Friday, April 30, 2010

The Corridor, Part II

by Poppa
(continued from Part I)

Kelle has more than impressed me with her photography. I especially appreciate the subtle adjustments she makes with the lens to focus on one element and send all the rest into an ambient blur. So it was when I stepped into the birthing room. Moments ago it was filled with such abandon and joy. Now it seemed so still. The only thing in focus to me was my daughter’s face as she held our new gift, amplified by the echo of the nurse’s words “She wants her dad.” Everything and everyone else slipped into a blur. The glisten in her eyes told me there were tears. And she wore a smile…not the smile I so often saw on this happy soul. No, this was the smile reminiscent of the little girl years ago who tried to muster a smile after a deep hurt. This was a pained smile. The smile was for me; the pain was for us all.

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Her voice, as she began the six words that would forever change our lives,
was apologetic…almost an appeal. An appeal to accept, to love, to receive.

“They think she has Down syndrome….” were her words—no softening preface, no commentary after…just fading down to the smile still sending its plea to accept the news and the sweet one she was snuggling close. While something within me wanted to cry to the heavens, “No….” a softer yet stronger voice simply said, “Well, we love her…she’s our gift.”

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Other words were spoken, I am sure, but I don’t remember them. I was reordering myself—walking around in my mind, looking for doors to be opened, finding them only in my heart. I just wanted to hold my baby and have everyone else go away. I wanted to begin to feel what this was and where we were going. And then I heard my daughter’s voice again, as she lifted Nella toward me, asking, “Can you pray?” And my throat suddenly burned as my arms moved without thought to cradle this little one who fit so beautifully in them. And I suddenly just wanted to thank God for her…for all of her…for what we knew and what we didn’t know. And I wonder if gratitude is the uniformed doorman of the heart needing to be healed. I do know tears must improve vision, for Nella looked even more beautiful through my weeping eyes.

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I am not sure when or how I arrived back there, but I stepped back into the corridor. Kelle had asked me to call Brett’s Dad and Donna Nana and tell them…she wasn’t sure Brett could quite yet. And she wanted me to call all my family, tell them and ask them to pray. She wanted everyone in the corridor to know…now.

Like tidewaters fingering up the beach, the news spread. Words were shared, tears were released and friends connected in embrace all down the corridor. These beautiful friends—who moments ago looked like a casting call for Sex and the City as they crowded into Kelle’s room—now cared nothing about running mascara or those really face-distorting sobs. All this, I thought, was Nella’s welcoming embrace…it was her first glimpse of her loving “family.” It was good.

Brett joined us in the corridor. Strong, sure and solid, he had been Kelle’s rock in the birthing room. His first question there, after hearing the pediatrician, Dr. Foley’s strong suspicion, was to ask, “Well, we can take her home can’t we?” That is classic Brett. Home is his Command Central. It is “The Bridge” of his USS Enterprise. It is where he sets his strategies for life and solves his problems. He needed to get his baby home and all would fall into place. But for the moment, he needed the corridor. I remember seeing him and Poppa Gary—two non-criers, holding each other and actually shaking as they wept…no words, no consoling comments, just shared tears between silent souls. Weeping in a safe corridor. The embrace of tears ended without a sound. The two stepped apart and Brett spoke. They weren’t profound words about destiny and accepting the challenges of life. They were practical words about a decision to stay the course of celebration and welcome a present that was present:
“We need more champagne…more people are coming" (he knew the rescuing troops would quickly be deployed). Wise words. Good plan.

And then he broke my heart. I don’t know why his simple words and daddy plans caught me off guard, but they did. Maybe it was the timing. Maybe it was the wounded-soldier-struggling-to-raise-the-flag image I seemed to see. Maybe it was how very important this was to him. In these first moments of life after Nella, Brett asked Gary to look for one of those big pink stork lawn signs used to announce a baby’s arrival—as big as he could find. He wanted it on his lawn. He wanted it there soon. And pink balloons when Nella came home. Lots of them. This is so Brett. This is why I love him so.

From there, it was in and out of the corridor to the room where Kelle and Nella were. No one told us to close the door between. We just did. We did because we needed it closed—we needed our backstage. It was where Kelle’s friends cried. It was where secret strategies of support were arranged. It was where honest cell phone conversations were connected and we could say words and express feelings we couldn’t yet in that room. It was where we could be broken and be put back together. It was where we could greet the just-arriving, receive them in our arms and send them into the room and onto the stage.

And then…after some time and what seemed a hundred friends’ arrival later— about the time a quick transfer to a post-partum room upstairs was to be made—it seemed we were done with the corridor. We didn’t need it any more. What was happening IN the room seemed real and even relaxed now. Oh, there would be new arrivals still and there would be tearful reunions, but the two realms seemed to be blending like dawn blends night and day. Nella’s world now knew. The champagne run had been made. And a very large pink stork was on its way to the yard of a very pretty little girl and her new family. She was here now—and her little loveliness was even seeping into the corridor.

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As I helped those who were enlisted to pack up the bags and bundles of the very well-planned Welcome Nella Celebration onto wheelchairs and shelved carts for the move upstairs, I watched Kelle take one last look at the birthing room that brought her more than a baby. I followed the parade to the elevator and, before boarding turned for my own farewell glimpse—of the corridor. Yes, we were now done with the corridor—with its little alcove where I had paced while talking on my cell phone to Brett’s dad and my family, with its tiled floor where I saw Jeff and Heidi, hugging, slumped and weeping and then on their phone to help fly Kelle’s sister down and with its long window where I saw dads and grandparents I didn’t know greet friends they did with laughter and levity. Yes, I was leaving our consoling corridor and it was ok. Even the little lighted arrow on the button by the elevator reminded me...we were going up.



Once again, I am brought back to that evening and the pain becomes more beautiful every time I go there. If I could go through that evening again--even the rawest, most painful parts--I would, in a heartbeat. It changed me and, in the end, we get Nella. How cool. Thank you, Dad. I love you. Yes, Up we go. Can't wait to see the view from the 31st floor.

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338 comments:

1 – 200 of 338   Newer›   Newest»
LouBoo said...

My goodness I can so see where Kelle gets the words from - this was beautiful and poignant and honest to read. The idea of protecting as a father would is so perfectly conveyed. Just sitting here, trying to take a deep breath, wipe back tears...amazing how far you've come... Louise x

Anonymous said...

As I read your words here in South Africa your honest loving words have helped to ease many pains and you have given us reason to carry on - if there is so much love in your family - surely there is some to find in our beautiful country.

The Sanchez Family said...

As I write this sitting in an apartment in Ukraine and in the process of adopting a little baby girl with DS who was abandoned at birth and left in an orphanage, I am overcome with tears of joy for how different it is back at home...in the United States. Thank God for your story which will continue to inspire so many people to see the beauty in our special children and not the imperfection. Your dad's words are just breathtaking and beautiful. Thank you Kelle and Poppa!

Sarah (Sare) said...

Beautifully written. I so wish we all had a Poppa during times like those.

Kimberly said...

so beautifully written!
he should have a blog! :>) You are blessed to have each other!

Jeze said...

This is perhaps the most beautiful story I have ever read. Your Nella is a blessed child, and your family is blessed by her.

fancy flights said...

Amazing. What a beautiful reminder of the day Nella was born. How special it is that your Dad wrote this for you. Thank you for sharing!

mindy m. said...

The lump in my throat, after finishing, HURTS...why am I holding back tears at 6am? What beautiful wonderful AMAZING testimony to the moment of Nella's arrival. My goodness, how truly blessed you all are on so many levels!

God surely knew what He was doing when he placed Nella into all of your waiting arms.

Much love to you and yours,
Mindy

GraceesMommy said...

poppa..most of our lives we little girls see our daddies as the "great oz"...knows all, does all and can fix all. The great oz sends us out on a journey called life to find something..something he knows is inside of us. sometimes when we come back we find the man behind the curtain instead of the great oz.
he is flawed..human...someone who cries over our and feels our pain and wants to fix everthing for his precious daughter and knows he can't. so he does the next best...he does what his little girl wants him to..he gathers his baby granddaughter in his hands and raises her to the heavens and thanks God for her life..for the beauty she is going to bring.
i think the great oz is a tad overrated...me i prefer the man behind the curtain.

you make my heart smile. ♥

KarenSue said...

I will never look at the hospital corridor the same way again. Thank you Nella's Poppa for being brave. Now I see where Kelle gets her beautiful writing from.
You all are sooo beautiful.

The Frugal Girl said...

Oh, that was beautiful! Thanks to your dad for sharing with us.

The simple things in life... said...

What a beautiful account of Nella's arrival Poppa. Amazing to read, the tears are glistening. Thank you for sharing this with us. Kelle, you amaze me, I love reading your blog. I love logging in and seeing a new post. I can't wait to see more of your beautiful family growing up.

Charbelle said...

I was disappointed when part 1 ended last night and I was so excited to see part 2 this morning when I turned on my computer!
thank you for the words and the story! Glad I wasn't at work because there was just no holding back the tears =)

Seaside Siblings said...

Lovely words. You are a very blessed family to have each other and to have your lovely wee girl.

Southern Gal said...

That was an amazing account of an amazing event in your lives. What a blessing for you to have these words from your dad. And Nella to have them from her Poppa. Thank you for sharing it all with us.

Anonymous said...

Such raw emotion. Makes us feel like we were all there with you. Nella is one LUCKY little girl to be surrounded by such a wonderful family and friends.
Sue

Nicole S said...

Woke up, rolled over to grab my phone and hoped I would find "the rest" . . . it's so much more! Beautiful words that brought me to tears! I admire both you, Poppa, and Kelle's ability to put it all out there. Leaving yourself so vulnerable and raw . . . I'm way too much of a wimp to be that strong to do that. And as I commented last night, the relationship that you have with each other just gets me. I really was a daddy's girl my whole life until a curtain was pulled and instead of finding good and truth, it was only bad and lies. How I wish I had a Poppa like you!! And because of this story I'm going to ask my Mom today, what happened in our "corridor" the day my son was born. Never thought to get the story from her point of view before. Thank you! Thank you so much for your uplifting words!

Thing said...

Breathtaking..
Poppa is amazing ♥
Lovely lovely words...

christine said...

Love really does conquer all.

Thank you for sharing it with us. You're a good man, Poppa.

PrettyBubbles said...

Thankyou Poppa!! Im sobbing so hard, what a beautiful way to tell Nella's story from behind the scenes. Beautifully written too, a definite family trait!

Ive been following your journal for some time Kelle, but never usually comment, but i feel so awestruck that i just have to. I often re-read Nella's birth story, its so beautiful, and gets me every time. So its wonderful to hear your Dad's account, you are both truly blessed to have eachother.

Thankyou so much for sharing your journey with the world, youre a true ambassador now, and little Nella has opened so many peoples eyes (and hearts!) And Lainey is doing you all proud, what a little smasher she is!

Big love to the Hamptons and their extended family! Love, Jo xxx

Molly said...

Poppa's words make me miss my father, who went on years ago. God bless you, Poppa, and much love to you. You are a role model for daddies and granddaddies everywhere.

Mrs. Alex P said...

I am so glad your father shared this with all of us. It was beautiful.

The Super Seven said...

Your Poppa is awesome. I still tear up reading about that day that your beautiful Nella joined the world. She gets cuter everyday and I'm sure she is the apple of everyones eyes! Thank you for sharing with all of us...

Monica said...

I love this Poppa. He is so eloquent...so full of love! If someone could hand pick a Poppa I think he would be on the top shelf, with an empty pricetag, because he is...PRICELESS.
I am moved again, beyond words. This blog has brought so much love into my heart for a family who doesn't even know me, yet I feel like a part of it! Thank you for that. Thank you for Friday morning tears at work. It's humbling and gratifying in so many ways!
Nella, you're a Rockstar, baby!

Kara said...

There just aren't words to describe the journey you all have been on. Thank you for sharing your moments with us!

Kimberly said...

Wow, Kelle, what an amazing account by a man who truly has a gift for words. Beautiful. What a blessing it is that you have this to reflect back on in the years to come when all the details fade. Definitely brought me to tears this morning, but good, happy tears. You can feel the love through his words. You have a beautiful family.

Momof5 said...

Love. Raw. True. Beautiful.

Thanks for sharing Kelle's Dad.

God bless.

Poppa said...

Monica, you are part of it. I think what we are all discovering is we are on ONE journey as ONE family...the human family who perhaps needs to embrace fragility as a delicate distinction and brokenness as the doorway to truth. Thank you for kind words...but it is the subject that makes the story beautiful, not the scribe.

PrettyBubbles said...

Im even more in love with Poppa now!

Kdunn said...

Just precious. I can see where you get your ability to write so beautifully!

Jessica - One Shiny Star said...

That was beautiful. Thank you.

Kathleen@so much to say, so little time said...

Beautiful, indeed. What a gift, to have such beauty of spirit and of prose in the family!

Oddly enough, as I was coming downstairs this morning to start up the computer, I was thinking about That Day again, the beginning of my own journey. Three years in, it's so automatic to wrap my plans and thought processes around Julianna's needs--just part of the fabric of everyday life--but on Day One, DS seemed like a sky-high mountain to climb, and my brain kept shrieking, "I can't I can't I can't I can't." But of course I can, and I do. And so do you, Kelle, and oh, how I adore what you do here!

Meredith said...

Kelle, your Poppa is amazing. Not only do you need to write a book, but so does Poppa! Beautiful post, and what a wonderful, wonderful Grampa for Lainey and Nella. Thanks for sharing.

Deborah said...

wow..what a powerful story! God has placed Nella into such a beautiful family, with so much love to share. Thank you for sharing your story with us, it touches my heart, and makes me realize that no matter what challenges we face as long as we have the support of family, friends, and our heavenly Father, that we can face them with our head held high and a confidence that everything will be ok..no more than ok...it will be beautiful!

Amber said...

What an amazing writer your father is! He shares your gift for telling a story beautifully and eloquently.

Fernanda said...

I love Poppa!!! And I can see why you are such a lovely and strong woman, Kelle...

Rachel said...

Your dad has such a beautiful way with words too! Aubrey came so suddenly in the middle of the night, (c-section) that we had no wonderful welcoming committee. It was just the three of us...balancing life in the NICU.

Nella, sweet girl, you have been blessed with a beautiful "family".

Life with Kaishon said...

So thankful for you sweet baby gift of Nella. God knew you needed her. She was just the perfect fit for your family!

Malissa said...

Oh my. I am crying at 6:15 on a Friday morning. Beautiful post. This is life....told by such a talented writer. Your Poppa is amazing. Your story is uplifting. Wow. That was soul cleansing first thing on a Friday morning. xo. Malissa.

The Martys said...

What a wonderful Poppa you have. I can see where you get your beautiful talent from. What a lucky and blessed family. Thanks for sharing his story with us.

Amy

Molly said...

So, good writing is genetic huh? Seriously, this story is amazing. So articulate and wonderful. and that gorgeous Nella bean was worth every moment!

Audrey said...

Nella ROCKS. Kelle ROCKS. Poppa ROCKS *repeat for the rest of your family*

I am still not sure what to say after reading Poppa's amazing words. It is so rare to see people share their stories and emotions in such a beautiful, raw way. I admire you Poppa for putting yourself out there in the open. I can't say it enough: thank you to you Kelle and Poppa for sharing your story with us. Nella's birth changed your life, and through your blog it is changing the life of many more people, including mine. Priceless. Thank you thank you thank you.

Hugs.

Anonymous said...

Kelle......

I have no words, only tears of joy for you, your family and darling little Nella. If everyone had love like your father has for you, like you have for him and like you, your family and your "village" has for Nella, the world would be a better place....

Susan from Boston

Erin said...

Wow...amazing and touching and beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Jen said...

simply beautiful...the tears are flowing with the rawness of your poppa's words. the tears are also there because i wish i had been as strong as you in telling the world right away. thank you for your awesomeness. thank you for sharing your corner of the world. it makes mine feel a little bit less lonely. many blessings to you and nella.

Rochelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rochelle said...

Thank you to your dad for sharing this moment through his eyes. Amazingly great post, and how better to end a post than with NELLA! Beautiful!!!

Diane said...

I am currently in my classroom giving my students their Final Exam and they're now wondering why I am up at my desk crying. I"m sure they think it's something to do with math...

Such a beautiful story!

Kim said...

I am so very humbled that you would share your story with us. Thank you and may the Lord bless each and every one of you (even more than he already has!)

erinz said...

So beautifully written! I had tears the entire time.

jillzmom said...

Thank you so much for sharing Poppa's story. He is an amazing father. Nella is so blessed to have such a loving family!!!

Kortnye said...

Wow, what a beautifully written story. You are truly blessed to have both Nella and your Dad.

Also, I am more than impressed that he knew how to iron on rhinestones!

Deborah said...

Oh Poppa, You said it like only a Supper Dad, Great Poppa could, most beautiful account of Nella's arrival, Alla Poppa. Thank You for sharing Your sentiments of love, trust and family, Poppa, Your girls, Kelle and lil's are so blessed of having such a Grand Poppa in their lives, and Grand Poppa who loves most unconditionally ...Nella is a treasured heart and soul, and so lucky to have not only her Poppa, but her Daddy too, two very strong MEN in her corner, how heartwarming and most comforting as head of family ...

Kelle, Your Nella's blue eyes surely a combination and relfection of her Poppa's and her Daddy's blues... Kelle You are so lucky, so blessed of 2 great MEN, and a loving family...and a sweet lil Nella too...love on Kella, love on, celebrate, rejoice and love love love the small things this wonderful life brings you ...

*warm hugs* Deborah the Canadian Nurse ....

Adrienne said...

I love this.

Kimberly said...

Truly beautiful. What an amazing and talented family you all are! Thanks to Poppa for is his amazing account of the day and to Kelle, Brett, Lanie & Nella for sharing your lives with us readers.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful!!! No words can describe so I will say this...
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

What a special and treasured gift your Dad (Poppa) has given you in documenting his account of Nella's birthday!

Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

PS - Thanks for not making us wait too long for Part II. It was the first think I checked this morning on the computer! =)

Anonymous said...

wow i have no words,
poppa would you consider adopting a 30 year old mother of two?????????Liz

Crystal said...

Beautiful! Now I see where you get your writing talent and style from! Such a great father and grandpa!

Colleen said...

Just beautiful! Once again, I am sitting here with bated breath taking this all in. Thank you for sharing!

Kara Brown said...

Such an honest, and beautiful account of a monumental day for you all. Your dad writes beautifully. I was so touched by his reference to all your amazing friends, and Brett. You are so lucky to have all these amazing people in your life. So beautiful. In every way. :)

Kara Brown

Anonymous said...

Well I can certainly see where Kelle gets those writing chops from. Eloquently said, Poppa...reading your account with a big lump in my throat. Ah, the love of a grandparent...truly boundless.

Jenny from MA

Michelle said...

This is so beautiful. It is so unfamiliar to me, in the mix of so many familiar words and feelings. What I wouldnt have given to have a POPPA there for me. But that is besides the point.
Kelle, Im still climbing, going up, not even sure what floor I am on anymore. But I have been high enough to see the heavens, and I promise you, Nella will always be there to show you the way to go. My beautiful baby girl has grown in the blink of an eye. June 27 she will be 12 yrs old. she is so much beauty, so much love, all wrapped into one precious little person. and to this day, she surprises me with the things she teaches me. I have leaenred that even on the days when the elevator is going down at breakneck speed, your heart will still flutter above, like it did when you were little and your dad drove fast over belly bump hill. It tickles, in a way, and it is kind of breathtaking, but it is a vivid reminder that your heart is most definitely still capable of feeling new things and pounding with love and excitement. I wish I could have journaled my trip, but I am remembering vicariously through you and nella. and poppa. If you get a sec, check out my blog, I posted a picture of my big girl this morning, she is so big and so beautiful. and that sweet little nose is still the same as it was that first day, and I love it.

Anonymous said...

Dear Poppa,

I wish I'd had a parent like you. But oh, how i pray to be, how I strive to be a parent like you. Thank you for sharing your story. Nella certainly is your family's precious, perfect gift. Your words are a gift to me, and lots of others I see...thank you, again!

Margaret Brame said...

So beautiful! thank-you so much for sharing this story!

Poppa said...

Michelle, I clicked to catch a glimpse of Ciarra and she is beautiful...I sent her a cyber kiss and hug from a Dutch Uncle here. Have a blessed day!

Kandid Kelli said...

This (and the first one) are beautifully written. I now know where you get your gift for eloquent writing. His deatils are so vivid, I felt as if I was there. Thank you for sharing your story so openly.

xo
-K

TwolittleN's said...

Just beautiful. Kelle, when I read your birth story I felt like I was reading my own, with the same raw emotions. I often wondered how my dad felt that day. Even two years later, it is too difficult for me to ask him, as it would likely bring way too many tears for us. (And I am truly over grieving, just the emotion of that day will always be present). I knew he was grieving on his own, but he was so strong for me that day. After reading Poppa's story, I feel like I know more now. Thank you both so much for this.

Shari H said...

WOW! Your dad can write. I have even more chills. I want to thank you all for sharing this most private moment with us your readers.

Tonya said...

Now we know where you get your beautiful talent for writing! Poppa, what an awesome father and grandfather you must be. I will tell you this, reading Nella's story has changed my life, what blessed people y'all are to have her.

~Jaime~ said...

Wow, that was amazingly powerful. Nella is one lucky lady to have all of you fabulous people and an awesome big sister.

The Bing's said...

that was amazing and written so beautifully! There is not much more to say then beautiful. Nella is one lucky little girl!

Jennie said...

You are both such an inspiration. I am grateful to have randomly stumbled on this blog through various clicks here and there in cyberland months ago. My heart is full having read your stories. And the world is a better place because of your fearless accounts of such true, raw emotions. Thank you. SO much.

You are ALL rockstars. (But especially that little bunny and her beautiful almond eyes!)

Amy said...

What a wonderful post. And what a wonderful love father. You are so lucky to have these people in your life.

Stephanie said...

What a beautiful story! Thank you so much for sharing!

The Hall Family said...

So beautiful! What a wonderful father you have! Thank you so much for sharing this!

Tonya said...

Oh, I forgot to say that I LOVE the fact that you put POPPA in rhinestones on your shirt!!! you are so AWESOME!

Holly said...

"but it is the subject that makes the story beautiful, not the scribe."

it is both. You must have a subject you feel deeply about and you must be able to frame the words around the subject. You have both a skill and a subject.....*sighs*

what a deeply satisfying read these two posts were.

Thank you Poppa...what a wonderful way to end my day yesterday and an uplifting way to start today.

One more thing.....as another poster pointed out...I, too, will never look at a corridor the same way again, or an up arrow on an elevator.

Bridget said...

your dad is such a lovely writer. this story gets me every time. God bless you guys!!!

Lauren Bice said...

Beautiful! I have read this three times and these lines:
"And I wonder if gratitude is the uniformed doorman of the heart needing to be healed. I do know tears must improve vision, for Nella looked even more beautiful through my weeping eyes."
Get me everytime! A Poppa's love is so extraordinary and special! What a blessing you all are for one another!

Proud Mommy Tara said...

Poppa,
I have to tell you how incredibly amazing you are. You are so encouraging, you are strong and you have the most heartwarming way with words. I always look forward to reading your comments. Kelle is incredibly blessed to have you as her father. I have been so touched by you and your inspiring family. Wishing you nothing but love and laughter...

Tara

Candice said...

Wow, your father is a very talented writer...and seems like such a beautiful soul. Nella is very fortunate to have such a loving family and extended family!

Missy said...

Thank you for sharing once again and especially for not making us wait too long for part 2. Such a powerful story of love and strength.

Poppa, my brother in Afghanistan says thanks for the prayers. He and the troops are doing well.

TwicetheSparkle said...

Poppa ironed on the applique himself? While the whole account speaks volumes of how wonderful your father is, Kelle, THAT warms my heart the most.

This grown man ironed on a rhinestone applique that said "Poppa" for the arrival of his beloved Nella. He must be the most wonderful man in the world.

Lainey & Nella are lucky, lucky girls.

Carrie Halman said...

Absolutely Wonderful! Those words written by your father are so beautiful. I'm more than moved by everything you share with us. Your family is Love personified.

shellycoulter said...

What a beautiful story. Nella is a beautiful little girl. I don't even know her...but just from your blog & all the pictures, I have so much love for her!

Thanks for encouraging me so often to soak up life & love every minute of it!

You have a beautiful family!

Michelle said...

poppa...thanks. I grew up with a drug addicted alcoholic, abusive father who was in prison for most of my life. In some very strange way, you are healing my heart a little. Hope Kelle doesnt mind sharing her daddy with all us grown up girls out here who need to hear his words as much as hers. ;)
PS I THINK Miss Nella might be getting some Brushfields spots...I look for them, they are like this astral connection between our children. I once wrote "she kisses the angels she touches the skies, God gave her stars to wear in her eyes." I hope He gave them to Nella, too.

Brittany said...

Poppa's words are so real, so honest, and so beautiful. Kelle, this is where your writing comes from. Even though I have no children, and am just an engaged girl in Dallas, Texas, your blog has honestly made me feel a part of your family. As Monica mentioned, you don't know me, and I don't know you, but your words make me feel like I do. Your beautiful stories about Nella (and Lainey!) are so honest and so loving...from reading your previous posts and reading Poppa's recount of Nella's birth, there seems to be so much LOVE in your family. Your daughters are so blessed to have you as a mother.
Thank you for encouraging me and showing me that in the end, every little thing is going to be alright, and to enjoy the small things in my life.

The Halbert Home said...

This made me cry at my desk today. So real. Thank you for sharing.

catherine said...

such beautiful words and what a great thing to have.

Kathryn said...

Okay, this family already "had" me with their honesty, beauty, and lots of love...but, the big pink stork with tons of pink balloons...well, I can't even express how much that touched me...I got it!

Aggie said...

Oh my goodness...It feels like I just read Nella's story all over for the first time...sobbing and touched to my very core! Poppa you are amazing. What a blessed BLESSED family you are. You deserve all the goodness that you have! Thanks you so much for making my week! <><

Julie said...

This is absolutely amazing. I can see where you get your powerful words from. You are silly if you do not enlist your father as a co-author in your book in some form :)

Bobbi Janay @When did I go from a kid to a grown up? said...

Wow, he sure knows how to wrangle the words into the most beautiful creations.

kristi casady said...

Thank you for sharing this inspiring, true, personal story of your life!

Janita said...

I used to restrict my unabashed weeping to Hallmark commericals...but not anymore. Poppa, my theory is that when God made you, he filled you with enough strength, courage and love for 10,000 men. Because he knew that many of us would forget that we have that inside us, too...we just sometimes need special angels like you to remind us to embrace every moment and to help carry each other as we stumble on our ascent back home. And Brett, your kindness, grace and love is an example to all. The pink stork and mountain of balloons shouted to the world, "Nella has arrived!!! And we're so very much in love with her...."

Vonda said...

That was beautiful and I think that anyone that has been on this journey can truly relate to all of those feelings. It isn't until time passes that you say to yourself "if I had just known then, what I know now, I would have never shed a single tear". But those tears were needed, they helped us through the unknown and made us stronger. And from my experience, as time passes, it only gets better. Year after year you think it can't get any better, and then it does. Nella is so perfect and beautiful and that little tiny soul will teach you so many wonderful things about life. I truly believe that our children with that little something extra are here on this earth for a different purpose. Not to climb the corporate ladder, not to be astronauts or surgeons, but to teach us how to love unconditionally, to live life and accept anything that comes our way with open arms, to take the challenges, even if it will upset our perfect balance for awhile. In the end it's all worth it!!!

Syd said...

Absolutely beautiful. You certainly get some of your talent for writing from your dad. I can't even tell you how much your story has moved me, and I cannot get enough Nella pics. That smile is DELICIOUS.

Also, my friend Allison and I LOVE the bejeweled Poppa shirt. HA!

kim said...

Beautiful...simply beautiful.

Lisa (from Chicagoland) said...

Lovely.

Thank you for sharing this...

Lisa

Momza said...

A book.
Called "Nella"...
bestseller. BEST.

We need this story told...over n' over n' over again...

May you feel the love that is in our hearts for you all and may it sustain you every minute of every day.

Sonja said...

Wow, absolutely beautiful words. The sharing of the raw emotion both from Poppa and from Kelle in the birth story should be required reading for those going through something similar. It's permission to grieve, to cry, and to fear---and then encouragement about the beauty to come.

Leslee said...

Wow...not hard to tell where you get your words from!! That is such a beautiful story written from the precious heart of a pappa...brings me to tears and I wasn't even there.
There are, I think extra blessings that come to those who embrace the gifts they are given and share them with the world. I love the passion with which you write. It's so real and alive.

j210209 said...

What a beautiful post. It is so obvious where you get your writing talent from Kelle. Your poppa is one amazing man!!

Dianne Hamre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lochhead Family said...

I am in tears. We knew prenatally about my son's DS and I often wondered how it would have been different if we had found out in the delivery room. This is such a lovely memory and account of a poignant moment and day. You are blessed. And we are blessed to read your and your dad's words. Thank you.

Francina Bonita said...

And Poppa....did you wear something orange when you wrote those beautiful words.
Needed a hanky again......miss you all!
Francien

Kimberly said...

Tears. Lots of tears. What a beautiful story! Kelle, I'll say it again, you are such a lucky girl to have such a wonderful daddy.

Anonymous said...

Kelle, I've read Nella's birth story so many times, I feel like I know it by heart. To hear it from a different perspective has brought me to tears all over again. Thank you for continuing to share your gift!

CJ

Tina said...

Dear Poppa,

I have never met you but I adore you.

Thanks you for illustrating what a dad is meant to be.

It makes me sad, for a brief moment, that I never had a good dad. However, I am grateful that Kelle did and that there are men like you in the world.

Sam said...

What a sweet, sweet Poppa...I just love him! His version of Nella's birth story made me cry big tears all over again. What a precious man. And what a wonderful idea, to get his perspective on this hard but wonderful day.

Crystal said...

You possibly have the coolest dad EVER. What a gift he must be to you!

leona said...

I can see where you get your beautiful writing style from. His words were so moving....I read this post 3 times and each time it brought me to tears. Beautiful.....just beautiful.

Kristy Klaassen Photography said...

wow...amazing, loving words!

mommy of two girls too said...

Wow...what a beautiful story!! Kelle, I can see where you get your writing and story-telling gifts from! Huge fan of Poppa, here!! What a guy!

Amy said...

Just when I thought this blog (AKA your life) couldn't get more beautiful...

Poppa, my Friday is off to a glorious start because of your uplifting words. You're right...the only way to go in this life is UP! Thank you for that reminder and thank you for sharing.

dg darling said...

Just thought I should let you know that I used a pic of Nella on my blog today with a link to yours. Hope that's ok. I think it may be my favorite pic of her yet! Of course, they're all beautiful. How could they not be? It's Nella!

Homesick Cajun said...

I can definitely see where you get your way with words. This was beautiful. I cried, not because of what you all went through that day but because of all the love that your Dad describes. Nella's birth is a beautiful story.

wainpa said...

You people make me cry every week! (Thank you!)

Sandbox said...

I don't remember my Poppa's, I was only a baby when they passed on.
But I would like to imagine they would be like your Poppa ....a strong man, beautiful, honest, caring, loving... and the list could go on. Thanks for sharing such a beautifully written account of the day that blessed Nella came into our world. The picture of Poppa holding Nella up and praying says a thousand words on its own. God bless all of you. Thanks Kelle and Poppa.

Elizabeth said...

Kelle, I've been following your blog ever since you posted sweet Nella's birth story. I shed many tears for you that night in my living room.. your words and story were both painful and beautiful. I have been reading your words and pouring over your fabulous pictures ever since. Now I'm sitting here, in my office at work, crying again. Beautiful words from a wonderful Poppa. Keep telling your story, Girl, because I cant wait to hear more :)

Elizabeth said...

Absolutely beautifully written. As I sit with tears streaming down my cheeks, I am reminded that the elevator IS going up. I am reminded of what is REALLY important.

Sarah said...

Oh what a challenge it is to read this while at work - don't cry, don't cry - people are looking! Love it, very beautiful...

Lorena said...

kelle

I came to your blog a few weeks ago, to Nella´s birth story.
You have such a wonderfull family.

I live with my husband and kids in Mexico, my family is in Argentina. Even if we were there, couldn´t have all the love you have for each other.

I really like you all. You give hope and love to many people.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Kisses

April said...

That is so beautiful wrote. You definitely get your way with words from your dad! What a special bond. Very beautifully wrote. As always, I await the next story.

The Pigg Family said...

I've never commented on this blog before but came across it a couple of weeks ago and was moved completely with Nella's birth story. Many tears later, I have blogged about it (and now this wonderful story) because I wish everyone could get a chance to read such wonderful stories of unconditional love. Breathtaking. Nella (and Lainey) are beyond blessed...and beautiful.

Because of this wonderful account I think I'm going to ask my family to write letters to my 2 little boys about their views on the day they were born.

I can't express eloquently what I would like to say except "thank you" for being so raw and sharing your emotions (Kelle and Poppa) and helping us all to cherish our children (and parents) a little more...and that it's okay to share your deepest pains and joys. Thank you!!

And Poppa - I LOVE the rhinestone shirt...you have some lucky granddaughters!

Heather said...

Just. Beautiful. That is all I can say.

JO said...

How beautiful - Nella's story, your sweet poppa, and your dear family - and Nella most of all.

I definitely want to put a link to it on my blog - so sweet.

Anonymous said...

What beautiful heartfelt words. And how wonderful to have such a man to bless your family.

The world needs more Poppa's. :)

Danie

Anonymous said...

What beautiful heartfelt words. And how wonderful to have such a man to bless your family.

The world needs more Poppa's. :)

Danie

Kaitlyn said...

Simply beautiful - you and your Dad have such an amazing talent for writing! Thank you for sharing it with us.

Heather said...

I could not stop the tears from falling as I read this beautifully written account of a life-changing moment. Your Dad (like you) has the gift of words and I feel incredibly privileged to get a glimpse of them. Thank you both so much for sharing your hearts and words. Nella is an absolute blessing as is every child. She chose the right family to become a part of for eternity.

susan said...

Thank you so much Poppa for your beautiful words. Through tears I am writing now. Our special Princess was born almost 2 years. ago. Your words were much like my Dad's. When he entered the recovery room his eyes were smiling not tearful like I expected. He said she is beautiful I said Dad they think she has Down syndrome.... He said I know she is our gift. I was shocked I thought he would be crying like I was instead he was holding her like he held my other boys. He had no idea and either did my Mom how important his reaction was to me. I needed him to be my Strong Dad. He prayed over her for good health and thanked God for our blessing. I am so glad Kelle and the rest of her family have you. Family support makes all the difference. Almost two years down the road I would not trade my Jana Bug for the World.

God Bless you!

Anonymous said...

So beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us. Best wishes from Switzerland

Anna said...

Kelle you have truely been blessed with an amazing family. Each time I read the words you write, I somehow find myself in tears. But they are glorious tears, full of life, and remind me of just how precious life is.

Christie Clair said...

Tears are pouring down my cheeks as I am reading this post. Not tears of sorrow, commiserating with the pain, but tears of joy at the beauty you own. I am in awe of your Dad's words, " And I wonder if gratitude is the uniformed doorman of the heart needing to be healed." In those words are the keys to the kingdom. And, when you said, "Once again, I am brought back to that evening and the pain becomes more beautiful every time I go there." Well, that my dear is a vision of heaven on earth. Beauty for ashes...

Anonymous said...

No wonder she wanted her Dad...what a wonderful tribute. Thanks for sharing a different perspective - its perfect.

Dianne Hamre said...

I'm sitting on the couch with my husband...He's watching the early morning news and I'm reading beautiful words from a Daddy who loves his daughter. I love the photo of him raising little Nella up to the heavens as he asks her Maker for guidance and protection. It takes me back to Feb. 8th, 2008 as another Daddy did the same with his daughter...only she was 22 years old. A grand mal seizure, CAT scan, MRI...brain tumor. Two surgeries and countless prayers later, we continue walking the journey of brain cancer.

I check in with "Enjoying the Small Things" every day and love everything about it...pictures, stories, your heart. I see Nella and her adorable almond eyes...and yet she's PERFECT with a long life ahead of her! As for us, we'll continue to hold our daughter up to her Maker and ask for guidance and protection. Neither of our stories are a surprise to Him...they're just a small chapter of a bigger Book. Thanks for letting us read yours!

Anonymous said...

One more comment because I keep re-reading! These few examples below speak volumes as to what an amazing dad and husband that Brett is. The pink stork in the lawn made me cry buckets. What a display of acceptance and welcoming. Also, a loving gesture that demonstrates a husband deeply caring about his wife and letting her know that everything will be just fine!

Love this...
"Brett asked Gary to look for one of those big pink stork lawn signs used to announce a baby’s arrival—as big as he could find."

“Well, we can take her home can’t we?”

"two non-criers, holding each other and actually shaking as they wept…"

“We need more champagne…more people are coming"

Love to you all,
Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

adelev said...

I can certainly see where you get part of your writing talent! This is beautiful. It moved me to tears just like your story of Nella's birth did. Please thank your dad for sharing.

Adele

Kulio said...

Beautiful and so well-written. You draw us in and paint and paint and look at things from new angles that we hadn't thought of, and bring us to teary smiles...until we're immersed again in that moment.
I love you unka rik!!

Katie said...

Wow. I didn't think it was possible to cry more than I did when reading your birth story. Your dad's account is so touching. It is easy to see where you get your gift of writing and love from.

I am 8 months pregnant and originally I grieved for you, and then reading your dad's account, for him. As a parent to see your child in pain is the most painful thing there is. Luckily you've shown us all that this isn't about pain... instead about beauty and learning from something bigger than us.

God bless.

- Katie

Kristi said...

That was amazingly beautiful and touching......

KWQR said...

Writing through tears here... tears of past pain, future joy, wonder & redemption. Poppa you are amazing... the way you can distill so much meaning & put so much emotion into these 26 little letters. Just, amazing.

This is not a journey I chose, but I am learning *every* day that it is one I am so very grateful to be on. You & Kelle with your gifts of words & pictures have become a big part of my changing views... helping me bring into focus that which is important & letting the rest fall to infinity.

Thank you both for sharing your talents with all of us.
Cheers,
Kate

Mrs. Cline said...

I am speechless, breathless. In awe.

Kristine said...

Absolutely beautiful. Real, honest, raw emotion. Just breathtaking. Thank you so much for sharing, Poppa. Kelle, she is truly a gift.
Much love,
Kris

Wanda said...

Wow. Loved Poppa's account. I'm sitting here reading part 2 with tears running down my face. Nella is beautiful...so is the rest of your family--blood and other.

Kelly said...

Wow! I don't even know what to say except that was beautiful! My favorite line:
"I do know tear must improve vision, for Nella looked even more beautiful through my weeping eyes"

What a blessed little girl Miss Nella is to have such wonderful people to love her!

The Ironic Catholic said...

wow. Thank you, thank you. That middle paragraph was a stunner (the reordering the mind and finding the way to the heart piece).

Anonymous said...

You are so lucky to have the two most important men in your life stand by you like a rock during the most trying time in your life! And Lainey and Nella are two lucky girls for having people around them who love them so dearly and without condition. Thanks Poppa for sharing yourself during that difficult time. I felt your heartbreak and outpouring of love at the same time. Nella is the most precious thing, ever.

Y'all should write a book.

fidget said...

**wipes tears**

Kristin B said...

Beautifully written! :)

Anonymous said...

Such an enchanting journey...and I can't seem to get off the caboose!

Kimberly said...

WOW, what an amazing account of the "other" side of this experience. Loved reading this and his words flow as freely as yours do!!
Random question. The bird nest necklace that you wear is so sweet. Any chance you would tell me where you got it and if it was Etsy, who the seller was? I would love to get my mother one for Mother's Day!

Kelly said...

This is so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your story with the world.
Little Nella is so precious and beautiful...truly a gift from God. And your story has been a gift to me. Thank you.

No No Nanette said...

wonderful! beautiful! --the words, the love, Nella, your family, that special birthday. So grateful for sharing it all with us!

mamaoftwo said...

Again, in tears. Thank you to Kelle and Poppa for sharing your stories. What am amazing family you have, but I know you already know that. :) The hospital I delivered my son at could learn a lesson or two from reading this. Thank you for bringing awareness to Down Syndrome and showing the world the profound joy they bring. Love to you all.

kate's corner said...

these posts have changed me too. thank you for letting us in such a personal experience. you have given all of your readers such a gift.

Gaining Grace said...

The gift of story telling is so enviable to me. Thank you for sharing that gift and the gift of a glimpse into your family. I wonder if Brett has written on his perspective of your blessed event. I would love to share in that gift as well.
Thanks again.

Deana said...

wow, im just speechless. I of course bawled like a baby, at this beautiful story, thank you so much for sharing! Nella truely is a blessing, and people (myself included) from all around the world who dont even know her in person, love this little girl (and Lainey too!)

Jean said...

Oh, so beautiful. Now I see where Kelle gets her writing talent. What a beautiful family, beautiful hearts...Nella is a gift to you and you to her

Autumn said...

WOW!! This was incredible! Kelle- What a fantastic idea to have your Dad write. I am at a loss for words, but I think my favorite part of this story is when you asked your Dad to pray and he lifted Little Nella up and Thanked God for her, all of her....What a gift!!! She is...and Your Daddy!!

P.S. She is a beautiful baby!!

Blessings, Autumn

Ashley said...

Poppa puts in to words the way so many strangers feel about Nella. She has truly changed me as a person and the closest I have come to her is your beautiful photos! The love you all show, the embracing the small stuff, the living every day to the fullest is something I now strive for daily with my two small boys. What a gift she is!

Poppa said...

Gaining Grace, Brett's "telling" is eloquently expressed in action and attitude not in narrative. Like many wonderful dads, he isn't a wordsmith, he is a worksmith--he rigs up the little stuffed toy on the babyswing that clearly makes Nella happy, he makes us all crazy with the germicidal and grocery cart covers that make Nella healthy, he masters the cuddle and daddy-holds that make Nella cozy, he manages the kitchen duties and often eats last, snuggling Nella until Kelle and everyone else has enjoyed a meal...but to sit down and share his heart in words...he has already shared it in something louder and clearer. And he will continue to hold her little creased hand in his, bend down to walk with her on the journey and help her to become all she can and all he dreams she can be. Yes, he will. That's the best telling of all.

Tara aka "Mama Koala" said...

To Kelle and Poppa-

You both have an amazing gift--such talented writers, and such amazing souls. Thank you again for sharing it with us. Tomorrow is my Dad's birthday-we lost him to cancer almost 7 years ago. There have been many times over the last 7 years where I felt like Kelle "she wants her Dad." (I know he's watching over me, but I miss the hugs!) Kelle, I'm so glad your Dad is here to walk this beautiful journey with you.

http://sunshineinabluecup.blogspot.com said...

To POPPA: Thank you from a daughter who witnessed her dad's heart break when we were told his first grandaughter...our daughter Savannah would die.

My dad didn't express words, just tears, but I imagine if he could have told me how he felt it would've been as you've written.

Thank you for the insight into a loving father and....gradfathers mind when faced with watching his baby suffer!

please continue to write!
love
Diana Doyle

Caterpillar Creations said...

Poppa, you are an amazing man, father, poppa and friend, I am sure.
Kelle, Nella, Lainey, Brett and so many others are so lucky to have you in their lives.
Thank you for sharing your version of "The Gift".

Kelle~
I also have to comment on the video of you making Nella smile. Good grief is that THE cutest! I did the same goofy things with my Chloe (still do).
I often wonder if our little one's are saying in their heads "I wonder what silly thing I can make mommy or daddy do today..."

BEAUTIFUL PICS!! *sigh*

*hugs* from
~~Ann & Chloe~~

Lauren Kelly said...

This was about as honest and raw as you can get. Just beautiful!!

Cori Lynn said...

I never comment on your posts but read them all (sometimes more than once) I can see where you get your words from Kelle. You are so blessed and this was so amazing..I cried (a lot)

God Bless you and your journey!

alyny said...

Sitting here watching my tears hit the laptop as I type..so real and raw and beautiful all at the same time. Just like life.
Thank you Poppa for sharing your side.

StacieM said...

Amazing! Stunning! You both are incredible writers. I felt like I was right there in that corridor. My heart feels heavy and light at the same time.

AnnaLeigh85 said...

Amazing! I can see where you get your creativity from. This is very well written and I ended up having to stop several times to keep the tears from pouring over. I need to stop reading these at work, before my co-works start thinking I am a crazy crying lady.

Aubrey365 said...

Beautiful words...Kelle is very lucky to have you in her life.

The Fischer Family said...

Tears are flowing in KY! And I'm not even trying to stop them. Every child's birth is so amazing, but what a blessing this child had waiting for her! What an amazing father you have. And what an amazing father she has. And what an amazing mother you are!! I am excited to follow her journey, your journey! I just need to remember to always bring my tissues! Thanks for sharing this with us! It's beautiful!

Cheryl said...

So beautifully written. As I read your fathers words, I became one in that corridor, I was so deep in his words, that I became a part of the crowd. You and your dad express yourselves from the heart and soul. You will have a beautiful life with your girls, they are a gift from God
Blessings~Cheryl

karla@westernesse.com said...

Ohmigoodness, that was so beautiful, your poppa brought [many more] tears to my eyes.

I believe in God, but I don't always know why He lets some things happen. When you asked your poppa to pray, when he took Nella in his arms, that just struck a chord with me. Sometimes I find it so hard to trust that everything will turn out okay, even though I know everything happens for a reason and He is in control.

Sometimes the unexpected are the best blessings of all. Like a rainbow after the storm. Not only have you been blessed with this little angel sent from heaven, but you have the wonderful support of family and friends to help you along the way.

Thank your poppa for sharing this emotional, wonderful, beautiful memory.

Anonymous said...

Dear Poppa,

You've restored my faith that men like you exist.

I haven't met any in my life yet and sometimes it seems like such a luxury to hope.

I am afraid I can't afford it.

But reading your words has made me courageous, becuase for me, hope can be a dangerous thing. Thank you so much for your words. Thank you for the hope.

angela said...

wow, the tears that stream my face, wow, thank you for sharing your beautiful story with all of us.

Jen said...

Like everyone else who has read the words of your dad, I find myself crying out of sadness and then much, much more out of happiness and awe. You are so lucky to have such an open, expressive, accepting and loving family. I like to think that going through difficult times is made a little easier with such an incredible support system. What an amazing dad, wonderful husband and hundreds of fantastic friends you have. Nella is truly a gift... such a beautiful, little blessing. Thank you for sharing your honest feelings -- you and your family are spreading happiness and positivity around the world.

Melody said...

Wow. I feel like I am there. Your dad is so amazingly blessed with the English language- thank you for sharing this with us.

Darlene said...

Oh my - I obviously cannot say it any better than ALL of the comments that have already been left. I too sit here with tears falling on my computer and cannot begin to explain the absolutely truely warm feeling that is now in my heart. Poppa you are such a loving and tender man. Kelle you are such a loved lady - by all! Bless your entire family. It is so spectacular to see and actually "feel" your families LOVE.You make this world such a beautiful place for so many and for that we are eternally grateful! God Bless you All! And Thank You All!
Darlene

KellyLane said...

Wow, your father is an excellent writer. I have enjoyed every blog! Thanks for letting us read your world!
Kelly

Ana said...

Wow! Beautiful! Yes, there is much beauty in the world. Blessings from Texas.

Anonymous said...

Boy, did that make me cry. It so bought back to me the birth of my little Pete. My sister was at the birth, and she was great. But we didn't find out that Peter had DS till the next day. I will always remember ringing Emma and telling her "They think he's got Down Syndrome". Emma was so definite that she even made me laugh at the time. "What rubbish, he's perfect, he's absolutely perfect". I loved her so much for saying that, even though she turned out to be wrong. But now I realise that she was right after all. He's the most perfect little boy in the world, and I love him so much.
Bridget

LisaJ said...

And I fall in love with your realness all over again. :) Big, warm, squishy, movie-reunion hugs!!!!

~KC: said...

What an emotional account Poppa! I'm crying! Those words also changed our lives forever! For the better! Crying is good! My heart has remained open since then and it continues to expand every day! Our little big love is our purest source of inspiration! Still crying! Yes Kelle! Yes Poppa! We are going UP! Everything is going to be OK! All is well~

Erin said...

Beautiful job Poppa. It is no wonder where Kelle get her words from. You touched my hear and bought tear to my eyes. "She wants her dad." It is so true that no matter how old we are we still want our parents in our times of greatest need. She is so lucky to have a father like you and Nella to have you for a poppa. Thank you for sharing your prospective and the love in your heart.

~Sarafina~ said...

Amazing. Poppa, you are wonderful. <3

Mrs. Fitz said...

Once again, fantastic.

Kelly.Chick said...

Simply amazing. Congratulations on such a fantastic family.

Sweet Melissa said...

Forgot to mention Brett! My goodness, what an angel of a man. What LUCKY LUCKY girls!

Kirstin said...

Now I can see from where you get your gift with words. Utterly beautiful, raw and honest. I love 'Poppa's' account of Nella's birth and my oh my, how beautiful she is growing.

merlin said...

Your Dad's words fly on angel wings, nestle in my own soul, stir my spirit, get washed with tears and I will never be the same.

Oh, to have such love, as your Dad's love. We are blessed, and the Gift that is Nella keeps getting bigger.

Sweet Melissa said...

Shoot...I had a whole other comment before this one (and it was GOOD and now I can't remember all of it!) So the points...

What a beautiful story told from another perspective, and it's clear where you get your gift of prose, Kelle! Love the POPPA shirt. Just awesome! Thank you so much for continuing to share your beautiful story with us all. In doing so, you have brought a new lens into our life as well, that forces us to focus on all the beauty we have been blessed with, too. Its so easy to get caught up in the day to day, but every.single.time. I read your blog, it centers me...and either makes me cry or laugh or both! Thank you for sharing and making me pause to be grateful everyday.

Funny story, but I must preface this with -- we are NOT stalkers, however, there is a small chance we could move to Tampa and the first thing I asked my husband was, "how far away is Tampa from Naples? Maybe we could have Kelle take pictures of Ellie (our bunny) and then we could MEET her...and maybe Brett and Nella and Lainey, too!" My husband just smiled at his (sometimes) crazy wife and we went on discussing this possibility and then later, I went upstairs to check my email and found a Google map...from Tampa to Naples!

I should add that you have touched him, too. My stoic husband has only cried twice in the 5 years I've known him. Once, at watching the VIDEO of Ellie's birth (no tears were shed at the actual birth, mind you) and once when reading Nella's birth story. Amazing, but not surprising! :)

Also, hug that sweet Poppa of yours (and Brett, as mentioned above!) They both sound like the poppa I always wanted, but didn't have so I married the one I wanted for my kids instead!

Thanks again for making my day! Much love to you and your gorgeous family...inside and out!

Tina said...

Good grief. It's probably not approrpiate for a girl to be bawling in her office at work. Thank you to your lovely dad for his words.

RORYJEAN said...

Beautifully written- Your Poppa is a wonderful writer. Kelle, your strength and wisdom inspire me daily. Thank you for sharing your life, in all its raw beauty, with the world.

Bulldogma said...

Thank you so very much for sharing this!! Your blog has brought me back to my own feelings as I found out my own daughter's diagnosis... almost 4 wonderful years ago.

Nicolasa said...

What a beautiful beginning to your story. Thank you so much sharing.

amyc said...

I remember when they let us back in the room. Your dad's back was to the door and he was holding Nella Bean. I put my hands on his shoulders and peered over his head to see her. I knew before they asked us to leave. And coming back in was terrifying. I remember him saying, "she is our gift, and we love her" and his voice cracked ever so slightly and I lost it. And reading his version is so fantastic. I'm so glad I was there and will continue to be on this fantastic journey to Holland, Paris and everywhere inbetween. xo

wonderchris said...

What a great Poppa!! Nella is so gorgeous - I could read about her entrance all day long.

Much love to your beautiful family!

Callie said...

I have been thinking and reflecting on Poppa's post these past two days. I am ready to get on the elevator, up baby!

You have reminded me that it is okay to live in that pain and come out on the other side joyful (something the world does not often let us believe). I am choosing JOY, I am going to embrace the wonder of it all. Goodbye sorrow, although you have helped me get to where I needed to be. I am all in. Going UP!

I hope and wish that you know how much you & yours have helped me along this walk, our babies are weeks apart.

Has anyone called Oprah????

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