Happy Birthday Madeley!


Today, sweet Madeley James turns TWO!


Every year, on my kids’ birthdays, I post pictures of them from the year (and even all the way back to the day they were born), but for this sweet child of mine, we can only go back 39 days.

Last night, I was watching her sleep and I thought how blessed I was to get to say I knew her for 38 days as a one year old.  I will never know what one year old Ashby was like, so I count it as a big blessing that I knew one year old Madeley…even if it was only for 38 days.


And in such a short time, we’ve all fallen madly in love.


Madeley, in only five weeks, you have blossomed and allowed us to see you for who you are…this amazing girl with a big personality and an even bigger smile.


You are funny, you make everyone (including yourself) laugh, you are so smart, you are cuddly, you are sweet, and you are beautiful.


We are so, so, so blessed to get to spend your second birthday with you today.  You complete our family in a way we didn’t know possible.


Happy birthday Madeley James!  We are going to celebrate BIG today!  I’m talking Big Tex kind of B-I-G!  Everyone is so excited to celebrate with you.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I am thinking about Madeley’s birth mom today too.  I wish she knew that Madeley had a forever home.  I wish she knew that she had a mom, dad and siblings that love her so much.  I wish she knew that she was well taken care of.  My prayer for her this morning is that God gives her some sort of peace in her heart that reassures her that her baby is okay.  Her baby is two today and it’s going to be a very special day.


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  • Erika Slaughter October 19, 2016 at 4:46 am

    Happy Happy Birthday to Miss Madeley! I hope she has the best day celebrating Texas-style. XOXO

  • Leslie October 19, 2016 at 4:55 am



  • Sheaffer October 19, 2016 at 5:06 am

    Happy Birthday, Madeley! So happy to have known 1 year old Madeley as well!!!!!! xoxo 🙂

  • Beth October 19, 2016 at 5:13 am

    Yay Madeley! How sweet of you to pray for her birth mom! Have a great day with all of your kids!

  • Jenny October 19, 2016 at 5:25 am

    Happy birthday, Madeley! What a special day for you all!


  • Emily Moylan October 19, 2016 at 5:44 am

    Happy birthday to your sweet girl! I bet as she grows she will always celebrate big this day as she will become more aware every year of how you have blessed her. What an inspiration you all are! Have the best day ever!!! XO

  • Narci October 19, 2016 at 5:53 am

    Happy Birthday, Madeley James! Have the best day celebrating, precious girl! We love you!! Xo

  • Amanda October 19, 2016 at 6:04 am

    Morning! I read your blog daily, but rarely comment. You’re so sweet to remember Madeley’s birth mom today. Your words really touched me. I love seeing all the photos of your sweet family! Happy 2nd Birthday to Madeley!

  • Mama V October 19, 2016 at 6:05 am

    Shay, your prayer for Madeley’s birth mother is incredibly touching! Blessings to you all today!

  • Dana Powell October 19, 2016 at 6:21 am

    Happy birthday, sweet Madeley! Her eyes are beautiful!!

  • Jo October 19, 2016 at 6:35 am

    Happy birthday precious Marley James!

  • Regine Karpel October 19, 2016 at 6:42 am


  • Lizzie @ This Happy Life October 19, 2016 at 6:45 am

    Happy 2nd Birthday to Madeley!! She seems like such a joy! Have fun celebrating!

  • Kelly October 19, 2016 at 6:50 am

    Happy birthday to Miss Madeley! I hope you all have the very best day celebrating your sweet girl!

  • Lauren October 19, 2016 at 7:07 am

    Such a sweet post! Happy birthday to your sweet Madeley!!

  • Judy October 19, 2016 at 7:17 am

    You’re a special person Shay. What a wonderful family you have created for all of your children.

  • Alicia October 19, 2016 at 7:19 am

    What a privilege to see that 38 day transformation. Happiest Birthday, Ms. Madeley. Thank you for sharing her journey. And thank you for praying for her birth mom.

  • Aniel Yu October 19, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Happy Birthday to Ms. Madeley!!!

  • Jess Czubaj October 19, 2016 at 7:35 am

    What a sweet post! It brightened my day. I’ve been praying for my own children( I’ve got 3!) that they would have Christ salvation sealed on their hearts and walk with Him and serve Him all the days of their lives. As I read your post this morning I prayed this over your sweet girl too and all your kiddos! Happy Birthday Madeley! So encouraged by your life, example, and story! Thank you, Shay!

  • Sheena October 19, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Happy Birthday Madeley! A lot of your adoption posts gets me choked up, but I tell ya when you mention the birth mom’s & how you feel about them, it gets me every time. I cannot imagine what she felt 2 years ago today when she had to give up her precious miracle & I can’t imagine what she is feeling today! I am praying peace & comfort over her! Thanks for sharing your life through this blog! You inspire me everyday!

  • Kelly Stamps October 19, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Happy birthday sweet Madeley!!!!! Have the best day!

  • Heather October 19, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Happy Birthday, Madeley!

  • Ani Martienz October 19, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Happy second birthday Miss Madeley! Hope you have an amazing day surrounded by laughter, joy and love!

  • rebekah October 19, 2016 at 8:15 am

    I read your blog every day, but rarely comment. I have loved watching your family grow- You’re so sweet to remember Madeley’s birth mom today. Your love for all of your children and openness to God’s direction in adoption is truly inspiring and rebuking! Happy 2nd Birthday to sweet, sweet Madeley!

  • Angela Ellingson October 19, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Happy birthday little miss Madeley! What a special little girl. Have the best day together, Shulls!

  • Sara October 19, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Happy Birthday Madeley James! Gosh, that bit about her birth mom made me cry. I hope her mama instincts let her know that Madeley is safe and loved.

  • Laci October 19, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Happy Birthday beautiful Madeley James!

  • Tammy October 19, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Happy Birthday to that sweet girl !!!

  • S October 19, 2016 at 8:40 am

    Happy Birthday to Madely, she is beyond precious! Have a wonderful family celebration ????

  • Shelly Janac October 19, 2016 at 8:42 am

    So precious….hope you have the greatest day! And I too said a sweet little prayer for Madeley’s birth mom.

  • Alice October 19, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Happy Birthday to your sweet Madeley! I’m happy for her God blessed her with a loving, forever family. No greater gift she could receive. I hope you all enjoy celebrating together today!

  • Rebecca Jo October 19, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Happy Birthday to this amazing blessing of a baby!!!!

  • Debbie October 19, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Happy Birthday Sweet Madeley!! Can’t wait to see pictures of the Big Tex celebration pictures!!

  • Rachel Zimm October 19, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Happy 2nd Birthday, Madeley!! She is such a special addition to your family! Have a wonderful day!!

  • Kathryn Madison October 19, 2016 at 9:37 am

    You’re such a true gift from God! Your post got me this morning…what a selfless act to pray for Madeley’s mom. Shay, you and Andrew are such amazing examples of the way we are taught to love others. Thank you for the example you both are to all your daily readers. I know that adoption isn’t for everyone but for the ones that reap the true love and joy that adoption brings is so amazing to me. Have a blessed day at the fair today….my family and I really enjoyed it this year. Happy birthday to your sweet girl.

  • April Parrish October 19, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Happy 2nd Birthday Madeley!!!! Enjoy this special day!

  • Jessy October 19, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Happy birthday Madeley!! Such a special day! LOVE following your family’s journey, Shay.

    xo, Jessy | http://www.currentbliss.com

  • Esther Ra Park October 19, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Happy birthday, Madeley!!! God has and will have a wonderful plan for your life. What a blessing and precious little girl you are!

  • Megan Butler October 19, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Happy birthday to Miss Madeley!!!

  • Sandy Manning October 19, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Have a fun 2nd birthday! I was tickled back when you said her birthday was going to be October 19. Today is our 2nd son’s 29th b’day. He was born on Black Monday but he couldn’t be a brighter spot in our lives!

  • chelsea jacobs October 19, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Happy birthday to your little love!

  • Jackie October 19, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Happy Birthday, Madeley! You are so lucky to have your forever family around you today celebrating you and how much they love you!! I have a feeling you’re going to the TX fair today, enjoy!!

  • Lindsay @ L indsay's Sweet World October 19, 2016 at 12:03 pm


  • Emily October 19, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Happy Birthday Madeley!! I love the sweetness of your heart towards her birth mother <3 the last part of this post made me cry. Those women are often forgotten. Praying for her heart today! And for all of you as you celebrate BIG!!

  • Traci R. October 19, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    You are such a precious soul Shay. Not only to those beautiful babies, but to your readers. Thank you for doing the work that God has called you to do. It is a huge blessing to so many!

  • melodie October 19, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    You know with 3 boys, all adopted, i think of those birth moms nearly everyday. One birthmom i text with and see a few times a year. What a blessing for us all and sweet relationship! So when anything happens, a lost tooth, a touchdown, anything special… i text her first. She’s always my first thought of who i want to tell. Before adopting a read a book that said adoptees think of their birth families every day. Honestly i didnt believe it. I didn’t want to believe it. But now 8 years in to this, as i think about those 3 sweet ladies nearly everyday, i know it must be true. I often wish the other two birthmoms could see these boys now. That they could know a little of who they are and what they excel in. But so far that door has been closed for us. I can identify with you when you talk about those sweet birthmoms. I don’t think we will ever stop thinking about them and wishing they could see or know these precious kiddos entrusted to us.

  • Kelli October 19, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    I am a labor/delivery nurse & the adoption births are ALWAYS the most emotional for me. I’ve cried with the birth mom who is giving up her baby because she knows she can’t care for it and I’ve rejoiced with the new adoptive parents on their new little ones. The life you are giving Ashby & Madeley is amazing! I am pregnant now with my 2nd boy and hope to adopt one day too! Love your blog! Happy Birthday Miss Madeley!!

  • Jeanie October 19, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Happy birthday, again, to sweet Madeley. We love you! And bless you, Shay, for thinking of her mother.

  • Bethany October 19, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Happy Birthday Sweet Girl! I love you include her mother as well!

  • Alys October 19, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Happy Birthday Madeley!!

    Your words to Madeley’s birth mom really touched me. I will say a prayer for you, Madeley and Birth mom!

  • Ann Marie Tennison October 19, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    Happy birthday, little love!

  • Brittany Rae October 20, 2016 at 3:32 am

    You are pretty amazing. That last paragraph???? not only are you thinking about your (new) daughter but praying for her birth mother. Amazing.

  • Holly Hopkins October 20, 2016 at 5:25 am

    Happy Birthday sweet Madeley. Looking forward to watching you grow into a beautiful young lady.

  • Bryana Galindo October 21, 2016 at 7:16 am

    Would you be able to tell me where your casual long sleeve grey top is from that you wore at Madeley’s Birthday party? It looks so comfy and I don’t believe you have linked it on any posts this week 🙂

    Thank you!

    • Mix and Match Mama October 21, 2016 at 8:23 am

      Yes! It’s from Loft! I just posted it on FB yesterday!

  • Jacqueline October 28, 2016 at 7:57 am

    This post makes my heart so happy! Those children are so lucky to have you as their mom! xo!