Post Adoption: Month 3

Saturday was the three month anniversary of the day we got our Ashby.   I thought today was a good day to show you inside her sweet little room.  Even though she doesn’t sleep in there yet (see below for that), she knows it’s her room.  She plays in there and gets dressed in there…she knows it’s her space.  Come on in…it’s quite pink :).

This will be the room she sleeps in until she goes away to college…the room with sleepovers, homework, nighttime giggles and so much more.  This room has been ready since we moved into our house last year…all that was missing was the girl.  I’m so glad we finally have the girl now :).

And since it’s her three month anniversary, I’m sharing little bits about her from our previous month,

Here’s how she’s doing developmentally this month:

Language: I feel like she’s continuing to pick up and more words and unprompted phrases.  I mean let’s be honest…our conversations are very one sided.  I’ll say things and she’ll answer with yes/no or a few English words, so we’re by no means sitting down and discussing things…but we’re making progress.  Rarely do I not know what she means/wants/or why she is upset…so that’s good.  She’s getting the hang of English…one word at a time.
Physical Development: Now that we’re meeting with her doctors and discussing options for her Vascular Malformation, we feel better because we’re getting a plan together.  Her MRI is scheduled for May and then after that, she’ll start new medications and will most likely have a few surgeries and procedures.  Her Malformation will never be corrected but we want to do as much as we can to avoid her getting blood clots.  Other than that, she is just as active as any other two year old.  She loves to run, jump and play, and this month, she started swinging (while we push her) and is even trying to pump her little legs.  Physically, she’s doing great!
Sleeping: She is sleeping like a champ…in our bed ;).  I think it might be easier for Andrew and me to just move up to her room instead of vice versa.  I know…one of these days, we’ll all feel ready for her to sleep alone…but that day isn’t now.  She won’t be two forever…so, I’m really trying to soak in the sight of a precious two year old asleep in my bed.
Food: This girl was meant to be a Texan.  She has never met a food too spicy.  I made us sandwiches with candied jalapenos last week and she was eating those jalapeno peppers like they were popcorn.  She loves salsa and if we don’t watch her, she’ll just eat that with a spoon and skip the actual meal.  She’s too cute with the spicy food!
Attachment: She is still doing great!  She is most definitely most attached to me.  She still cries if I get out of the car and leave her in there with Andrew (but if Andrew just took her out of the house with him and put her in the car, she wouldn’t).  She cries when she sees me leave.  Considering the fact that I’m with her pretty much 24/7…it’s rare she sees me leave ;).

Potty Training: I mean…she’s doing pretty good but I don’t have her in undies yet.  She tells us when she needs to go and at home, she never has an accident.  The problem is that sometimes, when we’re out and about, she’ll tell us…but if we cannot immediately, right that very second take her, she has an accident.  Like if I’m at Target and she tells me, I will start pushing the cart to the bathroom but by the time we make it there, she’s usually gone.  Sometimes, she understands and holds it (the other day, she told me when we were in the car leaving the mall and ended up holding it for almost 20 minutes as we drove home and got inside.)  She doesn’t have the vocabulary to properly explain herself to me…so it’s hard…but we’re making improvements.
I would say our  biggest struggle this month was tantrums.  She started throwing the occasional two year old tantrum (like when I wouldn’t let her take the lid off of my full ice tea and walk around Pottery Barn with it…and that did not make her happy!).  And sometimes, she doesn’t want to get in her stroller and she’ll arch her back and cry.  You know…typical stuff for kids her age.  We’re working through them and thankfully, they’re few and far between…but they’re happening this month and they didn’t happen in the past.  Part of me sees it as a relief because when she acts her age and does things that are typical for kids her age, it gives me peace…I want her to feel comfortable enough in her environment to act like a two year old (and not be back in that shy bubble she used to live in).  So, if you see me pushing a stroller through the mall with a crying kid saying the phrase “my tea” over and over again…you know we’re just making it through our day :).

We had dinner with friends who leave this week for China to adopt their 6th child.  Sixth.  They have three biological boys, adopted two boys from Korea and are now going back for their sixth boy.  They are a-mazing people!  They said isn’t it funny how after a while, you forget that they look different than you do.  You just look at them and see your child and nothing else…and I can 100% say that is the truth.  Twice this month, I had people question whether Ashby was mine or not and both times, it caught me off guard.  When I look at that sweet face, I see my daughter.  Honestly…I see my daughter and nothing different.  So, when the lady at the dentist said “really, she’s yours?”…it surprised me.  Yes, she’s mine.  Forever and always, she’s mine.

I took this picture last week…the secretary at Kensington’s school let Ashby pick out a sticker…and out of all the stickers, she picked the US Flag heart one…and then proceeded to stick it right on top of China on her shirt.  Obviously, she has no idea what any of that means, but it made me laugh.  I think she feels right at home here in the USA.

Don’t forget, it’s Meal Planning Monday

…I’ve got your covered this week for suppers!

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  • Anonymous April 6, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful stories with us!

    I love hearing all about your journey with the adoption and how well Ashby has adjusted to such a big change.

    You're such an inspiration! Although I am only 24 years of age, i look forward to following in your foot steps and hopefully going down the adoption path when the right time comes.

  • Lori S H April 6, 2015 at 9:58 am

    This made my morning! : ) Thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous April 6, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Beautiful post!! I am happy for Ashby that she found such an amazing family!

  • Johannah April 6, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Ashby is so sweet. And it sounds like she is fitting in just fine with you and your family. Her room is just absolutely adorable!

  • Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} April 6, 2015 at 10:23 am

    This post is awesome! I love reading about Ashby's little milestones, and I think it was so sweet what you said about being relieved that she is throwing tantrums. It makes total sense!

  • Erika Slaughter April 6, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Ashby's room is one of my faves in your house! Love that sweet girl and so glad she's doing so well!!

  • Anonymous April 6, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Thank you for sharing, I just love hearing about your sweet family! It sounds like Ashby is doing so well, and of course she is yours!

  • B.Y.S. April 6, 2015 at 11:09 am

    I was 4 when I moved to my own bed and my Mom had to sleep in there until I got used to it with my sister. I was 9 months when I was adopted from Korea and my sister was 4 months. I do look like my Dad and Mom that adopted me though, in a Chinese restaurant I was asked if my Mom was Korean too.

    Amy

  • Narci April 6, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Love that sweet Ashby-her sweet little smile is the best!! She was meant for your precious family. ❤️ So thankful!!

  • Macy Strozier April 6, 2015 at 11:10 am

    I love that purple sign in Ashbys room with all the important dates. I also love how you already put pictures in the frames.

  • Tara G. April 6, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Love this, Shay!

  • Robin April 6, 2015 at 11:37 am

    These are my very favorite posts you do! Thank you for sharing this part of your life, it makes my heart happy to read how well she is doing!

  • Gwen L. April 6, 2015 at 11:38 am

    I love your family posts! I agree that it's wonderful she is having typical two year-old tantrums. She knows she's loved and feels secure enough to misbehave. I know it was a minor bit in this post, but it always astounds me how rude people can be regarding children. Why can't people either just hush or say something neutral like "What a beautiful little girl/boy/child"? There is no need to ask a complete stranger about their relationship with a child. Manners, people!

  • Sally Hepworth April 6, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Sweet little lady. Happy three month anniversary to you all.

  • daniellem02 April 6, 2015 at 11:56 am

    She is precious! Great post

  • Christy April 6, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    LOVE this post and everything about it! Ashby's room is so sweet. It sounds like she was the perfect fit to your family!! ❤️

  • cristina villalba April 6, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Happy 3 month anniversary! Love the room, love it! My favorite is the sign…if I ever get to adopt I will be totally ordering one just like it. Fyi my daughter is 4 and still sleeps with us. Soon she's going to want her space and independence and she will let us know she's ready. Ashby seems like a very smart little girl and I am sure you will all know when it's right for her to go to her amazing room! Keep enjoying her! God bless you all.

  • Angela Ellingson April 6, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Love Ashby updates! Such a cute room!

  • sonicgal April 6, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Such a sweet, adorable room! Would you share where you found her bedding?.. So darling

  • Anonymous April 6, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Beautiful room for your sweet girl! Please make sure to anchor her dresser (and all heavy furniture) to the wall, it can and does save lives! God's blessings to you.

  • Brittany Medland April 6, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Such a sweet room for a sweet girl! Happy 3 month Anniversary Shull family of 5!

  • Carrie April 6, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Love reading updates on Ashby. Sounds like you are going through many of the same things we did with our daughter. Everything will work out in the end. Love how you said after time you forget she doesn't look like you, I feel the same way to this day…13 years later. Best of luck to all of you.

    Carrie in WI

  • Krystal April 6, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Her room is absolutely GORGEOUS! I look forward to these posts every month. So happy to hear y'all are doing well and the transition has been smooth. I have no doubt that Ashby's story will inspire many people for years to come. 🙂

  • Julie April 6, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Loved your post, Shay! We're hoping to bring our little girl home this summer and I'm praying our transition is as smooth as yours :). Ashby looks like she's doing really well!

  • Anonymous April 6, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Love her room.. can I live there!?? Question-where did you get all those sweet "house" pictures. Bedding-potterybarn?

  • melissabunny100 April 6, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Great update!!

  • Ruth April 6, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Awwww, your kids have the best rooms! I'm right there with Ashby on the salsa and spicy food. I think I could eat Mexican food everyday, the spicier the better, and I was born in Korea! 🙂 My dad says I was born in the wrong country. Thanks again for your updates.

  • Anonymous April 6, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Love it all! You're doing great! Would love to find pictures like those- where did you find the sweet bakery/ pastry shoppe prints?

  • Anonymous April 6, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Love it all! Where did you find the adorable prints for her wall?

  • Grace April 6, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    I cannot believe that it's only been 3 months! It's hard to remember a time when Ashby wasn't giggling and a part of your lives!

  • Phi April 6, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Love reading your blogs! Ashby is so adorable! Love seeing her get out of her little shell. She is shining!! I can tell she feels so loved! This post was absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing your family with us!! 🙂

  • Anonymous April 6, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE Ashby's room.

  • Melissa April 6, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    I am amazed at what people will say…of course she's yours!!! Thanks for sharing your journey so honestly and openly. We are praying and hoping for an adoption in our future and this has been very useful in knowing what's down the road for us.

  • Natalie Zambreski April 6, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    I love that she's loving her spicy foods! So sweet 🙂

  • Anonymous April 6, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    I love your blog! Happy Anniversary! Buy the Potette Plus and keep it in your car at all times. No more potty accidents. It's worked great with my toddlers.

  • Renae April 6, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Sweet Post, and I love her room!! Is this the same pink you have in your other daughters room? I like that particular shade of pink!

  • Lana April 6, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    Love reading these – thank you so much for sharing sweet Ashby with us. Her face and her smile are so beautiful. She is most definitely yours! This was a lovely way to start a Monday!

  • Jamie {the celebrating momma} April 6, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I am so glad she is doing so well. You have a beautiful family!

  • Leigh April 6, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Ashby's room is beautiful! Perfect for a little princess. 🙂 She looks so happy and I'm so glad she's doing well. My favorite thing about this post is the purple sign with all the important dates. I adore it.

  • Anonymous April 6, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    I'd be interested to hear how you're navigating the issue of race in your family. It's lovely that you see your daughter and see just her, but there is the very real piece that your daughter may look at her family and not see herself. I'm fascinated about how adoptive parents maneuver around this as international adoptions become more and more common-
    Take care,
    j

  • Elaine Welte April 6, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Ashby's room is adorable!!! Would you mind sharing where the prints above her bed and the canvas' around her dresser are from?

  • Danika April 6, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    With every new photo you post of Ashby, her smile continues to grow bigger and bigger. You can tell she has found the spot where she belongs forever and ever!

  • Sarah April 6, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    I'm a Korean adopted to a Caucasian family and for the longest time I had no idea that I looked different. Sometimes people would ask my cousins, she's really your cousin, and they would be confused as to why they asked because they just saw me as their cousin 🙂

  • The Yarbrough's April 6, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Such a cool pink room. Looks perfect for that sweet girl of yours. Beautiful post.

  • Beautifully Seaside // Formerly Chic Coastal Living April 6, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    She is the sweetest little girl! You are sooo blessed! I'm praying the surgeries and procedures go smoothly for her. Amen!

  • Elizabeth Birenbaum April 6, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    I absolutely love her room! It is perfect for her and she will love it from whatever day she starts sleeping there until the day she goes to college. I especially LOVE that sign that says when she was born, when she stole your hearts and when she got your last name. Pure perfection. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story and journey with us!

  • Debbie April 6, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Sweet post! I love hearing about her progress and your family. Her room is just so precious! I love everything about it.

  • Anonymous April 6, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    I love Ashby's story. Yall are wonderful people and parents. So inspiring! Do you ever get stressed out? You take all of this in stride so well! Thanks for sharing your story of your beautiful girl with us!

  • The Boutelle Family April 6, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    She is absolutely precious!! Thanks for sharing your adoption journey with all of us 🙂 I love hearing the updates!

  • Jeanie April 6, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    I love reading about how she's growing, both physically and emotionally. She couldn't ask for better parents. Love her sweet pink bedroom, too.

  • dresselfamily.blogspot.com April 7, 2015 at 1:41 am

    She is a shull through and through .. love this

  • Kim M. April 7, 2015 at 1:42 am

    Shay what a beautiful post! I laughed out loud at the part about arching her back because my two year old boy does this constantly. He literally can arch his back and make it totally impossible to pick him up! Ashby's smile is worth a trillion words! Thank you for sharing!

  • Anonymous April 7, 2015 at 2:25 am

    What a sweet post, I'm glad you all are doing so well! She is the perfect addition to the family. Where did you get the flower duvet on her bed? It's so pretty!

  • gracemountaindiaries April 7, 2015 at 3:18 am

    Love this post! Thank you for sharing your journey! Love her room, but love the way you are loving your precious daughter even better! Isn't it funny when us parents are "happy" that our Littles are having tantrums…and other age appropriate things 😉 It reminds you just how much blessing and grace there is…joy there is…in everything. 🙂

  • Danielle Rigg April 7, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Ashby's room is beautiful. She is so blessed to be part of your family. When we were potty training my daughter we had the Potette Plus 2-in-1 On-The-Go Travel Potty & Trainer. We kept it in the car for places that entire always have a toilet or those times in the car when all of a sudden. It was a lifesaver.

  • Marty April 7, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Love this post. Y'all are doing GREAT!

  • Lauri April 7, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    How sweet. Ashby posts are my faves! She sounds like any other 2 year old, lol. LOVE her room!

  • Victoria Mazzola April 7, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    My sister was adopted from Korea at 4 months…a year and a half before I was born. We're 23 and 21 now and I forget everyday that she looks different. We tell people she's 100% Italian as a joke, but honestly people believe us! It's the funniest thing. I also tell them that I look so much like my older sister all the time- it takes them a second but they catch on eventually 🙂 When I was younger, I remember always trying to say "mom and dad" when we were out together so that everyone would know she was my sister. It makes me tear up now- she belonged in my family before I did and we are so lucky God made that happen.
    I read your blog everyday- LOVE your sweet family. Thank you for sharing!

  • Alison April 7, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Thank you for sharing! I love Ashby's room!

  • graywolff April 7, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Your posts always bring a smile to my face and sometimes even (happy) tears.

    As I was reading today something came to my mind.. and interestingly enough at the end you mentioned the "looking different" aspect. I was wondering if you have any plans to introduce any aspects of Asian culture to Ashby as she grows older.

    I always look forward to your posts. Onward and upward!

  • Jaren April 8, 2015 at 2:34 am

    It warms my heart to see how great things are going for y'all. She is just precious! And to me the meltdowns just mean she feels comfortable with you now that she can truly express when she feels frustrated. That's a wonderful sign!
    And I know I always tell you this, but I love that antique furniture and that French Country look!!!

  • Ashley @ Our Happily Ever Afters April 8, 2015 at 6:01 am

    I love this update! I'm so glad Ashby is doing well – I can tell y'all are all adjusting beautifully! xoxo

  • Anonymous April 8, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    Shay it could be worse! I have twin nieces who are 3 1/2 and one of them refuses to leave my brother & sister-in-laws bed…..she is a sweet girl but very clingy.

  • Anonymous April 10, 2015 at 12:57 am

    I would love to know where you got the adorable prints in Ashby's room!

  • Anonymous April 17, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    My heart melts every time you post about your sweet daughter, Ashby. You can tell she was meant to be apart of the Shull Family. Where did you buy the furniture (bed, dresser, nightstands)?

  • Holly April 22, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    I have been reading your story over the past few days and have loved it! We are currently on a waiting list to adopt domestically but I have always had a desire to someday adopt a little girl from China. Love your story! Ashby is adorable!