Ashby

Yesterday was such a crazy and unbelievable day.  We waited around the hotel until 3:30 to meet Ashby.  I stayed busy by reading and watching Breaking Bad but the kids…they were just so anxious to meet her. 
We left the hotel at 3:30 and drove to the Government Affairs Office to meet her.  We arrived on the 20th floor of the building and could hear a baby crying.  As soon as we walked into the office, they said she had just been in there crying but the lady from the orphanage had taken her back downstairs through another elevator to get her to calm down.  So we waited.  Some more.  I had the same feeling I had on both days when I had my c-sections…that excitement, nervousness, anxiousness, flat out just ready to get it over-ness.
Here we are leaving the hotel!  The kids each brought her a big sister/big brother gift.  They were just so excited :).

Waiting in the Government Affairs Office for the lady to bring back our crying baby.

Here she is!!!  She was calm until she realized she was being handed over to strangers and then she screamed her head off.

Our answered prayer.

At this point, she was handed to me and she cried and cried and cried.  We all talked to her but she didn’t understand and she just cried.  I was doing okay and keeping my emotions together until I realized she was holding a little book of pictures we had sent her six months ago of our family.  They had put them in a little album for her and apparently, they had been showing her our faces and telling her we were her new family…insert my ugly cry here.  That just makes me happy and breaks my heart all at the same time.  While we waited to be united as a family of four looking at her picture…she waited by herself looking at our pictures.
Andrew took Ashby out in the hallway while they ushered me to a desk and started explaining everything about my child while I quickly jotted down notes on a piece of paper.  When she sleeps, what she eats, what she drinks, that she likes to potty in the toilet (heck yeah!), she has no allergies, and on and on and on.  I felt like I was babysitting and the parents were telling me what to do with their child while they were out for the night.  According to this lady from the orphanage, she liked everything and was so quiet and easy going.  Under the “dislikes” column was only one thing…she dislikes meeting new people.  Awesome.  Welcome to the family ;).

After I went over my babysitter assignment from the orphanage worker, Andrew brought her back in all nice and happy and handed her off to me while he completed paperwork.  She relaxed into my arms and as you can see…her big sister held her hand and she rested.

She slept.
Only one other thing really choked me up…the orphanage had dressed her in brand new clothes.  She was wearing brand new shoes, a new coat, a little scarf…she was all decked out.  It just kind of tore me up inside that they were thoughtful enough to present her to us like this.  I will keep these clothes forever.
After we finished our paperwork, we headed back to the hotel as a family of five.  Ashby quickly realized that having a big sister with Disney princesses is a pretty good gig.

She snuggled a lot with her daddy :).

After dinner (room service), Ashby got her first Shull bath.  I love a clean baby.

And then the kiddos put on their matching pajamas.  Kensington and Smith were so excited about this!
Everyone got all snugly in bed and watched a little Bubble Guppies before going to sleep.  Kensington is absolutely smitten.

After I got out of the shower, I saw this…four sleeping Shulls.  I sent this pic to my girlfriends and they all laughed about the size of this bed…the hotel gave us a room with two queen sized beds pushed together…I love how Smith is taking up one and the three of them are sharing another :).

Ashby slept from 8:30 until we woke her up at 7:00 for our appointment back at the Government Affairs Office.

Daddy’s girl
And we’re back signing more paperwork at the Government Affairs Office.  On this day, we became Ashby London’s legal guardians.  After this, we drove over to the police station and applied for her Chinese passport (and later we’ll get her US Visa to bring her back to the States).

Leaving the Government Affairs Office with our guardianship certificate.  A family of five.
Whew!  Now, it’s 1:30 pm and we’re having some downtime in the hotel.  Ashby is napping, I’m blogging, and the other 3 are playing and/or watching a movie.  It’s nice to have some downtime.
We have survived our first 20ish hours.  Ashby is warming up to us.  She is really cuddly with Andrew and me, she loves Kensington’s things and she’s super curious of Smith.  She has been responding to her name and if we say things like “where is Smith?”, she’ll make eye contact with him.  I would love to  come home now but unfortunately, it takes about 10 days to get her US Visa…so we have time on our hands.
Speaking of hands…as you can see from the pictures, Ashby has some issues with her right hand.  Only children with “special needs” can be adopted out of China and her need is her hand.  We are thankful that even though it looks very painful, it does not seem to be causing her any pain.  We are also thankful for the specialists in the US that will be able to help us help her correct this problem. 
Words cannot express how grateful we are by your love and enthusiasm over our growing family.  Adoption was planted in our hearts years ago and to see it coming together after so many years of praying is just amazing. 
Next up…more China.
(And FYI: right about now, I would kill for some Tex-Mex.  Just saying…)
XOXO 
 Click here to see Days 9 & 10.

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  • Jill January 5, 2015 at 5:59 am

    I have tears of joy for your family! Ashby is such a precious, precious gift and I too am feeling the tug on my heart to adopt. My husband is currently where Andrew was initially, so I/we have a lot of praying to do to see if this is God's plan for our family.

    P.S. Love, love, love that Ashby has a big ol' bow on her head right away! That's what I would do, too! Ha!

  • EJ January 5, 2015 at 6:00 am

    I don't even know you, but I am sitting here sobbing. God is so good. You are all so blessed to have each other. I can't wait to get to know Ashby on the blog!

  • Linda January 5, 2015 at 6:02 am

    Finally! I'm so happy for you all! I'm also a mother of there, following you from Sweden. Lot's of love!

  • The Seidel Family January 5, 2015 at 6:03 am

    This is just wonderful for you all! I waited up late here in Texas to see if you would blog so we could see more pictures and hear how your day went! She is beautiful and I'm so happy for you all! Thank you for including us on your adoption. I love, love, love following your lives! So happy Ashby has you all!

  • Nicole Gregory January 5, 2015 at 6:03 am

    This is so wonderful! I have been waiting all day to see your new family of five. Thanks for sharing your journey with us all. God Bless you and your new family! She is beautiful 🙂 Can't wait to read more!!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 6:03 am

    Congratulations on sweet Ashby! You don't know me from Adam but I've been so curious about your adoption . Bless you for following God's leading and I pray for a seamless transition for Ashby and her big brother and sis.

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 6:08 am

    what a beautiful beautiful post. made me cry! lovely family and an even lovelier God.

  • Lauren January 5, 2015 at 6:08 am

    What a blessing for your family! Have to admit, I had a few tears reading your post! Ashby is beautiful. Praying that the rest of your stay in China is a great bonding time for all of you 🙂

  • Kaitlin Harrison January 5, 2015 at 6:08 am

    Crying an ugly cry reading this post. What a true act of obedience following your call to adopt and rescue sweet Ashby! Prayers are with you all in the transition stage and beyond. Congrats Shull Family of Five!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 6:09 am

    How old is she? She is beautiful!

    This is so wonderful. I saw this on Etsy and it made me think of you: https://www.etsy.com/listing/99264867/adoption-wall-print-china-pinkbluegreen?ref=market You are doing such an amazing thing. You and your husband are great examples of Christians. I love that she is already a part of your family. God bless you!

  • Marlene January 5, 2015 at 6:09 am

    Congrats to your sweet family! Ashby is just beautiful, and I have loved following your journey. What a blessing and answer to prayer. Enjoy your time in China as a family of five! 🙂

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 6:09 am

    So happy for the 5 Shulls! 🙂 Just a question…does Ashby speak English or will you have to teach her? Sorry it might be a stupid question, I'm just wondering. Enjoy 10 more days in China with your family! Love that Sean posted a pic on Instagram of Ashby. She's gone famous with all those instagram likes! 🙂

  • Marlene January 5, 2015 at 6:11 am

    Congrats to your sweet family! Ashby is beautiful! I have loved following your journey. What a blessing and an answer to prayer. Enjoy your time in China as a family of five! 🙂
    Marlene

  • Nicole Oehme January 5, 2015 at 6:16 am

    Congratulations!! That is so exciting. So happy for you all that things are going well so far. May God bless you and your family of 5 as you continue to bond. Wishing you safe travels back to the U.S. too!

  • Danika January 5, 2015 at 6:19 am

    Was waiting all day for this post! So wonderful to hear that things are going smoothly so far. What a precious family of 5 you all are!

  • Lana January 5, 2015 at 6:29 am

    I've been checking your blog all day hoping for an update! Reading this made me cry and cry – happy, thankful tears! I'm so happy for you and your family, and so thankful that God found your special home for Ashby. You are truly beautiful people, inside and out. God bless you as you continue your journey.

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 6:34 am

    This is all so beautiful. Just doing a big ole weepy ugly cry trying not to soak my iPhone! My heart is beyond full that there are parents like you & Andrew. God bless you both with all you need to love & care for Ashby. I can only imagine how comforting it will be for her either now or in the future that her Mommy has had a medical journey too. Gotta go cry more! Praising Jesus!

  • Kendra C January 5, 2015 at 6:41 am

    Okay I'm officially crying an ugly cry after reading this. I don't personally know you but I am so happy for your family! Both the Shull four and Ashby are so blessed to have been placed in each others lives. I bet it will be nice to spend 10 more days in China exploring and getting to know ashby and vice versa. You're a mom of 3 now!!!!!!!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR NEW ADDITION!

  • Mandy Lee January 5, 2015 at 6:42 am

    I am just so happy for your sweet family! I am a social worker who has worked in domestic and international adoption.. I know how long and tedious the adoption process is. It is such a joy to see this stage of it! Prayers for your transition period and for your travels home! Thank you for sharing your "gotcha day" with all of us!

  • live compassionately January 5, 2015 at 6:44 am

    I cannot stop smiling – I am so happy for your sweet family! She is beautiful!

  • Cortney McCurry January 5, 2015 at 6:48 am

    So happy for y'all! I was doing fine until that picture of the kids in matching pjs, then I lost it! Such a great gotch-ya day story and so sweet that she is doing so well with Andrew, daddy's girl already. I laughed when I read your desire for tex-mex, we just moved to Singapore from San Diego, a month ago and I would love some good tacos right about now God bless you all. I'll be praying for you and for a safe return back to TX.

  • Sarah E @ theteacherswife.com January 5, 2015 at 6:50 am

    Oh my goodness! I'm tearing up reading your post and seeing your sweet Ashby! I'm so thankful you have her in your arms now!! Much love and prayers coming your way!! !!!! 🙂

  • Michelle January 5, 2015 at 6:53 am

    1/4/15 was our 10 year Gotcha Day anniversary for our oldest daughter. So cool to see you adopt on this day!

    You are doing all of the right things with her! Just love her, and everything else will come. You will be amazed to see her personality unfold over the coming days/weeks. And when you look back at pictures from today, you will be amazed at how different she looks.

    Praying God's blessings on your family and sweet Ashby.

  • Lari January 5, 2015 at 6:53 am

    She's beautiful!! Praying for smooth transitions.

  • Kaylee Steiner January 5, 2015 at 6:55 am

    YAY!!! Congrats to all of you!!! She is absolutely precious! That is so sweet that she had your pictures and new clothes. It's heartbreaking too. I'm sure they will miss her in the orphanage! Good luck in China, and those pics of her cuddling with you and Andrew are absolutely DARLING! What a sweetie!

  • Candice Ibarra January 5, 2015 at 6:59 am

    Ashby is beautiful! She is a very lucky girl. All the prayers and good wishes in the world for you and your family. I teared up when I read they dressed her in new clothes for you. That was just the absolute sweetest thing. I have two cousins adopted from China and I love celebrating their "gotcha days" every year with them! Can't wait to read more about Ashby in the future!

  • Vanessa Fullen January 5, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Chills! God's work is amazing. Congratulations to you all! Continued prayers sent your way!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 7:04 am

    I've been reading your blogs for a while now and you always manage to put a smile on my face and lift my spirits in some way. Thank you so much for sharing and keeping us updated. Ashby indeed is a precious and blessed little girl! I am so happy for your families new addition!

  • ♥Lola January 5, 2015 at 7:07 am

    Congrats! I've been reading your blog for years. Since you were expecting Smith. But this has to be my favorite post. It touched my heart. God Bless your family! Miss Ashby is a doll!

  • Kristin January 5, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Tugged at every single one of my heart strings! I am a night owl so I've been waiting to hear your good news! Bless all of you on your continued journey as a family of five.

  • Dina January 5, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Ashby is adorable. All these family pictures are precious!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 7:25 am

    Oh my lord, what a precious angel. How blessed both your family and Ashby are to have found each other! All the my best wishes as you settle in to a new life together xx

    Lauren (Australia)

  • Romi Q January 5, 2015 at 7:40 am

    What a wonderful addition to your family. Welcome Ashby! So excited to see pictures of her! She's beautiful.

  • Esther Ra January 5, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Overjoyed for your family! Ashby is just precious. Tears of joy flowing for you. Thank you for sharing your journey and encouraging us. Sending hugs and prayers!

  • Mayumi Shibata January 5, 2015 at 7:50 am

    I couldn't hold my tears. It was so precious and wonderful to read. I am so happy for you all and Ashby is so happy to have such a great family. Cherish every single moment in Ashby's home country!! Still sending lots of love and prayers.

  • Ryan and Carrie January 5, 2015 at 7:52 am

    I'm getting teary reading this! Ashby is beautiful! We are thrilled for all of you!

  • Isa January 5, 2015 at 7:53 am

    I was so excited/nervous for you guys yesterday!! We will be beginning this process this year, and it has been inspiring to follow along! Congratulations to you all! Big hugs from our family in the Netherlands!!

  • Amy Heinl January 5, 2015 at 7:55 am

    The Shull Family 5 is now complete. She is absolutely beautiful and 20 hours in seems to be beginning to make the adjustment to being part of your family. God Bless Kensington andSmith who have so gratiously opened their hearts to their new sister. This will all help as well. It will be good that you will have some time all together in China before the trip home. Will continue to lift you all in prayer. So very happy for all if you

  • sarah c January 5, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Awwww I love these precious moments!!! FINALLY! What a journey to becoming a family of 5! I love how she looks peaceful sleeping in your arms and also your husbands! She looks like she is adjusting well! Honestly looks to me she views you as her family so don't feel like you are a babysitter. I absolutely love her face expressions. Priceless. Soooo happy for your precious family! Praise God! It was worth the wait when God answers in his time. CONGRATS! I'll will be praying for you safe journey home!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 8:07 am

    God is so great! Your family is so great! I am so so happy for you guys and I cant wait to see what the next few weeks will bring for you all! Ashby is so precious, congratulations and safe travels! Much love from Chicago xoxo

  • Minda Kincaid January 5, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Congratulations Shull fam!!! I'm so overjoyed for all of you and so excited reading all about her and this journey. I've been checking Instagram and your blog constantly for new pictures/updates. She is absolutely precious. I pray everything goes smoothly for your return home!

  • YN January 5, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Long-time lurker, first time commenter here. I love that you are making a huge difference to your new daughter's life, I have no doubt she will receive a lot of love and care from you and your sweet family! God bless you all for choosing this path!

  • Ani January 5, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Beautiful little girl! praying hard that the attachment process continues smoothly. Congratulations!

  • The Trombly's January 5, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Another sobbing reader! So excited for you all! She is beautiful. Continuing to pray for your sweet family!

  • pleias January 5, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Oh Shay you made me cry!
    Ashby if you ever read this when you are older, please know that so many people from around the world prayed for this day!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Count me in with the other crying readers…..tears of joy, of course! So happy for you and your family. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!! You have given a little girl the best life she could possibly have – one full of love.

    Shannon in PA

  • MandeeVK January 5, 2015 at 8:47 am

    I'm so glad my patients are sleeping because I am flat out ugly crying at work! I can only imagine all the feelings you're going through if a bunch of strangers are feeling like this 🙂 Lots of continues prayers for your sweet family of five!!

  • mel @ the larson lingo January 5, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Can't stop the tears!!!!!! Shay, the picture of you holding Ashby at the agency calming her down just about did me in….so beautiful..and then the pic of all 3 in matching jammies…the tears just keep flowing. I will continue to pray for your family & the next 10 days! Praying it goes by quickly!

  • Denise Ross January 5, 2015 at 8:59 am

    So excited and happy for you and your family, Shay :). Loving seeing photos of Ashby and you look you're doing a wonderful job of transitioning your life together. I will continue to pray for you that everything continues to go well and smoothly.
    Hugs from Australia xo

  • Elizabeth Conner January 5, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Such sweet pictures, brings tears to my eyes! What a beautiful story your family will have to tell. Prayers for an easy transition for you all!

  • Aubrey January 5, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Congratulations on becoming a family of five! Praying for lots of bonding time and smooth transitions as you all settle in together over the next few days, weeks, and months. Hugs to you all!

  • RH January 5, 2015 at 9:23 am

    I am so happy for you all to finally meet and be with Ashby, she is beautiful and looks a bit feisty. 🙂 It will take some time for her to warm up and get used to everything esp. when she arrives here in the US. All I have to say is don't get discouraged if it doesn't happy right away. I remember moving here to the US from China 27 yrs ago when I was 6 yrs old. I spent the first 3 months crying my eyes out everyday in school, I don't understand the language and has no friends to play with. My mom was out of her mind not knowing what to do with me. That got better when a little girl befriended me (now my life long BFF) and I slowly learned the language. A year later I couldn't stay away from school b/c I have so many friends to play with there. Don't give up and just let her explore things at her own pace.

    Good luck and thanks for sharing this special journey with all of us!

  • bella January 5, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Ashby is beautiful and I wish all of you happiness being a family of 5! We are adoptive parents as well as biological parents. Our oldest is adopted and is now a beautiful 39 year old. She has given us so much love and happiness over the years and is so special to us as she made us parents. She came to us at two years old, neglected, but quickly bonded to us and thrived! God knew what he was doing when we found each other. I am sure you feel the same!

  • Megan January 5, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Congratulations to the Shull Family! <3

  • Angel January 5, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Amazing. Simply amazing. She is beautiful. Congratulations!!!!

  • Alaleh January 5, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Been waiting for this post for so long!! Every picture and detail just made me so happy 🙂 congratulations on you famiy of 5 again and again. Ashby is one lucky little girl

  • Becky January 5, 2015 at 11:14 am

    She is lovely. Congratulations. One of our adopted children has amniotic band syndrome and one of her hands is deformed. Never stopped her, and it won't stop Ashby London either!

  • kteacher22 January 5, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Congratulations!! I am crying. What a beautiful, beautiful family!!

  • Amber January 5, 2015 at 11:34 am

    I can't imagine the roller coaster of emotions!!! God is good ALL THE TIME…and all the time, GOD IS GOOD! Love and prayers to you!!! ❤️

  • Meggie January 5, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Congratulations to you and your family on this precious gift! Praying for you all as you adjust to being a family of 5 and as you finish up everything there in China. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Morgan Scott January 5, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Tears of joy to start my day for you and your family of 5! Ashby is absolutely adorable and just from pictures you can tell how amazing Kensington and Smith are going to be with her! <3

  • lorisavage January 5, 2015 at 11:46 am

    I only know your family thru your blog, but I am so overjoyed for you and your family. Tears just haven't stopped since I saw the picture of her in your arms and Kensington holding her hand. What a blessing your family will be to sweet Ashby, and her to you! Prayers of an easy transition for all of you and safe travels back to the US. God Bless you!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 11:48 am

    So happy for you all!! Can't imagine what a wonderful day this has been for you and your family! Ashby is absolutely adorable and so blessed to be welcomed into your loving family!

  • Betsy Maddox January 5, 2015 at 11:55 am

    What an incredible journey. You FINALLY have that sweet baby in your arms!! God is so good!! Bless her little heart….I'm sure she is going through so much trying to process everything that is happening to her. I am so glad she's already warming up to you and I know every day she will get more and more comfortable. Congratulations!!! 🙂

  • Sara Lynn January 5, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Let me just say I am not normally one to be emotional but this post nearly made me cry (happy tears). She is absolutely adorable and she truly seems to just fit with your family. I am so happy for your family and I can't wait to see Ashby more and more on your blog loving life and living it to it's fullest!

  • Melissa H. January 5, 2015 at 11:58 am

    This is just the sweetest post! I have been praying for your family as you have gone to get your little one. Thank you for sharing your adoption journey with us!

  • Erika Slaughter January 5, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I'm so glad you blogged this so quickly!!! Ashby looks like she's doing great and is the perfect addition to the Shull family!! We can't wait to see you guys!!

  • Wendy January 5, 2015 at 6:05 am

    Ashby is beautiful, and I'm so happy for y'all! What a precious family of 5!

  • Michele @ The Joyful Home January 5, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    My heart is just so happy for you! What a blessing you are to to each other–God is good!

  • April Parrish January 5, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    The tears flow as I read your post this morning! So happy for Ashby and your family! What a blessing God has sent you to be to this little girl and her to your and your family! Prayers continued in the days ahead. Ashby is absolutely beautiful!!!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    I have tears in my eyes as im drinking my coffee & eating my english muffin! Read your blog every morning. Your such a blessing!

  • Brooke January 5, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    I am so so so happy for you guys! What an amazing addition to the Shull family! 🙂

    I can't wait to learn more about her and how she interacts with her brother and sister. Kensington, you can tell, is absolutely thrilled to have a sister!

  • Tara G. January 5, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Praying your wait time is restful and holds great memories! Rejoicing!

  • Melissa January 5, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    I read this whole post with tears in my eyes. There are no words besides totally precious…watching your family grow in the span of a few pictures is breathtaking. All I can think about is the verse where the Lord says he will put the lonely in families. It's a total miracle…and the bow is precious ; )

  • Christina January 5, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Congratulations on becoming the Shull 5! She's adorable. May God Bless you during this transition time. Xoxoxoxo

  • Katie January 5, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    What a beautiful family <3

  • Ashley Weeks January 5, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Congratulations on your new precious bundle!!! What you guys are doing is so so so cool and really inspiring. To God be the glory!

  • kimm atwood January 5, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Congratulations. She is perfect!!! So glad you're a family of 5!!!!

  • Angela Banae January 5, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Congratulations!!! And hello Ashby! So happy for all of you and praying God's continued blessings over your family! Shay, it's so beautiful of you to share with all of us this amazing experience…thank you for sharing with us 🙂

  • Lisa N January 5, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Read this through tears! You could have kept this completely private, but so glad you let us be a part of this wonderful blessing! Continued prayers for you 5!!

  • Kimberly January 5, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    This is the most precious post! I am so happy for you guys! The picture of Kensington holding Ashby's hand is the sweetest thing. Congratulations to your family and much love!

  • Megan January 5, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    My heart is bursting with happiness for your family! Thanks for sharing your adoption journey with us. It must feel so good to finally have Ashby in your arms 🙂

  • Selena January 5, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Congratulations on your sweet addition, and thank you for sharing! I just melted at the first photo of all three of your kids together, in their matching pjs. It just looked so… right. Thank you for allowing this Wisconsin mama to be a part of your journey! And I have to tell you, I didn't even notice Ashby's hand until you mentioned it. She is just too darling!

  • The Yarbrough's January 5, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    I have tears in my eyes right now. This totally melts my heart. I am so happy for your family. She is so blessed. Thanks for the update. I have been patiently 😉 waiting to hear how everything went and see pictures of this sweet girl.

  • Kathy Olson January 5, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    So happy -will continue to pray.

  • Audra January 5, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    I am crying as I read this story. Your story shows the power of a mother's love, and what a gift to your family she will be. Congratulations!

  • Kristin Cramer January 5, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Simply beautiful, Shay! We are so joyful that Jesus has brought such a ray of sunshine into your lives! He is good. Will be praying for the rest of your journey in China!

  • Narci January 5, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Kensingron holding Ashby's hand. So sweet! 10 more days!! ❤️❤️❤️

  • The Undomestic Newlywed January 5, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Congratulations! So happy for your family and Ashby! I am sure there will be many difficult days ahead while everyone, especially Ashby adjusts, but what a blessing from God! Sending you prayers! Please keep us updated on how Ashby's adjusting!!! ♡♡♡

  • The Undomestic Newlywed January 5, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Congratulations! So happy for your family and Ashby! I am sure there will be many difficult days ahead while everyone, especially Ashby adjusts, but what a blessing from God! Sending you prayers! Please keep us updated on how Ashby's adjusting!!! ♡♡♡

  • Kristin Baetz January 5, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey with all of us. God bless you all!

  • beaner January 5, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    I am so excited for all of you. It's such a special thing you are doing for both her and yourselves! I wish you all the best as a newly joined family of 5! Enjoy getting to know her! I have told multiple people my excitement for you and I clearly don't know you. I love reading your blog and look forward to seeing your family of 5 grow!

  • Dollie January 5, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Just amazing to see how God is at work in your lives! All the love and selflessness you have for Ashby. Just as Jesus did for us on the cross! Reading about your day brought on many tears of joy seeing you holding her and Kensington leaning in to comfort her too is precious. Excited for this new journey for your family. I will be praying for protection and a smooth transition for everyone.

  • Full Time Wife Life January 5, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Amazing! We have been following your journey, and checked about a thousand times yesterday for the Ashby post! Can't WAIT to see her grow confident as a Shull. Praise Jesus for this sweet little girl! xoxo

  • Flower Patch Farmgirl January 5, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Congratulations! We've adopted 4 kiddos (2 from South Korea) so your post brought back so many emotions. What God has designed for your family and for your sweet Ashby will not be without some heartache, but it is already beautiful.

    I'm sure you've done tons of reading and have loads of input from others, but I've written extensively about our adoptions (click the "adoption" tab on my sidebar.

    What a ride, right??! Praying for your little fam today. The Shull family picture hanging on God's wall has always included Ashby. He knew this all along!

  • Bethany January 5, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Little Ashby is so sweet! She is so very blessed to have such a sweet family love her. How wonderful for all of you. XO

  • Stacey January 5, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Oh I couldn't wait to see this update! Your new bigger family is just perfect! So happy for all of you.

  • Four2nata January 5, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    For someone I only know through blog and IG "stalking", your family has constantly been on my mind the last few days. Your story has touched my heart and I've been sharing it with my family and friends. I've always thought you were pretty fabulous, but I now have a completely newfound respect for you and your husband. Best wishes!

  • Marty January 5, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Just thrilled. 🙂

  • Barberbabble January 5, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    So happy for you! I read your blog daily and when I saw this pop up, I felt so excited for you and your sweet family! God bless you all and and extra helping of blessings for Miss Ashby as she adjusts to her new life.

  • Cheryl January 5, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Tears of joy for your family. I loved when you said you will keep these clothes forever. I would do the same. These are part of who she is. Bless you Shay.

  • maureen January 5, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Welcome sweet Ashby!! She is so beautiful!! And congratulations Shull…Party of Five!!

  • loveandkate.com January 5, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. I totally cried at this post — so happy for my imaginary blog friends! I'm thrilled for you all! xoxo

  • Tracy January 5, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    What a blessing! So happy for you and your sweet family. Continued prayers for everything that needs to be completed in China and for sweet Ashby's trust to grow quickly for her new mommy & daddy. Love the updates from China. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jessica W January 5, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    I just love reading this post! I have 7 other siblings, 4 of us are biological and 4 are adopted. So one sister was adopted before I was born from Korea at 6 months old, my youngest brother was adopted as a drug baby at 4 days old from Cleveland, OH when I was 12, and then my sister and brother were adopted from the Ukraine when I was 16, sister was 16 her half brother was 12. It is always hard during the adjustment phase especially when there is a language barrier,but it gets easier and is just so awesome!

  • Jessica W January 5, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    I just love reading this post! I have 7 other siblings, 4 of us are biological and 4 are adopted. So one sister was adopted before I was born from Korea at 6 months old, my youngest brother was adopted as a drug baby at 4 days old from Cleveland, OH when I was 12, and then my sister and brother were adopted from the Ukraine when I was 16, sister was 16 her half brother was 12. It is always hard during the adjustment phase especially when there is a language barrier,but it gets easier and is just so awesome!

  • Jessica January 5, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    I just love reading this post! I have 7 other siblings, 4 of us are biological and 4 are adopted. So one sister was adopted before I was born from Korea at 6 months old, my youngest brother was adopted as a drug baby at 4 days old from Cleveland, OH when I was 12, and then my sister and brother were adopted from the Ukraine when I was 16, sister was 16 her half brother was 12. It is always hard during the adjustment phase especially when there is a language barrier,but it gets easier and is just so awesome!

  • Jessica January 5, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    I just love reading this post! I have 7 other siblings, 4 of us are biological and 4 are adopted. So one sister was adopted before I was born from Korea at 6 months old, my youngest brother was adopted as a drug baby at 4 days old from Cleveland, OH when I was 12, and then my sister and brother were adopted from the Ukraine when I was 16, sister was 16 her half brother was 12. It is always hard during the adjustment phase especially when there is a language barrier,but it gets easier and is just so awesome!

  • Kim January 5, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    What a beautiful little girl that is so lucky to have you all for her family. So preciuous of the orphanage to put new clothes on her and have the picture in her hand.. TOuching.. Praying all goes smooth and you make it home with safe travels.

  • Rebecca January 5, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    I too cried reading this! So sweet and so God ordained! We have a special place for adoption because my husband was adopted at birth and my children have always had a heart for adoption. I am thrilled you finally have Ashby and wanted to share a quick comment about her hand. My daughter and I taught PS choir at our church and had a little girl with both hands and feet in a similar condition. I just want you to know none of that ever stopped her and she was amazing at how she could participate in any activity we did. She also always had nail polish on her fingers and hands, it was adorable! : ) I don't think she realizes she is "different" which is wonderful because like your daughter, she was made as God saw fit and He meant for it to be. Enjoy your time in China and hurry home! Blessings and prayers for a safe time and trip home.

  • Kelly Jo January 5, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    That little pink scarf! On my. <3 Such a blessed girl. She is beautiful. Continued prayers for your family.

  • Sharon S January 5, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Wow. Thank you for sharing so much of this very intimate family time. She is a very lucky little girl and you are a very lucky family. This post sent shivers through me but I must admit I sit here with a huge smile on my face watching you become a family. Congratulations.

  • Rebecca Jo January 5, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Oh my gosh… what a blessing you are to this baby girl… what a blessing she is to you all.

    I love how big sis & big bro are just naturals & care so much for her well being. That says a lot of how you raise your children.

    Praying for the next few days as you all settle into a new addition. & we'll start the prayers for the travels home!

    God bless you all… congrats!!!

  • Rebecca January 5, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    So happy for you all! Ashby is beautiful!

  • Amy Lawrence January 5, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    I'm amazed! She slept that long on her first night? Looks like she is related to Smith! Prayers for continued goodness! This is just the sweetest story to follow! I check every morning for a new post about your new family! It's beautiful!

  • Erryn Bohon January 5, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    How old is Ashby? She is adorable

  • Jersey Love January 5, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    This is just beautiful! After all this time of just READING your blog, it's so nice to finally meet her and see her as part of your family. I can only imagine how amazing it must feel for all of you. God Bless all of you and prayers for a smooth transition out of China and safe return to Texas.

  • Mary January 5, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Oh my goodness. I am crying so hard reading this. Ashby seems like such an amazing person, and I am just so thankful she is surrounded by love. So happy for you all!

  • Ashley B January 5, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    I don't know you or your family, I only follow because of your adorable kids and great recipes. I am sitting at my kitchen table as I sent my two year old off to preschool, crying. What a lucky little girl she is to have found her family. You have changed her life forever. And today you changed mine as well. Thank you and God Bless your family of five.

  • Paula January 5, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I am reading this through the tears. Such an incredible day! You now can look back at the details & memories! First day was a success! Praise God! Shull 5!

  • Kelly Wardrop January 5, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Congratulations! What an awesome day!! Hope your US Visa comes fast so that you can head HOME as a family of 5 soon.
    Best Wishes!

  • kmknowles January 5, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Congratulations to your beautiful family of 5!

  • Jenny Perez January 5, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Oh my goodness Shay, your Ashby is just beautiful!! I can only imagine how wonderful it feels to finally have her in your arms. Congratulations!!

  • Allison F January 5, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Oh my goodness Shay, just stop it with this post! I cannot read it without tearing up! First of all – I love how you can see the kids in the bottom of the picture when they’re bringing her out. Just waiting. I mean – ugh, it is SO sweet! The picture of you calming her down is when I teared up. It is so beautiful and gentle. Then I saw Smith in the background on his headphones and laughed! This sweet little angel has no idea. It is like heartbreaking (the stranger part) and overwhelmingly joyful at the same time – such mixed emotions! And it is SO touching that they dressed her up in all new things. I am with you on ‘keeping them forever’! And the picture album! And the babysitting part and the dislikes column, oh my gosh – the whole thing. I seriously can’t handle it! She is absolutely SO STINKIN’ PRECIOUS!!!! Congratulations!! Can you (when you have a moment to breathe obviously!) do one of those posts where you answer questions? I am SO curious about so many things. Did they start calling Ashby by her name once y’all chose it? Does she know English? How old is she? Do you get like a box of her ‘belongings’, does she have anything from the orphanage to take with her? Will y’all ever get to see or go to the orphanage she lived in? This is probably a dumb question, but was it like sad for the worker lady too? Was she sad to see her go? Ok I’m done, sorry for the novel!

    • Sarah January 6, 2015 at 12:42 am

      YES!!! To wanting to know all these things 🙂

  • Liz | Ellie and Addie January 5, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Congratulations to your new family! How sweet that she's had your pictures to look at. I'll be praying the rest of your trip goes smoothly!

  • Kristin January 5, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    She is just beautiful! Congrats to your family. Cant wait to see pics of her smiling face with your other two. What a blessing!

  • Rebekah January 5, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    i know we do not know each other but i have emailed- and you responded! :)- and i have followed your blog for years.. i cannot tell you the joy i feel for you and your family! God is so good! know that you and your family's adjustments and being prayed for in SC and i so should have read this at home- not work-insert MY ugly tears- of joy! 🙂

  • Susan Cardy January 5, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Just have to know what you thought/felt as you held her that very first time??? Had to be amazing…..

  • Allison F January 5, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Oh, and one more question – sorry! Who is the lady with yall? You can see her in the pictures where Ashby is being brought out?

  • PeteandMary January 5, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    From one forever family to another, congratulations!

    Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone, But still miraculously my own.
    Never forget for a single minute,
    You didn't grow under my heart – but in it

    Author: Fleur Conkling Heylinger

  • Tosha Wright January 5, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    I would consider myself a long time follower even though I don't know you. Your story and the picture of when they first brought her out brought me to tears. God has truly blessed your family. This little girl's life will be forever changed because of you and your family. Safe travels back to the US!

  • Angela January 5, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    This is just beautiful! Tears!! You guys are amazing…

  • Pamela Danckaert January 5, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    God is so AWESOME! Congratulations! This post is amazing…so much emotion and joy! Ashby is precious and it is so amazing that she is bonding and making connections with all of you already. It's so awe inspiring to see God's plans in action. I will continue to pray that all goes well with her paperwork/visa, for safe travels home, and for a continued smooth family transition. God's richest Blessings to you all!

  • Liz/ January 5, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    LOVE every single thing about this post…she is beautiful and your family is complete and I am SO very happy for all of you! What a true blessing for you all! Congratulations sweet Shull family!!! Big hugs sent to all!

  • kelly January 5, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Oh so many emotions for you ALL! It's a wonderful thing but maybe a little scarey for everyone. Especially little Ashby, but we all know that once she transitions she will be calm and happy with her loving family. My heart is full for you and all your family. I wish you all good things and I'm praying for a smooth and easy journey for all the Shulls. Gods blessings on you all. Xo

  • Meg Hodges January 5, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Perfecting in every sense of the word!!! I originally read this post on my phone this morning at the gym; but I came home and reread it on my laptop. She's just beautiful and it brought tears to my eyes!! So happy for y'all and so thankful God chose y'all to be Ashby's family!! What a lucky and blessed little girl she is!

  • Denise Holthaus January 5, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    I have tears in my eyes and love in my heart for you, Andrew and family. What an amazing trip and I feel like I'm there with you all watching this unfold. I look forward to hearing about the next 10 days and how Ashby adjusts. She seems to be adjusting so well already and I can't imagine what she must be feeling… Loved for sure!!! Congratulations!!!

  • Renae January 5, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Just a beautiful family and an amazing story. I love how you are sharing this with everyone. This simply just makes my heart smile!! Blessings to your new famiy of 5!!

  • Keisha Dawson January 5, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Shay, I have loved getting to be a part of this journey with your family. You and Andrew have hearts of gold! I am so excited to see all that God has in store for you all and your sweet Ashby London!

  • Briana Runde January 5, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Oh Shay, I cried reading this entire post. I am just so happy for your family! Ashby is a very lucky girl.

  • Emily Preddy January 5, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    This is probably my favorite post. I was waiting all weekend to see pictures of Ashby. Until you pointed it out, I never noticed her hand. All I saw was a beautiful young girl with her sweet, amazing new family. She is so lucky! I look forward to getting to know Ashby and watch her grow on your blog! Sending continued prayers from VA!

  • Sallie January 5, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Beautiful little girl! Will love watching her journey where that little bewildered face will soon be smiles all the time! So glad God chose to put you together!

  • Natalie Zambreski January 5, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    I can't imagine the mix of emotions you all must be feeling, but Ashby looks right at home with the Shull family! She is such a beautiful girl! Congrats, and you and the whole family are in my prayers during this precious time!

  • Wendy January 5, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Ashby's eyes speak volumes. Her little mind must be so busy trying to understand all the changes that have just happened to her. God really did put her into the most loving of arms to help guide her on her new journey.

  • Jaren January 5, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Okay I just ugly cried too while reading this! By far, my most favorite favorite post ever! I am beyond words happy for you guys and this beautiful little girl. Thank you for allowing us to see such a personal and beautiful moment in your lives.

  • Nikkih January 5, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Congratulations – what a wonderful gift to you and what a wonderful gift for Ashby, a forever family! It makes my eyes tear up, but in a good way. God bless your expanded family!

  • Jess January 5, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Tears are streaming down my face as I read your words and see your beautiful family of 5! Ashby is so precious. I can almost feel the love surrounding her. Praying for a safe return to TX.

  • Paige @ Kids and The Good Stuff January 5, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    What a very special family God chose for Miss Ashby! Even during rough times, remember that God chose YOU to be her mommy. He makes NO mistakes. I can't wait to see her blossom in TX with you!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Goodness. As someone with adoption strongly planted in my heart I read this with a big, ugly cry. Thank you for sharing and congratulations!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    That is one lucky little girl. Congrats to you and your family.

  • Jeanie January 5, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    What a beautiful, precious gift. She is a very lucky little girl to become part of your family! I can't wait to see her smile. How old is she?

  • Sarah January 5, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    So precious! I have loved reading your adoption journey! You guys are the perfect family for her! Congratulations! I look forward to seeing more pictures of your family of 5! 🙂

  • amberc1 January 5, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I am sitting here at work, reading this, and crying with joy for you. Congratulations to your family. I just recently received the same calling from God to adopt and still in the panic and anticipation phase. God Bless!

  • Aimee F. January 5, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Shay, Thank you for sharing all of this on your blog. What a beautiful thing you are doing. I'm so inspired by you and your family and that little girl. I hope you arrive home safe and sound when this transition is complete and can't wait to hear more about your journey as a family. Take care of yourselves and sending love to you all.

  • Jenny January 5, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    I am just so happy for you guys! 🙂

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Have you tried Peter's Tex Mex Grill? There are a few locations. I remember it being decent enough to fulfill my TexMex craving.

  • Darcy January 5, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    She is precious! Congratulations on being a family of five….what a great {life} story you five will get to make!

  • Sara Laverty January 5, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Oh my goodness. What an amazing day! Thrilled for y'all's family being complete and together!! Sweet Ashby is just a doll – her piggy tails are the cutest things! Hope the next 10 days fly by so you can get yourselves home and settled and Ashby can get her first taste of some good ol tex mex. 🙂

  • Addie Hicks January 5, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    I made the mistake of reading this post at work and now I'm sitting here sobbing! such a beautiful story! Love keeping up with you and your family. Ashby is beautiful!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    I'm happy for you all!!! Your family receiving Ashby is a precious gift for you guys to receive. I almost had tears when Andrew was holding Ashby. You will be a wonderful Shull 5. Thank you for including us on your adoption, and also thank you for opening up on your struggle with fertility. All of you guys are so blessed to have/be with each other.

  • Joyce January 5, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Ahhhh, I have been following your blog (and making your recipes) since your brother was on the Bachelor. I really feel like I know you and have loved following your adoption journey. Your infertility story has helped as my son and daughter in law are having problems getting pregnant. I loved reading Andrew's perspective and he inspired me to buy all the men in my family Not a Fan for Christmas. With all that being said, I sat here and cried at your touching blog about the day you finally got sweet Ashby. Thank you for sharing your story and your life with us, you are a blessing and I am so happy for your family. Cannot wait for you guys to be back in the US and to keep up with your family of five.

  • jojo January 5, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Tears of joy for your family of FIVE! Enjoy the time in China getting acquainted with each other and keep filling your feeds with pics of your gorgeous family! I love following your life's story!

  • Alexis D January 5, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    My heart is so happy for you and your family. I'm so glad to hear everything is going great. Congratulations on becoming a family of 5.

    Safe Travels,
    Alexis
    ablissfulhaven.com

  • Dawn January 5, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Congratulations to your family! Thank you for sharing your experience with your readers! We are considering adoption, as well. Can I ask the reason you chose an International adoption? We are still weighing our options and would love to know why you chose China. Best wishes!!

  • damickey January 5, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    I just recently stumbled across your blog. Congratulations to you and your family! I am very happy for all of you. Praying you have a safe trip home.

  • B. Merrell January 5, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    What a beautiful blessing your baby girl is. Congratulations, Shull family!

  • Melissa presley January 5, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Brings tears to my eyes! So precious to see the love already! Praise The Lord for He is good!

  • Allie January 5, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Congratulations!! Thank you so much for sharing these personal photos and sharing the story with us. Adoption is such a beautiful and brave thing to do. Many prayers to you and your family for an easy paperwork process, safe travels and most importantly lots of family bonding and a smooth transition! It makes me so happy to see Ashby in your arms!!

  • Melissa Gibbs January 5, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    OH MY GOODNESS congratulations! What a sweet blessing Ashby is and such a lucky little girl to be chosen as a part of your family. Praying for a smooth transition for all of you! Congrats Shull Five!

  • Kensey Gosch January 5, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    I've read this post several times already today. Just looking at her sweet face and the joy you all have. I have a feeling it won't be long until there is a picture of her with a huge smile on her face. Praying the next few days go quickly and smoothly so you can bring her home!!!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    It is truly wonderful to see pictures of Ashby with you all–her forever family! Praying that things continue to go smoothly for her transition into the Shull family.

  • Kelsey B. January 5, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Congrats to your family! Such a wonderful blessing!!

  • Jen January 5, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    I'm so happy for your family! The pictures in this post were amazing — from the nervous excitement to the hard beginnings, to the realization that she is safe and loved with you. Can't wait to watch you all bond even more. 🙂

  • Kathryn January 5, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Tears of joy for your precious family!! The pictures are beautiful and heartbreaking all at once… adoption is an amazing journey ~ filled with so many different emotions. Ashby is absolutely adorable!! Praying for her sweet heart as she transitions into your family. I remember my daughter being in a state of shock for the first few days, but before we knew it she was smiling and giggling and showing us her spicy side! What a blessing! God is so good!!!

  • Elizabeth P January 5, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    And now I'm crying…at work. Just trying to understand her confusion that will turn into joy is so touching. Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

  • Domestic Engineer January 5, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Congratulations! What a wonderful family for Ashby!

  • Rhoda W January 5, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Congratulations Shull family! I love stopping by to find out what your beautiful family are up to. I was crying with joy reading this last post! Happy 2015!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    I'm speechless and overwhelmed with God's example of true love! Wishing you the VERY best as you begin this new journey as a family of five. So amazing. You're amazing.
    Your sister in Christ,
    Myra

  • Katie S January 5, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Congratulations! This post has me all teary eyed. I'm thrilled for y'all SO glad you can finally share Ashby with us!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    I am so so so excited for your family! I just balled my head off reading this post, especially the part about them dressing her in new clothes! I can't wait to hear/see more posts about your new family! God bless you & your family!
    Suzanne

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    So happy for you all!! I've been hitting refresh constantly waiting for an update 🙂 I love that Kensington is holding her hand

  • Kelly January 5, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    I just keep coming back to this post all morning. Bless that sweet child and your family. I can't wait to watch her grow into your family!

  • Laura Freeman January 5, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    How wonderful for your family, the wait is finally over. Just looking at the pictures brings a huge lump to my throat, that your family and Ashby have been brought together. There will be lots of smiles, laughter and fun along the way I'm sure. It must be so heartwarming to know how much your little girl is loved and thought of by so many people around the world, but on a sad note, it breaks my heart to know there are so many more orphans growing up without a loving family. God bless the Shull family and little Ashby, I hope the next 10 days go quickly so that you can get home and carry on as a family of 5 in the comfort of your own home.

  • Mandi Moore January 5, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    What a beautiful story! Thank you so much for letting us be apart of it, you are inspiring so many people in your ministery to this baby girl. Good luck and keep sharing!
    Sending tacos your way! 😉
    Mandi

  • Elaine January 5, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Insert ugly cry! I am so overjoyed for your family!!! Praying everything will continue to be smoothe and this time will be so treasured in your hearts!

  • Elizabeth Birenbaum January 5, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    I love this! So HAPPY for you all! You can truly see the love you all have for this little girl from minute 1. So happy you have been united!

  • Avery January 5, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    I obviously do not know you, but this made me cry. What a beautiful, beautiful thing to do for sweet Ashby. You and your family are truly selfless people. What an adorable little girl. I wish you all nothing but the best.

  • Whitney January 5, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    Such an amazing trip for your growing family!!! Many congratulations on your new daughter – she is beautiful! 🙂

  • Brittany F. January 5, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Tears. So very happy for you all! She is precious and it's so amazing to see a face to match all of the prayers.

    My brother's wife just moved here from China and has been struggling with the transition. I'm going to share your blog with her now that I know Ashby is from China. I think it will bring her comfort as she can watch Ashby grow and acclimate as my new sister-in-law does here.

  • LC January 5, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    What a beautiful girl she is! I'm so beyond happy for your family and wish you the best in the next few days, weeks, and months of transitioning. I'm sure it won't be easy but with God, all things are possible:) Congratulations!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    I think my impression of the orphanage was that they would not be the best, but it seems like they really took good care of your girl and want her transition to be smooth. This makes me happy 🙂

  • Kristen January 5, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    She is beautiful! What a story!!! Please keep posting your details – I love to hear. How old is she?

    I'm so interested in this journey. Do you feel like you should call her by her Chinese name? Is it strange for her to have a brand new name and family all at once? Will you keep her Chinese name as her middle name? Sorry so many questions…I don't know to much about international adoptions.

  • Leanne January 5, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Tears of joy for your family and this precious little girl! I've been following your blog for awhile and I know she is one lucky girl to have been chosen to be part of your family! Many, many blessings to all of you!

  • Queen In Between January 5, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    My heart is so full for you guys. I have been really praying for the meeting and hoping she would transition easily. She's adorable and I can tell the kids are super excited.

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability in share your story with us. You had me in tears!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    Tell me why I laughed out loud when I saw Smith watching his iPad with his headphones in while you’re trying to comfort Ashby. Aww! Ashby is one lucky little girl. She is just so so beautiful! I’m dying over the cute clothes and bow you have on her. You’ve inspired me to adopt someday. I can’t wait to learn more about your little blessing! I’m beyond happy for you guys!

  • Cara January 5, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    So awesome I sat and wept years of joy for you! Them showing pictures of you guys about tore me up! Prayers and love for a continued easy transition!

  • Abramyan Avenue January 5, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    I hardly ever comment and I've been following your blog since before Sean became the Bachelor…but I am so very happy and excited for you. I know it won't be an easy road, there will be lots of adjustments along the way but it truly is such a tremendous blessing to have Ashby join your family. I wish for yall a smooth transition and I can't wait to see Ashby settle into her new home!

  • Andrea January 5, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Tears of joy for all of you!!! You make a beautiful family of 5! Enjoy all of those Ashby cuddles!!

  • V @ X-tremely V January 5, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Oh my! I am seriously crying such tears of joy for you and your whole family! What an amazing family Ashby is entering into 🙂 Prayers are still being said for everything to continue move smoothly for you all!

  • Kelly January 5, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Hi Shay! You don't know me but I have been reading your blog for awhile now. I am just in tears (of joy!) for you and your sweet family. Thanks for sharing your story and letting us all be part of it. Praying for y'all and Ashby in these next days of transition. Love from Cowtown! : )

  • Baylee January 5, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    So, so so happy for you! Love that Kensington is already taking her under her wing! Enjoy the rest of your time in China! Also, I'm pretty sure I was at least 60 of your page views yesterday, waiting and checking back over and over to see if you had posted about getting Ashby!

  • Jessica Wood January 5, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    I am so excited for y'all! We are in the process of adopting from the Philippines, and I love seeing photos of families meeting their little ones for the first time. It help me remember all this waiting is worth it! Praying for a smooth transition and safe trip home for y'all.

  • DetroitDuchess January 5, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    This is so amazing. It is hard to read this without tearing up over the amazing gift that you are giving to Ashby. It is hard to realize that not everyone has a family to love them and Ashby is so lucky that she now has the Shulls to love her.

    Thank you for sharing your story, I can't wait to read more about sweet Ashby!

  • Anne January 5, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    I have been reading your blog for a couple years and this is my favorite post. So so happy for your family of five. Ashby is beautiful. Sending prayers for efficiency and all going smoothly with the paperwork and a safe trip home. God is good.

  • Richele January 5, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    So glad you finally have your sweet Ashby in your arms! I'm praying for your family through this transition. Your family sure seems to have all the love, patience, prayers and grace to cover anything that comes your way. Congratulations!
    Richele

  • wheredobabiescomefrom January 5, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    So glad you finally have your sweet Ashby in your arms! I'm praying for your family through this transition. Your family sure seems to have all the love, patience, prayers and grace to cover anything that comes your way. Congratulations!
    Richele

  • Kelli @ A Deeper Joy January 5, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Oh my goodness, I am in tears. This is amazing and I'm so so happy for y'all. Congratulations! Y'all are in my prayers!

  • Jolie January 5, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    I follow your brother on Facebook and he posted a pic of his new niece Ashby. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for four years to no avail and have recently started discussing the idea of adoption. When I saw Sean's post, I was very curious and immediately looked up your blog. What you wrote was so touching and you are such a beautiful family inside and out! Ashby is one lucky little girl. I'd love to find out more about your journey to get to this day. How do I go about doing that?

  • Lindsey Olsen January 5, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    You are an amazing family! Thank you for being such an inspiration and example to me. Congratulations!

  • Cori Patrick January 5, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Praise Him from whom all blessings flow! What a sweet Ashby with her sweet forever family!! Praying that she bonds with you quickly and as only He can design it to be.

  • Erin @ HHH January 5, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Congrats on your newest addition, Shull family!! I am so excited for you and am praising the Lord that sweet Ashby has a wonderful new family. I will be in continued prayer for all of you. Much love!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    I don't know you, but feel like I do since I've been reading your blog for quite some time. I am just so overjoyed for all of you. I can't wait to read more about Ashby and all of your sweet family. Congrats! 😉

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Congratulations Shay! You are such a wonderful person and an inspiration! You have a beautiful family, God bless!

  • Tiffany {A Touch of Grace} January 5, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Shay, I can't stop crying right now. So, so happy for your little family of 5! What an amazing day for you all.
    Congratulations on bringing a wonderful little girl into your family.

  • Leiah January 5, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    I am SO happy for your sweet family! I have tears over this post. Ashby is darling – God is so good! Congrats and prayers for your beautiful family of five <3

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    I enjoy reading your blog and am so happy for your family! God Bless!

  • Julie January 5, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Shay, I've been a long time reader of your blog (since Bachelor days) but haven't ever commented. Following your blog has been so fun for me–and I think you are an incredible mother! This is my first comment, which I felt necessary because I was completely reduced to tears by your post. I think what you are doing by adopting Ashby is simply incredible. You are an example to me! Best of luck to your new, sweet family of five!!

  • Dawn January 5, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    My heart is so full of happiness for you guys! Adoption is such a beautiful thing! I have cried almost everyday reading your posts!! Praying for you guys and you transition to a family of 5!

  • Vanessa Forman January 5, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    I have tears streaming down my face! Your family has hearts of gold and what a lucky girl. Praying for adjustment for all of you to your new normal as family of 5!

  • McFarland Family January 5, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    I am soooo happy for you and your family. God is sooo GOOD!! May you guys enjoys the next 10 days in China

  • Amber Sanders January 5, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    The whole post made me smile and cry at the same time. I am so happy for your family and to see Ashby adjusting so well. I am sure your hearts are so full right now. She is so beautiful ! Congratulations Shull family on your new addition. How old is Ashby?

  • Carrie January 5, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Love reading your about your adoption trip. Brings back the memories of two trips to China and meeting my beautiful daughters! What a wonderful way for you to document and remember your journey, one you will cherish forever, just as I have. Best of luck as you complete Ashby's adoption. Getting that visa is so exciting knowing you are on the home stretch. Enjoy!

  • ccuCostaRica2010 January 5, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Wow! No words.. Just joy joy joy joy joy joy. Praise Him from whom all blessings flow!

  • ccuCostaRica2010 January 5, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Also.. the picture of you with your hand on her little face.. oh my! That's a momma's love right there.

  • Karen Ward January 5, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    I'm about to BAWL!!! I'm just so happy for Ashby and you ALL! Much love!

  • Becca G January 5, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Congratulations Shull Family! Reading today's post made me cry tears of joy for y'all 🙂

  • Sarah January 5, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Tears of joy! I cannot believe she's with you guys! I was just telling my mom about you guys and how you had to wait longer. I'm so glad that it wasn't much longer! Although I'm sure it felt like an eternity to you guys. My parents still have the clothes that I wore when I was adopted from Korea. Although they picked me up at the airport and didn't have to go pick me up, although they wanted to, when the first time they went to the airport to pick me up and they didn't put me on the plane and they had to wait another 6ish weeks for me to get on another plane! Welcome Ashby, can't wait to see many more pictures!

  • Keith and Brittany January 5, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Congratulations!!!!! My heart is bursting with tears and happiness!!! What a beautiful little girl and she is so lucky that God placed her with a fabulous family!!!! Praying for safe travels home!

  • Laurie S January 5, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Hi Shulls – all FIVE of you! PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM "ALL" BLESSINGS FLOW, AND FLOW… Loving your posts about your trip to China to adopt Ashby. As He continues to guide and bless you, may you be a blessing to each other. Safe travels in China and back to TX!

  • Katie White January 5, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Congratulations on your new addition Ashby. I recently started reading your Blog and love your honestly and willingness to share your lives. This post had me crying as a mom to two little girls who are my whole world I can only imagine the emotions you are all feeling. Best of luck with your beautiful new gift:)

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    God Bless your wonderful family of 5 xx JS in the UK

  • Blue-Eyed Bride January 5, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    My precious friend! I am crying reading this. I'm so happy for all of you. Ashby is a lucky little lady to have such a loving family. God is so awesome!

  • Jaclyn Johnson January 5, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Hi Shay! I was awaiting this post all weekend and couldn't wait to see pics of sweet Ashby!! Congratulations on finally being able to hold your baby girl, I too am curious though how old she is, looks maybe about 2 yrs old, maybe a bit younger? I hope the Shull FIVE have a wonderful time getting to know each other, Ashby is one lucky girl, that's for sure! Enjoy this special time, thanks so much for sharing your journey so quickly w/us!

  • Angie Clark January 5, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Cried with joy while reading this post. I'm so happy for your family.

  • Angie Clark January 5, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Cried with joy while reading this post. I'm so happy for your sweet family.

  • Kathy Olson January 5, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    So happy for you all!

  • AmyJo January 5, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    I've been waiting for this post! Ashby is beautiful and I'm so excited for the whole family. God is good! I can only imagine how anxious all the grandparents and rest of the family are waiting for y'all to get back. Enjoy soaking in every moment and travel safe. Congratulations Shulls!

  • The Palmers January 5, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    Congratulations! I have loved following your journey of becoming a forever family for your new daughter. And I'm dying over the matching PJ's. Too cute. 🙂

  • Laci Page January 5, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    I have loved watching your journey unfold throughout the past year. This post is just beautiful. My heart skipped a beat when I saw Ashby on my Instagram feed. Praying for God to be with Ashby and help her adjust the next few weeks.

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Oh Shay!!! SO SO EXCITED!!!! I already love your littlest Shull!
    Karen I.

  • Jessica Shrock January 5, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Love this post! Tears running down my face- I should not have started reading this at work! Prayers for all of you

  • Margie January 5, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us. I have been following your blog so excited to see how this would all turn out. Your posts the last few days were so moving, you had me in tears. I'm touched by how you want to make such an amazing difference Ashby's life. I really admire that. I wish you all the best for you and your family.

  • Ashlee January 5, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    Ashby is absolutely beautiful!

    The picture of you holding her while K holds her hand I just melted. Thank you for letting us in on your journey to Ashby I'm so excited you are finally Shull party of 5!!!

  • Lauren January 5, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    I'm crying all over my keyboard right now as I type this. This has moved me so much. Ashby is just precious and the part about the orphanage decking her out in brand new clothes to meet her new family just kills me. She is absolutely adorable. Congrats on your new family of 5 AND congrats on getting a potty trained child…I'm jealous. I still have this in my future with Sydney. I.hate.potty.training.
    I LOVE your pics, you and Andrew are just glowing. What a blessing from the Lord and what a blessed little girl to be adopted by such a wonderful and loving family. You have forever changed her life!
    Enjoy your time in China and just so you know…the ONLY thing I crave when I travel is Tex Mex, I get it. xoxo

  • Jumi January 5, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    This is such a sweet story and I admire you for loving Ashby and opening up your hearts and home to her. I am sure the specialists in the US will be able l take care if her needs and I hope you continue to blog so we can all watch your family grow. God bless the Shull party of 5

  • Mama Dean January 5, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    So happy for you all and thank you so much for sharing the journey!

  • Lindsay D. January 5, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    I'm so happy for your family!! Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us. It broke my heart reading how Ashby had a photo album of the four of you and how the orphanage dressed her new clothes. I love the picture of you cuddling Ashby and Kensington holding her hand. I'm so happy she has her forever family. God is so good!!!

  • Paige January 5, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    congratulations! What sweet pictures of your family. She is so lucky to have you. So happy for you and hope the next 10 days go quickly- time to bring her home!

  • Lindsay Love January 5, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey so openly. I've always thought our calling was to adopt but the process can be overwhelming. What a lucky little girl she is!

  • Danielle McGauley January 5, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing Shay! What a lovely family!! I love the pictures of Andrew and his littlest girl! I can also see how protective Kensington is already. Enjoy this time together.

  • Meagan Ruse January 5, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    I could barely read this, through my tear-flooded eyes. Seriously. Whew! Congratulations, sweet friend! I am over the moon with happiness for you and your family! Oh what a gift!
    PS: Fount misses Smith severely. Haha!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    As many others have stated, I don't know your family either, but have been following your IG. I truly wish we could all do what your family is doing…give a child in need a loving family. Ashby is beautiful. God Bless your family.

  • Alison Williams January 5, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    This made me teary! She is so precious!! Love all the pictures!

  • Kerry Schriefer January 5, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Congratulations! Such a beautiful family. Our daughter has Symbrachydactyly of the hand and we found LuckyFin.com to be a wonderful, supportive resource.

  • Sharon Kruschen January 5, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    I cried and felt your love. Hope for many more good days!

  • Andrea January 5, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    I could read this post over and over!! I just want to know what every minute is like!! I'm so very excited for you, and so happy that Ashby is going to live an incredible life filled with love and happiness. Can't wait to read more!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    SO happy for you and your family of five!

  • Anonymous January 5, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Congratulations on the arrival of Ashby London! I began reading your post and promptly cried when I saw the photo of you finally holding her, with K holding her hand….sob. The photos show that Ashby has taken lovingly to both her new Mum & Dad. God Bless your family of 5, from Louise in Australia.

  • Kelly January 5, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Wow…I guess being a mom means reading the blog of someone I have never met doesn't mean the tears won't flow! So beautiful!!

  • Paula January 5, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    I have reread this whole post….
    The new outfit
    The pictures
    The first family Shull bath
    The sleeping next to daddy & sissy!

    I blubbering -again!

  • Jen January 5, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    Congrats Shay!!! She is absolutely gorgeous and the photos are stunningly beautiful. I'm so happy for you and your family!! 🙂

  • Kerri GirlWithALatte January 6, 2015 at 12:49 am

    Oh my goodness… this broke my heart and made me smile all at the same time. So happy for you. What an amazing gift… for everyone involved :)God bless!

  • J January 6, 2015 at 1:00 am

    I have been waiting all day to get off work so that I could come home and see if there was an Ashby post 🙂 I'm sitting here bawling and I don't even know your sweet family! Ashby is a doll and I'm so excited to see the way God has answered yall's prayers so BEAUTIFULLY. Praying for a continued smooth transition, quick and easy paperwork, and plenty of good bonding as a family of five!

    -Julie

    PS—Love the giant bow on that baby's head! I would've done the exact same thing 😉

  • J January 6, 2015 at 1:02 am

    The part that really made me lose it is when you said they dressed her in all new clothes. Oh, so many tears. How beautiful she looked for her big day!

    -Julie

  • Katie {The Mishaps & Mayhem of a Solitary Life} January 6, 2015 at 1:28 am

    LOVE this post!! Thank you for letting us share this journey with you every step of the way!! What a sweetie! My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you all!!

  • Barbara Ann January 6, 2015 at 1:35 am

    Fantastic pictures – the joy that radiates in everyone's faces reaches halfway across the world!

  • Adrienne January 6, 2015 at 1:36 am

    Congratulations! I was just thinking the extra days in China will be a great time for Ashby to bond with all of you in a semi-familiar environment, with her normal food and language and scenery! I bet this will really help when it is time to head home and she encounters so many new things like the airplane etc. Though, I'm with you– I would be SO ready to hop on a plane the moment I left the office! I love reading your blog, can't wait to learn more about the newest member of this beautiful family!

  • Amanda Sorteberg January 6, 2015 at 1:41 am

    Congratulations on your growing family!! 🙂 What a beautiful family of 5! Thank you for sharing your journey!! 🙂

  • kristinwithani January 6, 2015 at 1:46 am

    Thank you for sharing, Shay.

    Until you said it, I didn't even notice her hands. She's beautiful. Though, I know that's part of her story and part of how God made her. Thankful for good doctors!

    I've recently watched dear friend bring their daughter home from China here locally and the Campbells (blogger Ashley Ann) bring their daughter home last year.

    What a gift – both ways.

  • Jen R January 6, 2015 at 1:50 am

    omgosh… I am totally crying!! what a wonderful thing you are doing for that baby girl – and your lives are forever blessed! welcome to the Party of Five!

  • CaitCoak January 6, 2015 at 1:57 am

    I am so happy for all of you!!! I hope the next ten days are an amazing bonding experience for all of you.

  • Bree Gale January 6, 2015 at 2:02 am

    Congratulations!! So much love to your family of five!!

  • Toni :O) January 6, 2015 at 2:03 am

    Congrats on sweet Ashby's gotcha day!! Such a blessing!

  • Amanda Bajin January 6, 2015 at 2:21 am

    Big fat ugly tears of joy, happiness, and just plain out love for you and your sweet sweet family. God has truly blessed you all. Continued prayers for a lovely lovely transition for your family. Thank you for sharing your journey, it's just beautiful. xoxo

  • Michelle January 6, 2015 at 2:41 am

    In case nobody else has told you, there is a Mexican restaurant in Guangzhou! It's called Tekila and is within three blocks of the Garden Hotel if you are staying there! 🙂 It's spicy!

  • tracy hale January 6, 2015 at 3:08 am

    What a blessing your family is to Ashby! My daughter was born with amniotic band syndrome and her left hand was affected. She will be having her first surgery in February and we are praying that Dr. Netscher at Texas Children's will be able to help her. Maybe he can help Ashby too! Praying that y'all have a safe trip home and a smooth transition as you begin your journey as a family of 5!

  • Unknown January 6, 2015 at 3:43 am

    I can't stop thinking about you guys and I've never even met you! The picture of her snuggling with Andrew just melts my heart. I'm so glad that the orphanage takes such good care. I've never known much about them, but the picture book and new clothes are so sweet! She is precious and you're guys are so amazing!

  • Kristyn Luger January 6, 2015 at 4:19 am

    Love love love this!!!!! What a beautifull complete family! Praying for a smooth transition for you guys!

  • Rebecca Carl January 6, 2015 at 4:41 am

    This is just so sweet. What a gift and what a blessing you all are….praying that all continues to go smooth and you get back home safely.
    Love, Becky

  • SamD January 6, 2015 at 4:47 am

    So happy for you and your family. What a blessing! I was born with a left hand birth defect and this post just brought so many tears to my eyes… I LOVE that Kensington was holding her little hand and making her feel so comfortable…amazing from such a young girl. Blessings to you and your family.

  • my3 kids January 6, 2015 at 5:49 am

    Shay, what a precious post. Such a beautiful little girl Ashby is. She will bring your whole family such joy:). Thanks for letting us share in your journey. Brings me right back to when our girls were placed into our arms. ❤️

  • Anonymous January 6, 2015 at 6:05 am

    Such a beautiful adoption story … so happy for all of you! I wanted to recommend Teklia, Gail's and especially Element Fresh (amazing salads) in Guangzhou. May the rest of your stay be blessed as you all continue to bond as a family.

  • Katie Dang January 6, 2015 at 10:27 am

    This makes my heart happy!

  • Anonymous January 6, 2015 at 10:53 am

    You have a beautiful family Shay, you and your family of five is perfect. Thank-you for sharing your journey with us all. It is inspiring, heart-warming, and positive to see. I can not wait to see Ashby thrive with her family and home. And Ashby sleeping is just so sweet, and I loved reading about her making eye contact with Smith and K holding her hand. I am all the way in Australia, and our adoption laws are tough. Hoping my family can adopt one day too. Sending love, prayers, and happiness your way. Can't wait to read on (just found your blog a week ago, and check it daily now!!)
    Nadeyn

  • Anonymous January 6, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    I am so happy for your family and for Ashby! I can't wait to see more posts about her. Enjoy the remainder of your time in China and safe travels home!

  • Grace Beacham January 6, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    This makes me so so happy. I'll say a little prayer for your family. She is precious. I didn't even notice her hand until you wrote about it. Isn't it awesome that God used China's adoption policy to bring your family the perfect gift and to give Ashby a family? What a testimony!

  • Anonymous January 6, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    My heart is so full for your family! I've been following your story about sweet Ashby, and I'm praying that God makes this a smooth transition. What a blessing adoption is. I know your family will certainly be a blessing to her! God bless!

  • Alison January 6, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    I am so happy for you guys Shay! Ashby is so precious! Thank you God!

  • Mary Ann January 6, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    I am so thrilled for your new family of 5! I love how God places the lonely in families. You have come to my mind in the last 2 days, and I have said small prayers for this bonding phase with Ashby. Praying for peace, security and trust to be established quickly. Congratulations!!

  • Mom to 4 J's January 6, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    This was just the most precious and long awaited post. I love seeing the pictures of how Ashby relaxed and fell asleep in your arms. I cried along with you reading your words about seeing your family pictures and the sweet clothes from the orphanage. What a blessing! God is so so good.

  • Anonymous January 6, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Congratulations! This is such an exciting time for your family. My little sister is adopted from China (special needs) and we're adopting again. Also, though you might want to clarify with your readers that you can indeed adopt a healthy child from China (girls) but it takes 6-8 years. However, there is a greater need for the adoption of special needs girls and especially boys from China. Praying for a smooth transition for sweet Ashby because we know how difficult it can be!

  • Brooke January 6, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Such beautiful pictures of a beautiful family. Thanks so much for sharing. May God continue to bless you all through this transition.

  • Anonymous January 6, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Hi Shay! I have been following your blog for awhile and am so thrilled that you finally got your little girl. She is so, so precious and so fortunate to have you as her new family. My aunt and her husband adopted from China about 10-12 years ago and while they waited to get their sweet little girl, they told all of us to pray that she was bonding with at least 1 person in China. It is so important that they do that for healthy attachment later. I never really thought about that before. All that to say, that it was probably a very good thing that Ashby cried and cried when she saw you. That means she trusted the person she was with and did not want to go to just anyone.
    What a blessed girl she is! Praying the transition goes well for your new family of 5. Congrats!!

    Laura (from Ohio)

  • Momofgirls January 6, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Sobbing. What a precious baby girl! God has blessed her far beyond her wildest imagination with a family like yours (extended family and friends included). She WILL warm up, she WILL feel safe and you will be so so blessed. Praying for a smooth transition and for safe and non-eventful travels home!!

  • Amy January 6, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Praise the Lord!!! I am so happy for y'all! What an awesome God we serve! It brings tears to my eyes thinking about how much He loves sweet Ashby London..to give her parents who love and serve Him and will teach her to walk in His ways. You are so precious to share all of this with us. I cannot tell you how much joy it brings me to see this post and your Instagram pictures. Blessings to you all! I will be praying for your family and for a smooth return.

  • Dorinda Peyton January 6, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Congratulations! My husband and I leave next week to get our son in China!

  • Anonymous January 6, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Congratulations from Seattle! I love reading your blog and was crying as I read this post. God bless your family!

  • Sarah January 7, 2015 at 12:41 am

    New reader here! Congratulations on your beautiful daughter!!! She is perfect and such a wonderful addition to your family. You and your husband are an admirable couple – thank you for sharing your story with us!!

    -Sarah http://www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

  • Annie January 7, 2015 at 12:49 am

    Wow, this just gave me so much happiness. The Lord works in magical ways. I just want to thank your family and all the families out there who adopt. You don't realize exactly how much it means to me that there is one less orphan in the world. I was once an orphan as well from Guangzhou China ,adopted when I was 2. My story is very similar to Ashby's. It's so sweet to see that she has warmed up to your family. It took me a while to be comfortable around men, including my father. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story. Ashby is going to grow up in a beautiful family who have huge hearts for one another and for the Lord. I pray these next few days fly by so you can finally return home and eat some Tex-Mex ;).
    God Bless you and your family.
    Annie

  • Anonymous January 7, 2015 at 1:56 am

    Congrats! This is SO exciting! Your story is truly inspiring. I couldn't be happier for you and your family. Best wishes all the way from Boston, MA 🙂 PS I hope Ashby becomes a Sox fan!

  • Mary Malaguti January 7, 2015 at 2:47 am

    I cried so so much reading this post and seeing all the beautiful pictures. Ashby is absolutely beautiful and I am so thankful that there are good hearted people like you and your family in the world. We wish you the very very best. Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl <3

  • Anonymous January 8, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    My heart has been touched by your adoption! You are all very lucky. I wish I was in a position to adopt one of those babies. I cried tears of sadness seeing the crib room. I cried tears of happiness watching sweet Ashby transition from an apprehensive little girl to a secure and happy little girl with an edge of mischief in her smile. I completely lost it with the photo to K watching Ashby sleep and reading to Ashby. What a wonderful experience for S & K to be a part of this experience and learn and understand Ashby's native beginnings and culture. From tears on my cheeks to happiness in your heart! Safe travels back to Texas!

  • Daniel McBee January 8, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    I am truly inspired by your family's story. I lived in China for three years and loved it. I do not know what city you are in exactly, but there is an American Restaurant called Peter's Tex-Mex in Beijing that is pretty fantastic… I will be praying for your family and that Ashby's hand will be able to be helped.

  • Chelsea @ Married Filing Jointly January 9, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    I am absolutely blown away by your story, your adorable family, and your precious daughter! Praying for you from GA and hoping one day I can also adopt a girl…possibly from China! Would love to talk to you about yoru journey!

  • Ann N January 10, 2015 at 4:48 am

    What a beautiful thing you and your family are doing! Ashby is a very lucky little girl to join such a loving big-hearted family. I'm glad that you guys are soaking in the culture of her birth country and hopefully can share some of those traditions with her in Texas to help ease the culture shock while still helping her keep in touch w/ her roots. Bless you for what you are doing for this little girl and for sharing your touching story.

  • Emirxan Vahabov August 2, 2015 at 6:32 am

    salam

  • Loren July 12, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    I was having a sad moment while evaluating my fertility struggles and I decided to re read all your adoption posts again…. ending with this one and girlllllll I lost it… & I just got a lash fill! I am so happy to see how far Ashby has come. What a wonderful memory you have of going to get her… it is your own birth story. Thank you for sharing all of this!