one thing to try to make things better? Not to put any burden on you, but I suspect your calling has something to do with a big contribution you will make in the world, even bigger than the one you’ve already made.

    Much love to you and your family, and congratulations on what I’m sure is a beautiful baby girl. Looking forward to hearing more of your story, and hers.

    PS. Avi has a crush on Lainey after seeing her kitty cat face the other day.

  83. Dear Kelle,

    I only “know” you thru your beautiful pictures and writing, having come to your blog thru pictures you took for Tadd & Jill.

    You & your family are filled with love ~ and are the perfect family for precious Nella. Each of you in your own ways will be the advocates she needs. Your home is already filled with love and joy ~ and I believe you will be surprised what special, unconditional love and joy Nella will bring into your lives.

    I had to smile when I read the comment referring to the story about traveling to Holland instead of Italy. Another special needs mom shared that story with me. And I was reminded of it earlier this month when I read your “Chicago” post. God has a way of preparing us for the journey ahead. I know He will be your strength. Praying for you to be wrapped in His awesome love and peace.

    Your little Nella is already touching hearts. I think we’re all going to grow and learn from this sweet girl and her loving family.

    Welcome dear Nella!

    Love, (((hugs))) and prayers,

  84. My pastor’s wife described one of her faith’s major turning points: the birth of their daughter, who also has Down Syndrome. My pastor said then, “God is good.” When there are no words, He is good. And He is good. And He will make this good. He has given you an amazing eye for what is good, and what is beautiful–and she will be so thankful for that. You are so precious and I’m so happy to imagine this little baby with a mother and a family like yours. Prayers and love from the desert, Summer

  85. Anonymous says:

    I am another anonymous reader who has been enjoying reading your tale of love for the past year. I’ve been excited about your new baby from the moment you began writing about her, and have been waiting for her arrival this past week, constantly refreshing the page looking forward to your first post-Nella musings.
    You may not feel prepared for this experience, or the kaleidoscope of feelings that have come with it. I have not experienced what you are going through, so I can’t begin to walk you through it. But I can join those who want to hold your hand on this journey and to squeeze it with encouragement to help get you past the hurdles.
    The person I love most in this world is many many miles away right now, fighting a war. I am proud of him, scared for him, and through it all completely mesmerized by his courage, and consumed by my love for him. Some days are tougher than others. And on those days I remind myself that “It is what it Is. And right now, right in this moment, it’s alright”. When the big picture is too scary or complicated to contemplate, just live in the moment Kelle. Breathe. Look around you. Hold her close. Hold them all close to you. And enjoy the small things.

  86. Oh, friends, readers, loved ones,
    You have no idea the impact of your words tonight. I am overwhelmed at this outpouring of love you have expressed. Night time has been so very scary for me as the visitors leave, darkness creeps and I am left in a silent room with walls closing in, grasping to understand it all and mourning the loss of an experience we thought we were going to have. Here I sit though, at 1:30 in the morning, in a dark room lit only by the biliruben lights over my new little bunny, and I weep tears of love for support I didn’t even know I had…silent readers, distant friends, and family so dear to me..,your every word has carried me through the darkness tonight, and I feel peace. I have so much to say and it will come soon as well as photos of this angel that, after a little processing time, stole my heart so hard and heavy last night, I feel glued to her soul. I will share soon the beginnings of a journey we were chosen to lead. Until then, gratitude and live for every one of you blessed souls and your precious, precious words tonight.

  87. Kelle,
    Congratulations on your sweet Nella. I just love the name. I can’t wait to meet her. You are such an inspiration to me in so many ways. You are going to be an amazing mom, once again. I can’t wait to witness you showering both of your girls with love on your blog. I wish you and your family all the happiness in the world. Congratulations Hampton Family.

  88. Kelle,
    Congratulations on your baby girl Nella. I have been thinking about you all evening and the emotional roller coaster you are probably on– hormones included!!
    Hearing that Nella has Down’s Syndrome made me think of my sixth grade class. We were the classroom next to the disabled classroom and they always needed helpers, my friends and i started going to help the disabled children and grew so attached to these kind souls. Gina, Billy, and Juan were the ones I remember the most. It became that so many people wanted to help out and play with these kids that we had to take turns and you had to be doing a good job in class in order to go be with them. I know Nella will have people lining up to love her and help her through out life. They already are and most of us haven’t even met her. It will be journey full of love and support I am sure. Thank you for sharing your life and precious moments, you have no idea how inspiring you are to all. Much love to you all,

  89. Dear Kelle and family,
    “God is love” 1John 4:8
    I am sure that you as a creation of God’s love, will love Nella as well. I am praying for you and sending you my loving ,too

  90. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you this whole weekend. I did post a comment last night and then checked back before I went to bed and felt confirmation of all that love you by the fact that there were triple the amount of comments . . . and now after I crawled out of bed, I’m back and WOW, just WOW . . .

    Kelle you are loved. Lainey and Nella are loved.

    Look at what you’ve accomplished through your readers, look at all of this love!

  91. when you love someone is playing…
    i just left you at the hospital…

    the last time we heard this song was when little nella entered our world, our hearts.

    with overflowing love for her…this miracle, it hurts.

    now it hurts.

    watching you with nella is…poetic, perfect, graceful, real and primal.

    you are so good with her kells. nuzzling her neck, your refusal to put her down the first 24 hrs. i don’t have words for the magic i have witnessed since i saw her meet her mama for the first time.

    i promise we will listen to this song again and we will smile through our tears and thank god for sending her our way. all who have the honor of knowing her…we are so lucky.
    i love you.

  92. Congratulations on your beautiful little one! I love her name, too!

    I’m sure the last few days have been an unbelievable roller-coaster…I wanted to add my small voice to the encouragement you’ve been getting as your mind travels up and down the track of the future.

    My cousin Andy was born with Down Syndrome. He’s now 39 years old, living on his own with a roommate, working full-time at a job he loves, and he is doing *AWESOME*.

    His parents are just like the two of you – smart, strong, wonderful people. And Andy is no different. Time and time again, Andy has smashed everyone’s expectations – he’s a man who can only be described as an ACHIEVER.

    Kelle, we’ve never met and I’m sure you don’t always feel this way…but you seem to be one of those people whose touch makes things absolutely sparkle with love. And I’m sure that touch is going to help little Nella reach her potential and achieve whatever she sets her mind to…just as it helps sweet Lainey do the same.

    I can’t wait to see photos of your sparkly little Nella…and more of her amazing big sister!


  93. The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. A mother’s love is something absolutely new. Baby Nella is going to have a wonderful life with you. You will show her strengthen and wisdom everyday day. She is a miracle that has already brought so many good things to happen. We do not know yet what impact she is going to have on our life or the world, but she will make a difference.

  94. scottnaples says:

    Dear Kelle,
    After a little pleading and gentle arm bending, you agreed to photograph your “first” ever wedding . . . not to anyone’s surprise, the results were amazing! You were up for the challenge! Your creative, contagious energy and your passion for life shows through the incredible photographs you take. This next “first” in your life will be amazing also!
    Little Nella . . . . hold on to your bonnet! There is no stopping your momma! I can hardly wait to see the latest love of your life! God Bless You! Xoxo Deb.

  95. What more can be said? I echo everyone’s words of encouragement and love. Nella is a perfect addition to our big Cryderman family and we love her dearly already. Can’t wait to hug and kiss her and to look into those beautiful eyes your dad keeps telling us about.

  96. Kelle,

    I agree with Scott, your ABILITIES, will tip the scales against any disability.

    Your talents are overflowing and so is your LOVE. Little Nella is a lucky, beautiful little girl.

    Sending love and prayers to you and your family.


  97. Dear Kelle,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to post. You and your family have been in my thoughts all day.

    Am so looking forward to your return, and seeing your photos of your beautiful girls together.

    (Your Dad sounds like such a lovely man, Kelle. I always smile when I read your messages Dad!)

    Take care,

    Linda (New Zealand)

  98. You are truly the best person in the world to Mommy little Nella and she is blessed to have you. Truly blessed.

  99. tears…
    loving all this love…I knew this would happen.
    missing you.

  100. To say it takes a special kind of person is an understatement. It takes an amazing person. Hands down, fully confident, that it’s you Kelle. I can’t think of anyone better… no one… at all! Love, love and more love.

  101. Kelle, I too like Sage found you through “dig”. The only two blogs I really follow regularly. I follow yours because you are sweet, intelligent, thoughtful, and optimistic. You see a richness in life that many might overlook. For these reasons I think you are the perfect mama for little Nella. I love the name!!! My thoughts and prayers are with you as you wrap your mind around this new life with Nella. I read your sister’s post yesterday and thought about you all day while I was skiing; willing good thoughts and support your way. I hope maybe you felt it somehow. I believe in things like that. You take care girl! Drink tea, snuggle the babes, have your toe nails painted a pretty color..enjoy the small things to help get through the big things. Love Malissa. xoxo

  102. Brit Girl says:

    Just taking some time out from work to say that I’m thinking of you and I hope that you and sweet Nella will soon be back in your cosy home where you both belong. Another batch of love heading your way. S and C xx

  103. Kelle,

    I have a story tell you…I was in a bookstore last week trying to find book, in the children’s section, for Ruby and Margot. I was sitting on the floor, intently going about my duty…. finally locating the book I was seeking, “Bunny Cakes”. I sat there silently reading it when unexpectedly a little girl, with pigtails, plopped down in my lap….I read the book to her. I looked up and her mom, was smiling and said, “Lucy what are you doing”, I said, “ We’re reading this book”. She went on to say that she hoped she wasn’t bothering me and that Lucy was really quite shy and usually took her time sizing people up. Then her mother said, “You must be special”….I said, “No, I am a mother and now a grandmother, and Lucy has made my day”! As quickly as she sat in my lap…she was gone. I sat there for a few minutes with an overwhelming warmth in my heart….Lucy chose me to read to her , Lucy had Down’s, Lucy was incredible. Nella chose you….what a lucky little girl!

    I look so forward to meeting her, you and Lainey someday. I can’t wait for Nella’ birth story, with your beautiful words and photos.

    Thinking of you with love,
    Bug & Ruby’s Gram

  104. As usual, Kulio said it perfectly. You don’t have to be amazing right now. Just breathe and be. Melt into God’s arms and our love for you. As intensely as you love life, the hard times are that much more intense. Soak up Nella’s newborn wonderfulness. Breathe and be.
    “Be still and KNOW that I am God.”

  105. sweet nella could not have picked a better mother. kelle, you are amazing and you can love this little girl like no one else ever could. the journey has taken an unexpected turn, but god is near. much, much love and many prayers coming your way!

  106. The chorus from “We Live” by superchick is my Kelle mantra today! I hope all these comments don’t put ‘pressure’ on you to be supermom… I know I do admire your ability to look on the bright side, to enjoy every step of your life. I also admire your ability to share your true feelings/struggles. And not only to make the most of what is before you today, but to make it beautiful and inspirational. I know you will find a way. We are just lucky enough to share this road with you. I’ve made my own road brighter, full of much more joy and laughter despite hardships just because I’ve met you here!

  107. Terry, my dad and I are a mess with your comment. There have been so, so, so many strange coincidences. You read ‘Bunny Cakes’ to little Lucy. “Coincidentally,” since Nella was born, I have called her…”Bunny.”
    my dad is on his way to the bookstore across the street to find “Bunnycakes.”
    There are no coincidences. Big things are happening.
    Nella and I stay on in the hospital as we watch jaundice counts that are expected to gradually go down. My laptop is being brought to me today, and I will begin my therapy tonight. I will begin to write her story. Pictures and words to come of our Bunny, her sister, her family and the love we are feeling.
    Thank you everyone.

  108. Kelle, Let me send you this copy….please! Call your Dad and cancel his mission. I can find another copy of it….the reason I am buying it is because I researched children’s books with the name ‘Ruby’…there are several books in this series, they are all about a little boy named Max and his sister Ruby. I intend to get them all for my Ruby & will purchase two, 1 for Ruby and one for Nella.


  109. Nella is one lucky little girl!
    She has chosen the best parents and siblings…she is about to feel more love then she will ever imagine. Lucky girl.

    We love her name! We love you! We love brothers and Lainey Love and your husband!

    What a magical journey God has in store for your family!

  110. Mission canceled. We will cherish your copy of this book and consider it another precious link to our bunny buds, Ruby and Margot. Xoxo

  111. Dearest Kelle,

    I know now you feel pain for your daughter. You want nothing but the fullest for your children. I am here to tell you, Nella will be more full than a “normal” child, because children with special needs, especially children with Downs Syndrome, hold a special place next to God’s heart and it shines through them each and every day. The pain is fierce now, but soon you will see. Soon you will see that this blessing was sent just for you….just for Lainey….just for Brett….just for all of you. She is a gift. Every milestone will be a huge blessing. Your heart will always be full. Nella’s love will always be true and it will fill places in your heart and in your life that you didn’t even know was there. I am blessed to know two very special girls who happen to have Down Syndrome. They have blessed me more than anyone I know. Mackenzie was my flower girl and Jaycee prayed over my Chase and blessed him immeasurably.

    Keep posting what you feel. People’s comments can help beyond measure. It’s what helped get me through the dark spots, and there will be dark spots. But Nella is that special light in the dark place. God’s light just for you.

    The pain is immense now. Pray. Pray hard. I know your faith is there. Give it to God. He is has a plan for precious Nella, and you are here to guide her in that path. Congratulations on your little blessing. I don’t know any other mother who could shower this little one with love, blessings, sugar, pride, laughter, and strength than you. You can do this! You can do this!

    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
    God’s word, just for the Hamptons.

    I’m Here Kelle.

  112. Monday afternoon hugs and love, cause you Cryderman-Hampton gals are still on my mind!


  113. Kellie,

    I am Elissa’s cousin. We have never met, but I have been following your blog through hers.

    I have no doubt that Nella will be blessed the love and support that she will seek. You are a true inspiration to all mothers.


  114. Anonymous says:

    I feel my heart stings pulling to this baby and family I have never even met!! Oh sweet Nella and Lainey Love, I wish every child in the world was loved as much as you. The world would be a better place….

  115. Fully Rely On God and believe only in His truths and no other…I’m a mom of a soon to be 10 year old daughter with DS, Jaycie Lynne…We have refused to accept anything but a life of abundance for our daughter …Jeremiah 29:11 was scripture that was given to me when my daughter was born…WOW what awesome plans He’s laid out so far for my Jaycie…She is awesome and what a full and blessed life she lives in HIM…My daughter rocks because Jesus rocks! We will be praying for your family. Kelle you are blessed!

  116. Hi Kelle,

    We’ve never met and I’m new to your blog. But since Saturday, two different people have talked to me about the birth of your precious daughter Nella. My son Steven is 11years old and has Down Syndrome, and I remember so vividly everything that you’re feeling now. Please know that soon the sadness will go away, and only the joy will be left.

    I also have a daughter who is older than Steven, and I especially remember my worries about how having a younger sibling with a disability would affect her. And it did affect her, in the most positive way possible! She is the best big sister ever, and she has learned more about compassion and love than anyone could ever expect a 15 year old to understand. My husband and I have always been very conscious of balancing our two children’s very different needs, but I’ve come to realize as they’ve grown older that all parents do that, regardless of what the specific needs of their children are.

    Your friends Kelly and Carrie know how to get in touch with me if you ever want to visit with an older child with Down Syndrome (and his big sister), or if you would just like to talk with another mom whose been there.

    Becky Newell

  117. Dearest Kelle,

    I was deeply moved by Heidi’s phone call a few days ago. After my hospital visit, I spent most of the night reflecting and praying for you all and Miss Nella. Not knowing full details of the situation, I prayed mostly for an understanding of why some things happen the way they do and why some things are not always perfect in the way that they first appear. It was then that I realized that there are occasions where perfection is placed before us and we are unable to recognize it because we become so accustomed to imperfection, that it appears so different to us.

    Nella is perfection in every sense. We are delighted at the thought of being a part of her life and are looking forward to many fun-filled, girly play dates.

    We have to have confidence in the goodness of God and lean on his Love. I have witnessed the goodness and love of God begin to erupt through this “Kelle Hampton” fan club of yours….it is such a beautiful thing. Please accept this note as a reflection of God’s love sent through this tragically imperfect messenger.

    Love you BUNCHES!!!

  118. And now I am a blubbering mess at my desk after reading TRB Holt’s words…


    it seems there are times when there are just so many signs…of God…of love…of this…universal energy…and at times like this, these signs become so blatant that they cannot be ignored…and I wonder…maybe they are always there…hidden little secrets…little stones just begging to be uncovered every day…but our hearts are just so open right now that they become so clear….

    it seems that life since Friday has felt almost…supernatural…
    “existing or occurring outside the normal experience or knowlege of man; not explainable by the known forces or laws of nature”.

    I came into work this morning and the tulips on my desk had bloomed over the weekend…

    I am so inspired today!…to live my life more aware…always looking for the holy in the common place…because it is there…I believe it…now more than ever.

    I love you!

  119. I cannot get enough of this little angel girl…she looks like a cherub…she, to her Poppa, is perfect and beautiful. She will be a force to contend with…I stand by her little “tanning bed” and ask her, “Where are you taking us, sweet thing? Take Poppa’s hand, I don’t want to miss a thing!” And Lainey and the boys–she’s got some great teachers, inspirers, protectors…oh, she is just heaven! She will be lighting up every room she steps into! Enough of bragging…just sayin’.

  120. These comments – wow! You are truly wrapped up in love. Your friends and family are amazing – as usual, your Poppa’s comments made me well up. Was there ever a gentleman (in the truest sense of the word) with a bigger heart than he? Congratulations on your newest granddaughter, sir! As others have said, all you need to do right now Kelle is breathe and be loved. Thinking of you, Brett, Lainey and little Nella. It is bedtime here – wishing you a peaceful night.

  121. I so agree with Brit Girl, your Poppa’s word ahhhh…AMAZING!! When we are all trying to comfort each of you…you do it again, your words (both of you) show us what life is and should be about. Love and being loved. Can’t wait to “meet” sweet, beautiful Nella. Soak up all the LOVE that is being sent your way from all over this crazy world.

  122. Sweet Kelle…..congratulations on the arrival of your beautiful Nella. I am sure that no words adequately express the range of emotions you are feeling now. You, your sweet Lainey, your beautiful beautiful Nella and the rest of your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Big hugs to all of you and lots of love to you…amazing how much love you already have surrounding your amazing family!!!!

  123. Hi Kelle,
    I stared at my keyboard forever – hesitating to post because everyone has been leaving such beautiful, profound and loving messages – they say exactly what I would have just in such a more eloquent way! Welcome, beautiful Nella! I know you will be teaching Mommy, Daddy and big sister Lainey so much more than they think possible – like how to laugh so much more, how to live so much more and more importantly, how to love so much more! I was lucky to get a sneak peek of you (will not share my informant!) and your are gorgeous – so peaceful and restful. Kelle, as I think someone else already posted, breathe deep, don’t ask why and just do what you do best – love your children and enjoy every minute of them! I, too, look forward to watching both girls grow with your phenomenal blogs!

  124. Dawn Howell says:

    Kelle, I’m Heather Howell’s Aunt and my prayers are with you. You have been chosen by God to have Nella in your life, as did Heather with Chase. I’m sure you have heard that God only gives what we can handle, and when one door closes another opens. I do realize that Nella and Chase are two totally different children, but never the less, God’s Children..Good Luck and God Bless you and your family…and just on a lighter note you’re a great photographer…wish my grandbabies lived here…

  125. Congratulations!

    What a beautiful display of the way you, your images, and your words have impacted so many. Your sweet bunny is certainly in good hands.

    I hope you continue to show grace to yourself. Mourn that idea of the next phase that you had as you need to, seek help when things are hard, and rest. I’m not a mom, but I work with families who have children with special needs and I have seen that there are hard times. Don’t forget to take care of you as you care for your beautiful family.

    Grace, peace, and prayers.

  126. Your family has been blessed with sweet Nella.
    My youngest brother, Preston is Down Syndrome… he is a happy, healthy young man who has changed us all for the better.
    Try to rest… Lainey and Nella will be chasing each other around before you know it! :)

  127. Anonymous says:

    Dear Kelle,
    Its Madisyn again! I just have to write before I burst out with glitter or something!! Yes, Glitter. I’m laying in bed thinking about tonight, and all I can feel is LOVE. I feel full. I feel great! I feel so much love for that baby and you and your family now. That hospital room had more spirits and more love, than anything. I LOVED being there and I thanked Tuna (Wylie) a lot! Probably not enough though :) . I listened to your stories that gave me goosebumps the size of mountains! While listening to your stories, and watching you feed Nella yourself, no stinken nurse, and I knew it. Right then, I felt it. Your gonna be on Oprah. Your going to be one of those people that tell inspirational stories and make you want to be just like them someday. Hahaha just kidding thats not it. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised because thats all true. Thats not all I felt. One of the million things I thought of was, She’s got this. They’ve got this. We’ve got this. Yes, We. Everybody that has spilled out their love for you and your family. While holding little Nella I couldn’t stop looking at her! She is so precious and so beautiful. She’s PERFECT Kelle, she truly is! I felt so blessed to be able to meet her, and hopefully I will many more times! :) If you ever need a momma’s helper or sitter, I’m here and prepared with classes and experience! Her or Lainey! Or photographer! (: Anyways thats not the point, so what I wanted to tell you was, how blessed and how amazing your Baby Bunny is. Her Family too. I know it’s not what you expected, but we can’t ever expect things. No matter how big or small, nothing is ever the way it is in your head. People need to be more like you though, they need to learn to live and ENJOY THE SMALL THINGS! I do believe sometimes that God has your life planned out for you, he knows what’s going to happen ahead of time but that belief varies. I believe everything happens for a reason, but then again maybe thats JUST a saying. Maybe if we all learn to accept and make the best out of everything, no matter what the situation is, we all come around to believe that everything happens for a reason. You will soon look back and not be able to even imagine your life if THIS Nella didn’t exist. This IS Nella Cordelia, and she too will have her life unfold out of god’s hands. A person is a person and thats all that it comes down to. I don’t like the medical knowledge all the time these days. I was thinking about this tonight. There is a name for everything these days. Everybody has something. It is only a matter as if it is addressed by doctors and given a “name”, a “label” or not. If everybody’s family was alone on an island and didn’t know anybody else, ANYONE brought into this world could easily be accepted and not grouped such as.. Big. Small. Tall. Short. Asian. American. Indian. Adhd. Ocd. Autism. Down’s. Dwarfism. Anything. Nobody would know there is supposed to be this “normal someone”. I dont believe in it. I guess what I’m trying to say, is Nella is categorized under a name. You and your family I know will stop that. This little angel is going to make everyone realize that for medical purposes, maybe you need that, like anybody would, but for anything else, it can all just go poof! This gorgeous little bundle of life is a wonderful addition to you, lainey, your husband, austyn, and brandyn’s life! Take it all in! Little by little! Welcome to Holland! I heard the tulips are beautiful! :)
    Love always,

  128. love you so much kelle! keeping you in thoughts and prayers. cant wait to hold nella! dorothy and coridillia…we already have a connection!

  129. love you so much kelle! keeping you in thoughts and prayers. cant wait to hold nella! dorothy and coridillia…we already have a connection!

  130. Just to clarify, Kell, “bee” in the previous comment, is Brooklyn Dorothy. That wasn’t very clear. ha!

  131. Ok, Madisyn…we were totally together on this one last night!! I swear with everything that I am, while laying in bed last night, I thought the exact same words, “She’s got this.” They’ve got this. And we’ve all got her.” (as in her back.) And I know, that’s just gow it’s gonna be! Oh, the widespread love that has already been pouring out…I just wonder, how many people across this country, and the UK, and Australia for goodness sakes, have already breathed bunny’s sweet name…it’s nothing short of amazing. Happy first Tuesday Nella Cordelia!!

  132. Kelle,
    I agree with cjs. I can feel the supernatural around your bunny all the way over here in the country. She’s oozing with God’s love and I know you feel it. Breathe it in, Kelle. It’s a divine blessing, just for you little momma.

    Thinking and praying for you over and over again!
    Heather Cleckler

  133. Anonymous says:

    Kelle, Brett & Family –
    Congratulations on the wondeful new arrival to the Hampton family! Nella is such a lucky baby to have such a wonderful family to give her all of the love and encouragement she could ever want! It is so sad every child cannot have the love she does! Every child is such a gift to be treasured. We love you!

  134. Kelle,
    My husband and I have been in awe of the love that has been extended to your family through your blog…I posted on your blog yesterday and just had to post again…Madisyn nailed it on the head…Down’s Syndrome is a label used for medical purposes…our daughter, Jaycie was diagnosed with Down’s after birth…we chose to not accept that label at home or to direct it to her personally, maybe to protect her and us,YES, but mostly to not hinder her in any way that most labels hinder…At times seeming in denial of the diagnosis, but it’s just plain difficult to see something that is just not there…My daughter functions as any girl, soon to be 10 yrs. old, that is “all” girl…even when she tackles her brother in football (then apologizes for being too rough) …and when she goes into her room to sing songs to Jesus (really loud on the mic with reverb)… and when she cooks us a “mean” french toast with lots of butter …and when she dresses up just because she wants to (the more pink and purple and glittery the better)…it’s hard not to throw out any label that speaks against this…Jaycie sees herself as “a daughter of the Most High King”…and she is most certainly living up to her Heavenly Father’s expectations first and foremost…We are staying in prayer for your family’s divine intervention, protection and direction! God is so faithful and you guys are blessed! PS: Poppa it’s hard not to brag on God’s blessings. He does exceedingly abundantly above all we could think or ask…Matt and Marie

  135. Anonymous says:

    Hi!! You don’t know me, but my name is Angela Hubbard. Heather Cleckler is married to my brother, Randall Cleckler. She told me about your website and I am looking at the prettiest young lady I have ever seen. I just want to encourage you to keep on smiling. We are praying for your complete and total healing. I have put you on my prayer list that I pray over every day. Jesus loves you just the way you are, but He wants to heal your little body for His Glory! Just know that we are out here even tho we may never meet here on earth. We love you and are praying for you. Your friend, Angela

  136. Dying to see her.

  137. Little Nella is one blessed baby to come into the world, into such a loving family and one DEDICATED mama who gives her littles her very very best.
    She will give you so many wonderful things, you will learn so much and she will love you with all of her heart…
    You are an inspiration to me,one day I hope to be a mama like you.

    Love from Vancouver Island, Canada.

  138. I have been staring at the keyboard with a quivering chin for a while now. I wanted to write something profound but it’s just not coming. I will always cherish being there for Nella’s birth. It was real. And sureal. And perfect. And when the light started coming back into the darkened room I knew we had only yet seen a glimpse of the power Nella will have for all of us. Kelle, God does not make mistakes.

  139. Precious words, Amy. Precious friend, Amy. Yes, we were on holy ground…and after the chill or fear and the fog of confusion came the warmth and light of love…just love. I read and re-read all these comments…and Madisyn–the old soul–speaks with the wisdom of an aged sage and I think we had to tell a fib to get her up in the room as she is, what, 14? And Marie, I love Jaycie and I have never met her…kindred hearts! You are all carrying us. I was sad to pack up that room with Kelle today…it was a holy place!

  140. Dear Kelle,
    I have typed that intro about 10 times over the past few days, only to delete it because I’m not quite sure what to say. But this is the heart of my message….your journey of motherhood continues and Nella is the delightful road less traveled. I know you will drink in this unexpected detour like you seem to drink in all of the other moments in your life. Your story has consumed my thoughts lately (and even my dreams). You are a great Mom and Nella is lucky to have you…just as you are lucky to have her. Congratulations!

    Sarah Wayne

  141. Kelle–another lurker here…amazed at the power of your abilities. Nella (beautiful name) will bring you many small things to enjoy–nuzzling, smiling, reaching–and she’ll redefine your world. This gift was not what you expected but it is a gift you’ll love and appreciate. You have the power and the support to make it all happen. Congratulations to you and your family. It will be a ride.

  142. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Kelle and family!!! I’ve been thinking about you non-stop since before the weekend. I call Heidi incessantly for updates on you and your new little pumpkin. I can’t wait to meet her, Heidi said she looks like Lainey and is an angel. I know all is and will be wonderful. There will be hard times, tears, and some fears but the love and joy will be so powerful that you will be unable to imagine life any other way but as it is in all its perfection. :)

  143. Anonymous says:

    Dear Hamptons,
    I don’t want to pretend I know what your future holds or what the journey will be like, but this is what I DO know:
    Nella is beautiful-She’s picked an amazing family-She will be loved by so many-She is going to teach us all more than we’ll ever teach her-You have the love and support of all your family and friends-God picked you to be Nella’s family for a reason that will become clear to us all! Nella, I can’t wait to watch you grow up and be a huge part of my family’s life. Welcome to the world sweet angel! Colleen Steel :)

  144. Kelle and family,

    It’s Poppa Rik and Gary’s neighbor, Mary. Wow, that first photo of Nella in her adorable hat and wrapped in a precious pink package is goregous. She’s perfect and beautiful!!!
    Once again one of your photos touched my heart and soul. Your work has blown me away for the past year, your talent is unbelievable — God saw that talent and sent you a second Angel so you can continue to capture pure beauty on earth as He intended — soulful, innocent, pure unconditional love.
    Your sister’s note is an incredible welcome to a special baby girl. Nella couldn’t have chosen a better family with which to share what’s sure to be a magical journey through life. She couldn’t have chosen a better Mom to capture each of the special moments sure to come.
    Much love and blessings to all of you!

  145. Hi Kelle : ). I stumbled upon your blog this past fall, and it soon became a favorite of mine. I am a photographer too, and find your combination of lovely/emotion-filled images, poetic words, and “realness” very inspiring. You are a true gift to those who know you, as well as to those who read your words and see your images from afar.

    I want to echo the earlier sentiment of Rachel who worries that you might feel the pressure to be “Super Kelle” after reading all of these posts, when really all you need to do is just “be”. Just keep being wonderful you. It’s so funny to write that about someone I’ve never met, but it is so obvious how genuinely good your soul is just from reading your writing.

    So thanks for sharing your perspective on life… the rolling with the punches and enjoying the sweet with the sour and, of course, enjoying the little things : ). You really are just so good at trying to live the best possible life you can. And I feel very inspired by you.

    Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl, Nella! She sounds absolutely perfect in every way. Life is so rich and complex and beautiful, isn’t it? A wonderful tapestry.

  146. Dawn Howell says:

    Just finished reading your update, I can see that you are not only a great photographer, but writer as well. Nella, is so blessed to have a mommy like you. You sound like you are going to handle, whatever is put on your shoulders…YOU GO GIRL! I hope that I will be able to meet you and your beautiful family.
    God Bless

  147. Anonymous says:

    Hi! Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful daughter! A dear friend of mine, that reads your post, thought that I should write to you. In December of 2008 I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy that we named Jonathan. When he was about 12 hours old we were told that he “may” have DS. Let me encourage you that Jonathan has been one of the biggest joys God has ever given to me. Is it what we had planned? No. Is is all easy? No. But the joy, oh the joy, he has brought to our lives. If you ever want to talk or anything please email me at actspower@windstream.net. and Welcome to Holland! It is truly a remarkable and beautiful place to be!

  148. Dearest Kelle,
    It’s been a week since our world has become a better, happier, brighter, wiser place….Nella Cordellia has blessed us with her birth. It has taken me this long to put my thoughts into words, no they may not be eloquent, but they are from my heart. I couldn’t wait to get to the hospital last week to see you and your beautiful daughter, I too envisioned walking into a room that was not what I expected…IT WAS SO MUCH MORE! I couldn’t describe it then, but it was overwhelming; yes there was sadness, anger, helplessness, but more so love. Not only love for this beautiful new life, but for you, Brett, and Lainey. I wanted to hold you and tell you it’s going to be ok, that life will still be as you planned but I couldn’t and you know why because life isn’t always as we plan it and that’s ok. My post that you saw on facebook the other night I couldn’t answer…I was angry for you and wanted answers. Kelle, I know we aren’t really close, but I ached for you. I wanted answer from God, I wanted to know his plan for you. And a week later, I think I know or at least understand better what he planned. You have always been an inspiration to many of us, you always see the sunshine when it’s pouring, you get all of us through our darkest days. It’s you! And now it’s our turn to do the same for you.
    God knew that you, and only you, would love Nella like no other just as you do Lainey Love. God knew that this little girl needs that love you give to Lainey, and you will because your heart is the biggest heart of anyone human being that I know.
    I feel like I am rambling, but I just want you to know that what you’re feeling (and I can only imagine it feels like a roller coaster right now) is normal. I want you to know I will be what you ever you need from me; a friend, a shoulder to cry on, a baby sitter, an errand runner, a supporter, ANYTHING.
    And one more thing, when you are having a down moment look back at this post from supporters all over the world that are close to you and others that have never met you and are so inspired by you that they just can’t help but love you, look back at this day…the day that your bunny, my baby doll, entered this world to ROCK IT OUT!
    I love you to pieces,

  149. Anonymous says:

    I love you Nella Cordelia Hampton
    love you guys, Savannahh Joyy

  150. Because the comment count hangs at 149, Poppa must tap it over to 150. Oh, the resilience of the human spirit. Oh, the light love brings to show the way when the path is new. To all my daughters wonderful friends–you cannot know how this Dad loves you! Though miles away, I have no worries as I know my daughter is woven deeply into your quilt of compassion. It doesn’t hurt you are all so beautiful. Nella will be so well connected to joy and kindness. Thank you…for meals and hugs and tears and laughter invested in her since she quietly entered our journey. My heart is so filled, I think it will burst. And Madisyn–I told Kelle today I wanted to cut you in half and count the rings–you are so much older and wiser than your years…I hope you are always in our Nella’s life! (I promise, the cutting in half was only a metaphor!)

  151. This comment has been removed by the author.

  152. To Lainey and Nella’s ‘Poppa’~ as we would say as a Montana fisherman,you are a “KEEPER”…

    Bug and Ruby’s Gram

  153. The love in your family is beautiful. Nella is lucky, and so are you.

    Could I do a birth announcement for Nella on my blog?

  154. Well I for one think you are one lucky mama. We were to have a baby girl with Downs Syndrome, but she did not make it full term. I was devastated. I learned that only 20% – the strong ones – make it to this world. So soak it up and love that little baby with all the love you have and that she deserves. Your family will learn so much from her!

  155. Anonymous says:

    You are truly blessed! From what I have read here, you have an incredible family filled with unconditional love. You will all be blessed more than you ever dreamed by this amazing gift given to you!
    She will teach you more than you ever expected and show you things you would never have seen. You will look at the world thru new eyes!
    Congratulations! Your life is going to be amazing because of this beautiful angel!

  156. I’m so moved by this. Thank you for sharing your heart and your experience with the world.

  157. This baby is so blessed to be surrounded by all of your love! And I’m and my family are so blessed that your paths will brighten and define our daughter’s path as well. When our loved ones who have T21 are celebrated, as I know Nella will be, the path for ALL of our children is made more smooth. Thank you for opening your hearts to your perfect little angel.

  158. its 3 am, and i just miraculously stumbled upon a link to your blog. i am profoundly changed…and all i can say is thank you…thank you and thank you nella…my second son was born on the 4th of Jan…and ive been feeling so in the motion of things…so lost in the “hard wood floor” of things and then i read your blog. Your simple words moved me, awaken me to realize tomorrow is a new day and i need to simply stop sweating over everything and just enjoy all the small things.So thank you, please keep writing, you and nella and all your family are touching more lives then you know. God bless you all and know that no matter how hard the bus may hit, you have many people yes even strangers who are right there to pick you up when you need it.

  159. its 3 am, and i just miraculously stumbled upon a link to your blog. i am profoundly changed…and all i can say is thank you…thank you and thank you nella…my second son was born on the 4th of Jan…and ive been feeling so in the motion of things…so lost in the “hard wood floor” of things and then i read your blog. Your simple words moved me, awaken me to realize tomorrow is a new day and i need to simply stop sweating over everything and just enjoy all the small things.So thank you, please keep writing, you and nella and all your family are touching more lives then you know. God bless you all and know that no matter how hard the bus may hit, you have many people yes even strangers who are right there to pick you up when you need it.

  160. its 3 am, and i just miraculously stumbled upon a link to your blog. i am profoundly changed…and all i can say is thank you…thank you and thank you nella…my second son was born on the 4th of Jan…and ive been feeling so in the motion of things…so lost in the “hard wood floor” of things and then i read your blog. Your simple words moved me, awaken me to realize tomorrow is a new day and i need to simply stop sweating over everything and just enjoy all the small things.So thank you, please keep writing, you and nella and all your family are touching more lives then you know. God bless you all and know that no matter how hard the bus may hit, you have many people yes even strangers who are right there to pick you up when you need it.

  161. its 3 am, and i just miraculously stumbled upon a link to your blog. i am profoundly changed…and all i can say is thank you…thank you and thank you nella…my second son was born on the 4th of Jan…and ive been feeling so in the motion of things…so lost in the “hard wood floor” of things and then i read your blog. Your simple words moved me, awaken me to realize tomorrow is a new day and i need to simply stop sweating over everything and just enjoy all the small things.So thank you, please keep writing, you and nella and all your family are touching more lives then you know. God bless you all and know that no matter how hard the bus may hit, you have many people yes even strangers who are right there to pick you up when you need it.

  162. Thank you for sharing such an amazing story… even with strangers like me who happen about your blog and will probably never let a day go by where I won’t check it.

    My first thought when I looked at your pictures was what beautiful girls you have. My next thought was how LUCKY you are to have a daughter with Down Syndrome. I know that may not be something most say or agree with, but my life has been forever changed by an encounter with an “angel” with DS. She has changed the direction of my life and it will never be the same. I am grateful for her everyday.

    Congratulations on your daughter- who WILL be someone’s angel- an angel who just happens to also have Down Syndrome.

    (After all- she is just too cute for only 46 chromosomes :))

  163. Breathtakingly Beautiful

  164. you have such a beautiful family :) you are blessed :)

    (and your photos are amazing :) cannot ask for a better gift than being able to capture your daughters life the best way possible :)

  165. I dear friend of mine sent your story to me. I read one of the comments- where a Dad said you made him want to be a better Dad. That thought echoed in my soul. Your story has made me do some deep searching in this little life of mine. And deep down you rekindled my light~ my light to shine for my husband and my 9 month old son. Your example of love poured out in every picture, detail, word, and music that I have come to know you by – has reminded me to make each day, well even each second one that my family will find love in! Keep shining and keep believing!

  166. Your story touched me more than I can put into words. Thank you for being so open and honest; it’s very refreshing. You have a beautiful family and your two girls are so lucky to have you as their mama. I’m pregnant with baby #2 and this post made me fall even more in love with my babies (if that is even possible). Thank you!

  167. This comment has been removed by the author.

  168. A friend forwarded me the link to your blog and birth story. What a beautiful, inspiring, story. Thank you for sharing it with the world. God has truly blessed you and your family. As a childbirth educator and director of a large hospital doula program, I can truly say that your story has touched me in a profound way…it is quite simply the most beautiful birth story I have ever read…I plan to share it with others, and I will be following your blog watching your little angel grow up. Thank you, and may God continue to bless you.

  169. Thank you for writing this. It is absolutely beautiful, and even now I can’t stop crying. Your girls are precious. I love Nella’s sweet smile, and I can see the pride in Lainey’s eyes when she poses with her.

    The vulnerability a mother feels in those first moments after birth is indescribable, but I can’t imagine anyone doing a better job of capturing it than you did here. And your story! You are an amazing woman, and God could not have picked a better mom for Nella. Please keep writing.

  170. New reader here. Just spent my entire evening catching up to this point on your blog. My sister in law sent me your blog address today and I have read every single entry up to this one and want you to know that you say and share just the right things that we all need to be reminded of. That Nella is a special little spirit. Your family is beautiful, your pictures are fabulous, and your words are inspiring. Thank you!

  171. Wow. I’ve read Nella’s birth story 3 times now and have cried every time. Your words are beautiful, your daughters are beautiful. Nella has already changed the world. I look forward to watching her grow. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  172. Congratulations on your daughter, Nella. There is a reason you were chosen to be her mama, and with those reasons, you both will teach us all!
    tara pollard pakosta

  173. My story of my son with Down Syndrome is entitled “The day I met an Angel.”


  174. Anonymous says:

    GOD, Knew you were the Perfect Loving Family to Send Her to,He Watched you and Knew.

  175. Anonymous says:

    I saw your story on AOL and was drawn to your beautiful baby girl. Your story is truly inspirational and I could not stop reading until I knew your entire story with Nella. I think everyone could learn froml the pride that Lainey felt when holding her baby sister I know I certainly did. I will continue to read your blog and congratulations on your beautiful daughter!!!

  176. Anonymous says:

    Emily Perl Kingsley.
    c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved
    I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……
    When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
    After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”
    “Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”
    But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.
    The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.
    So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
    It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
    But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”
    And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
    But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

  177. Two months later… Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl!!

    I too have a baby girl who was born with Down Syndrome, also found out her diagnosis after birth (was 32 at the time) and as I am sure you have come to realize with your Nella, could now not imagine her any other way. It is amazing how life can turn out in a way you maybe wouldn’t have imagined, and although scary at first, is ultimately absolutely perfect.

  178. How much this touched my heart. I am 21 years old and my 7month old son also has down syndrome. We also found out after his birth. Our Kole has brought my family together and inspired SO many people already. I could not imagine my life anyother way. Hope all is well with you and your beautiful little girl

  179. The story of Nella’s birth really, really touched me. You write so open and honest, which I really admire. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  180. ok, so the first thing i ever read of yours was nella’s birth story in parents magazine. it gripped my heart like no other story has. i went back to post #1 of your blog and read thru every one, and today i am back to this point. even tho i knew the outcome already, it’s like i’m reading it for the first time. i can’t wait to continue reading and see how much joy sweet nella has brought you guys over the last 10 months…
    love to you, girl. you rock.

  181. To only think…one year ago!! I have been reading your blog faithfully for the past 11 months and your story is beautiful!! This blog makes me cry each time I read it because it makes me think of how very special Miss. Nella is and that god picked this family to deliver beautiful Nella too because he knew that that her story was just beginning. I only hope that I’m half as a good mother to my three children as you are to your family!! I hope that Nella has a great FIRST birthday!! My youngest is one month to the day younger and we are already planning for her big day!! Enjoy all the small things Kelle!! Heather Lavigne from Saint John, New Brunswick!!

  182. This was the very first post I read on your blog. Look how far your little family has come and Nella… Wow! Her birthday pictures are beautiful~ but I expected no less. Precious family, Kelle and a wonderful party! :)
    Thought it was funny a couple of weeks ago when, in my little 30-40 member church,my best friend asked if I’d ever read a blog called Enjoying the Small Things. LOL She went on and on about your beautiful birth story. I told her I knew~ I’ve read it SEVERAL times and that I’d been following since Nella’s birth. :)

  183. Though I have been following your blog for awhile now, and have read your birth story many times as it reminds me a bit of my own story of Chloes birth. But I have never read this post until now, and it reminds me of the emails and notes of support I got after Chloe was born. We also did not know until birth that she had Down Syndrome and so much of your story rings true to me. One thing comes to mind though when I read this post, and its that I had one friend who sent me an email after Chloe was born saying that she wasn’t going to say “I’m Sorry” or anything along those lines because having this beautiful baby with Down Syndrome is not something to feel sorry for. And she was so right. Chloe has been an amazing gift from the moment she came into our lives and now at 8 years old, even through the Leukemia years, she amazes me every single day. Thanks for always sharing and being so honest on this blog. I look forward to each new post!

  184. I have been reading you’re blog for months now. I’ve gone back to the very first post and made my way forward, you’re blog kept me sane the first few months of long very frequent breastfeeding sessions with my newborn.

    You have inspired me to be a better person. To be a better mum. To make my kids lifes full of fun and appreciate those little things, you have also inspired me to create magic memories to look back on and I’m now the proud owner of a Canon SLR 1000d TLS.

    I can’t wait to capture moments with my 2 babes. I have a 2 year old beautiful daughter ebonie, and a 3 month old darling boy cody. I’m so excited to capture their youth. Any photography tips, a tutorial, anything! Would be appreciated. You’re photos are the BEST I have seen, seriously every single photo leaves me in AWE!

    Please know that I think you are doing an amazing job with Lainey & Nella, you are so strong Kelli and so inspirational. Its not hard though to be such a inspirational person with you’re 2 gorgeous daughters by you’re side every day, they are blessed to have you.

    I’d love to see more posts on you’re photography/tips etc. I know you have a FAQ but we want MORE LOL!!!

    Anyway thats a long enough comment for now, cannot wait to read more.

  185. This comment has been removed by the author.

  186. I knew years ago that Nella has DS. My eyes still immediately overflowed with tears upon reading this for the first time. I have so much love for your family, despite not knowing you. Thank you for being human. Thank you for showing love and thank you for sharing Nella’s and your family’s story over the years.

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