Madeley Post Adoption: Month 2

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Tomorrow marks the two month anniversary of getting to be this girl’s mom.

Two months ago, we anxiously waited in our hotel room for them to knock on the door and hand us a baby girl who we’d only seen in three photographs and two little videos up until that point.  A girl without a family was being handed over to a family who needed this girl.

It’s been two months…but honestly, it feels like that happened two years ago.  It’s really hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that it basically just happened.  This one has just joined our family so seamlessly.

So, last month, I did our one month post adoption update and basically, I felt like a chicken with my head cut off.  I think we were all still a little jet lagged (we hadn’t been home that long), we were all playing catch up, we were all tired, we were all scrambling…we were a mess (plus, our house was under construction…so that made things crazy too!).  This month, we have our feet under us and even though I still feel like I’m herding cats most days (seriously, this one to four ratio is INSANE sometimes when I’m handling all of them), but we’ve stepped into our groove.

These last four weeks between adoption updates have felt extremely calm compared to the first…which is weird considering all that’s happened:

1: Oktoberfest (yes, I’m counting that! 😉 )
2: Madeley turned TWO!!
3: We made our annual visit to the State Fair of Texas
4: Ashby had yet another procedure on her hand
5: We’ve had 10 doctor appointments between Ashby and Madeley alone
6: Madeley had surgery on her ear
7: I had a birthday
8: I flew to NYC to be on Today
9: Andrew flew to Kentucky to speak at a church
10: We celebrated Halloween (and a ton of festivities that went along with it!)

I mean…we’ve covered some ground, no?

So, here’s what’s been going on during month two…

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Madeley has been spending time with her family and getting to know everyone.  I’m not going to lie…they’re all pretty obsessed with her.  Here we are celebrating her birthday at the Fair.

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We had a quiet little party at home with some family to celebrate too.  The theme was Madeley is Two Cute.  And she is!

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That shy and reserved girl that they handed us is long gone.  We have this wild and crazy girl now with a BIG personality.  I mean…God knew she would be the youngest of four and so He gave her a HUGE personality so that she didn’t get lost in the crowd.  Madeley has two moods: completely and utterly happy or very mad at you.  She’s only mad for a second and it’s typically because you won’t let her have something: a cookie, scissors, a knife, Nyquil…you know, stuff like that ;).  She is a feisty one and we love it!

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Our daily routine is so nice.  We play, we might run an errand, she naps, we go get the big kids from school…it’s such a nice little time with her during the day.  I feel really blessed because when I think back, these days here…

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…just my normal old days at home with little Smith and Kensington are some of my very favorite and now, I get to do it all over again with these two…

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The big kids go to school and my days are spent with Ashby and Madeley.  This is such a sweet time for me.  I am soaking up every minute because I know that I’m going to blink and they’ll be in school all day like my big kids.

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Speaking of the big kids…it’s been two months and the newness of Madeley has not worn off.  They can’t get enough of her.  Every morning, the Madeley parade comes out.  I named it that because that’s what it feels like.  She’s always the last to wake up and she has to go by each and every big kid and give hugs and kisses and get loved on.  All three of them have to have their Madeley time.  They still think she hung the moon.

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On the 25th, Madeley had a little surgery on her ear.  She had some extra cartilage on the outside of her ear that they needed to remove and then they needed to check inside her ears to make sure there wasn’t anything off in there either.  It was quick and she recovered in no time flat.  Here we are waiting for her to go back.

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Ashby has done remarkably well with a new sister.  She loves not being the baby any longer.  She loves having someone to teach things to, to show things, and especially to play with while the bigger kids are at school.  She wants to sit next to Madeley in the car, sit by her at dinner, and ride in the stroller next to her.  I think they’re going to be two peas in a pod.

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Developmentally speaking, Miss Madeley is making some major improvements.  I told you guys this already, but at first, she did nothing.  She didn’t like to sit up, she didn’t like to be active…she would just lie there on the ground and not move.  Now, she wants to be doing anything and everything.  She’s walking so much better and faster, she’s able to climb down off of the couch and chairs, she’s attempting steps and stairs more often, she’s opening drawers and cabinets to get her things, she’s playing with toys independently, she’s climbing on and off of her rocking horse, pushing her little car around…she’s just so much more mobile.  And with that…I’m now living in a house with a very mobile two-year old who is into everything.  Seriously, you could put this child into an empty, concrete room and she would find something to get into.  No, you say…that would be impossible.  The room is empty and solid concrete…she couldn’t.  Oh…but she could.  This one can find ANYTHING to get in to.  I mean…she’s quite clever and quick friends.  Out of my four kids, THIS ONE manages to get into the most stuff.  She’s a pro at it :).

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Based on our recent doctor appointments, she’s growing like a weed.  Now that she’s eating solid food (as opposed to her all-formula diet for two years), she’s growing, getting some muscle tone and her hair is already coming in thicker.  She’s behind on all fronts for kids her age (physically, developmentally, behaviorally), but she’ll catch up.  She’s already come so far, that I know before too long, she’ll be able to hang with other kids her age.

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Madeley has added a few new words to her little vocabulary.  She can clearly say mama, dada, bye-bye, hi, night-night, dink (for drink) and Poppy.  The Poppy one surprised me the most because I didn’t teach her that, she just picked it up.  One morning, the dog walked by and she pointed and said “Poppy”.  Now, she says it every time she sees her.  We’re working on other words but I would say her receptive language has come a long way.  I can ask her to go grab me a diaper and she will, I can tell her to get her shoes and she will…lots of things like that.  She’s a smart girl.  I can tell she gets frustrated when she wants to say something and she can’t (she’ll squeal instead).  She has a lot to say and one day, I can’t wait to hear all of it :).

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Yesterday, I was letting her follow me around the house while eating a corn dog (something I would never have let my first kid do…).  I was putting away laundry and stuff like that and she was just happily eating and following me.  Well, I noticed that she no longer had her corn dog in her hand and I couldn’t find the stick.  A little while later, I was throwing something in the trash and when I opened the trash drawer, there was her corn dog stick.  After she ate it, she threw it away.  I was so proud of her!  I did not teach her that…she has just been watching us and knew that when she was done, she put the trash in that trash drawer.

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So last but certainly not least, many of you have asked about Madeley’s medical problem(s).  When you adopt from China, it is very rare to get a kid without a medical problem.  It’s not impossible, but my adoption agency told me the wait for a kid without any problems was about 8 years.  Eight. Years.  So, you apply to get a child with some sort of special need.  Special needs run the gamut.  It could be anything from a missing toe to HIV positive to a cleft lip to Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome (like Ashby) to hearing loss, blindness, Down Syndrome…the list is endless.  So, we were open to a whole host of special needs.

When we received Madeley’s file, she had two special needs listed: a heart problem and a thyroid problem.  They were not related, she was just a little girl with two problems.  We had an international adoption physician review her file, we reviewed her medical files (and they were pretty extensive), she had an EKG and echocardiogram done as recently as April and we reviewed those too.  Based on the information provided, we accepted this kiddo.  We knew she was on daily medication and that was one of our first concerns when we got her.  We knew we needed to get her into doctors here in the States because what if she runs out of meds?  They told us she needed them daily, so my fear was always…what if she runs out before we get in to see the specialists?  So, we came home on a Wednesday night and by Thursday morning, I had made a gazillion calls to get her into see doctors.  It wasn’t super easy because most specialists don’t diagnose, they treat…so first, we had to go get her diagnosed.  So round and round we went over the last two months with doctor visits.  Between the pediatrician, endocrinologist, ENT and cardiologist…I was up to my eyeballs in Madeley’s health.  And you know what?  She did not have either problem.

Nothing.

She is 100% fine.

She does not have a heart problem.  Or a thyroid problem.  She’s perfectly healthy and most certainly does not need to be on daily medication.

So, how does that happen?  Here are some theories that we’ve tossed around (us, the doctors, the adoption agency and our social worker):

1: She was healed.  Listen, I believe in the God of the Bible and He’s still in the business of performing miracles.  I cannot say that she wasn’t just flat out healed.  I saw those medical records and looked at those images…she could have just been healed.

2: She was in such distress when they found her that it threw things off and they really didn’t check much after that.  Madeley was found when she was two months old and I would like to believe she was found one minute after she was abandoned…but you know what?  It could have been days.  She could have been starving and dehydrated and her little body could have been shutting down.  She was taken to the hospital as soon as she was found and when they ran all of those tests on her, she could have been in such shock that it threw off all of her vitals and her test results.  This theory doesn’t explain the heart images though, which leads me to theory number three…

3: Those sweet orphanage workers falsified her documents so that she would be adopted out.  Our social worker believes this to be the real reason.  Apparently, she’s seen it happen before.  Really healthy little Chinese girls are often just kept in orphanages their entire lives and then released into the general population when they’re 17 to marry the boys who are out there in China (because they have such a high boy population with much fewer girls).  Our social worker believes that those orphanage workers wanted her to have a family and so they falsified documents that made her eligible to be adopted out internationally.

We will never know.  All I know is that I am thankful that Madeley was able to discontinue taking daily medication and does not have any major health problems.  We were ready to tackle them head on…but I’m thankful that we won’t need to.

So…that’s month two.  A lot to take in, right?  It’s been a month full of blessings.  No matter how you slice it, I am grateful that the Lord led us to this precious little girl.

See you next month :).

To see other posts on our adoptions, look below…

Madeley Post Adoption: Month 1

Meeting Madeley for the first time: HERE

All of our China travel posts: HERE

To see more about our journey to adopt Ashby, see below:

Post Adoption: Month 18

Post Adoption: Month 15

Ashby’s Gotcha Day {First Anniversary}

Post Adoption: Month 11

Post Adoption: Month 10

Post Adoption: Month 9

Post Adoption: Month 8

Post Adoption: Month 7

Post Adoption: Month 6

Post Adoption: Month 5

Post Adoption: Month 4

Post Adoption: Month 3

Post Adoption: Month 2

Post Adoption: Month 1

Meeting Ashby for the first time: HERE

All of our China travel posts: HERE

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  • Bailey Bryant November 10, 2016 at 4:59 am

    Oh, wow! I got chills just reading that. Our God is so amazing. Theory #5- maybe her family healed her broken heart. 🙂

    • Francie November 11, 2016 at 3:36 pm

      Congrats on the great news!!!

  • Bernadine November 10, 2016 at 5:06 am

    We serve one amazing God!!!

    • Karen H. November 10, 2016 at 6:09 am

      Amen and Amen!!!

  • Erika Slaughter November 10, 2016 at 5:12 am

    Time flies when you’re having fun! I can’t believe you’ve had her for two months but in other ways it feels like a lifetime. It’s been so sweet to watch Ashby become a big kid and help with M! Melts my heart!! XOXO

  • Lindsay November 10, 2016 at 5:12 am

    These posts make my heart swell. Thanks for keeping it real but most importantly, thanks for sharing your beautiful family with us!

  • Nicole November 10, 2016 at 5:19 am

    Oh my heart! So much sweetness. My kids are Ashbay and Madeley’s ages. Do you have a daily routine for during the day, until the bigger kids get home?

    • Mix and Match Mama November 10, 2016 at 5:47 am

      I do! It involves playing, reading, a little crafting, usually one errand, lunch and naps :).

  • Beth November 10, 2016 at 5:23 am

    Oh my! Praise Jesus for healing her or for the workers wanting to give her a new home! Such a blessing either way!

  • Sheaffer November 10, 2016 at 5:26 am

    Shay! I had never heard the adoption worker theory! I always believed that she had been healed (which is also an amazing story), but the adoption workers that might have tweaked the records is ALSO an amazing story! So glad that girl came home 2 months ago!

  • Heidi November 10, 2016 at 5:28 am

    I am in tears this morning reading your post. God is so good!!!! For some reason you have been chosen to be her family!!! What a gift!

  • Narci November 10, 2016 at 5:30 am

    Oh, Madeley! We love you so very much! How is it that you’ve only been here two months? I agree–it seems like forever! Love that girl!! Xo

  • Leslie Z November 10, 2016 at 5:32 am

    Wow! First of all, it seems like it has been so long since you got sweet Madeley! I am so happy to hear that she is 100% healthy! Could the agency get into major trouble if the Chinese government found out that the documents could have been falsified? If that’s what happened, those workers are saints and really looking out for the children and their futures. <3

    http://Www.withlovefromgablog.blogspot.com

    • Mix and Match Mama November 10, 2016 at 5:46 am

      Well, if that theory is correct, it would not be the agency that falsified the documents but the orphanage. And I have no idea what would happen if that were true?

  • Sarah November 10, 2016 at 5:52 am

    Wow!!! That’s absolutely amazing that she has a clean bill of health. What wonderful news!! Also truly amazing how far along she’s come in just two short months. You’re doing a fantastic job, mama! Madeley is very lucky to have you (and vice versa!).

    Hope you all have a wonderful day!

    -Sarah http://www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

  • Lina Lee November 10, 2016 at 5:54 am

    That’s amazing. Praise the Lord that she’s healthy (and growing like a weed). You must’ve been shocked by the medical exams stateside. Crazy. But so so so encouraging. Hugs!

  • Sarah Shaneyfelt November 10, 2016 at 5:57 am

    What a wonderful update!!! Loved reading this!
    MeetTheShaneyfelts

  • emily @ a little bit of emily November 10, 2016 at 5:58 am

    So happy to hear that Madeley is healthy!!! What a wonderful surprise that must have been!

  • Connie November 10, 2016 at 6:06 am

    That is WONDERFUL news about Madeley! Such a beautiful family you all are!

  • Regine Karpel November 10, 2016 at 6:09 am

    Love.
    http://www.rsrue.blogspot.com

  • Brittany Hensley November 10, 2016 at 6:12 am

    Wow! God is so good. I just got all the chills reading this. Continued prayers for your precious family.

  • Jenny V. November 10, 2016 at 6:13 am

    What a sweet little girl! She is just precious.

    May God continue to bless your family!

  • Laura November 10, 2016 at 6:13 am

    Oh praise God!! So awesome!!!

  • Melissa November 10, 2016 at 6:19 am

    I never post of blogs but reading this and seeing the smiling faces just warms my heart. Madeley seems like the happiest girl on earth and has adapted so quickly!! Congratulations!

  • Sarah Benson November 10, 2016 at 6:23 am

    Wow. I just burst into tears at that news and I don’t even know you! ???? We serve an awesome God and He is so good. I love following your amazing family. Thank you for sharing with us. ????

  • Jennie November 10, 2016 at 6:28 am

    This. This. This. My heart is melting. And what an amazing God!!!

  • Melissa Hefner November 10, 2016 at 6:31 am

    I have a friend who adopted a girl from China. She was expecting a baby with celebral palsy. That baby is nine now and perfectly fine. I’ve never thought about the orphanage workers falsifying documents, but I wonder if that’s what happened with her too.

    Love reading your posts. You have a big heart.

    By the way, my friend took her daughter to a Chinese culture camp over the summer with other adopted children. She really enjoyed it and bonded with the other children. It looked amazing for not only her daughter, but the whole family.

  • Paula November 10, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Oh sweet Madeley! She has bloomed so much in months. It feels longer for sure!

    And regardless, praise God for a healthy baby! Healthy is such a gift!

    I love how big Ashby looks now. So sweet!

  • Reba Petersen November 10, 2016 at 6:42 am

    He heals! Oh, Shay! I’m crying as I read this! How precious is this!?!? I’m so so glad that God got Madeley to you!

  • Victoria Strader November 10, 2016 at 6:55 am

    I read every day but rarely comment.. but had to say that the last theory for Madeley’s health situation made me sob this morning! Praise the Lord for setting this precious child into your family! Adoption in the future is heavily on our hearts.. so I LOVE these posts!

  • Megan November 10, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Such a great update! I love seeing little Madeley blossom and thrive. Our little gals medical needs stated in her file are basically a non-issue as well (one was not an issue at all and the other just a watch and monitor situation). No matter their needs we are blessed to have these little ones in our lives!
    On another note, where did Andrew speak in KY? If he was in the Louisville area it would have been fun to see him speak.

  • Hayli November 10, 2016 at 7:03 am

    Praise the Lord! Continued prayers for your beautiful family, Shay!

  • Jess Deisher November 10, 2016 at 7:05 am

    That’s incredible! Thanks for sharing your journey with the world. This definitely gave me all the feels this morning. xox

  • Brooke Richardson November 10, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Sweet Sweet Madeley!!! She is absolutely perfect!!!!

  • Tara Smith November 10, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Praise the lord that this is an amazing discovery! Wow. I am so excited to learn that Madeley is absolutely thriving and even if she woild have had any medical needs, she’s in the best hands now! Love this update!!!

  • Ana November 10, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Shay I love your adoption updates for Ashby and Madeley. They just warm my heart! My eyes filled up with tears while reading Madeley’s story regarding her medical problems. Our God is an awesome God. He is the only one who knows the truth, but how fortunate you all are to have a healthy, beautiful, sweet baby girl in your family. Bless every single one of you Shulls! Love your blog, by the way. I read it every single morning before work. It’s such a great start to my day! 🙂

  • Emily Clark November 10, 2016 at 7:42 am

    God had his hand in it, no matter what theory. He had his hand in either healing her body or he had his hand in speaking to those orphanages workers hearts to falsify the documents. How amazing is the Lord! My heart just burst with emotions knowing Madeley is one of those girls that doesn’t just stay in an orphanage all her life….I just can’t imagine. So happy for you all of this great news

  • Ella November 10, 2016 at 7:43 am

    She is so sweet! Any chance you can do an updated baby/toddler favorites. I have 2 age 2 and under and am always looking for sippy cups that don’t leak and a diaper bag that works well (and is still cute) and all the toddler necessities. You have the BEST recommendations and are such an inspiration!

  • Laci November 10, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Madeley is just a beautiful little girl!! You can’t help but think how awesome and big our God is!! Either way I am just happy Madeley has a forever home and all the glory goes to God for her health and happiness!!

  • Tracy R. November 10, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Our God is AMAZING! I got goose bumps reading Madeley’s update. It could be all three of those reasons she is 100% healthy and thank God she is. Your family is amazing and I love reading your blog every day.

  • Kelly November 10, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Oh, Shay! The orphanage workers possibly falsifying records reminds me of the mid-wives who defied the King of Egypt and did not kill the baby boys as ordered in the book of Exodus! Whatever the truth is, our God was and is certainly in it! Such wonderful news and so grateful that Madeley is just fitting into the Shull family so seamlessly. Praise the Lord! Thank you for sharing these monthly updates:).

  • Paula November 10, 2016 at 8:09 am

    What an amazing story, thanks so much for sharing. I’ve been following your blog for a few of years now and just love hearing about your family. Today I was compelled to reach about and let you know how happy I was to hear about Madeley’s health. What ever the reason for the turn around is a true blessing. God is so good!

  • Kara November 10, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Wonderful update-I was shocked when I read that both problems are not there. Whatever the reason, no doubt God’s hands are all over it. Thanks for sharing your days (and nights) with all faithful followers.

  • Melissa Terry November 10, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Your adoption posts are always my favorite, but this one might be tops. I have tears swimming in my eyes as I read because you literally can’t make this stuff up. Any combination of the reasons for Madeley’s healing is a miracle and I know it is such a relief for you to know what she needs now. All four of your kiddos are so precious and I appreciate your honesty and transparency each month when you post on this subject. Hugs!

  • Krysta November 10, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Wow! What a blessing with Madeley’s health. Brings tears to my eyes and makes my heart squeal!

  • Shay November 10, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Oh my goodness! Reading that post just warmed me right up! All the feels! Love reading your updates and how she is adjusting! Thanks for sharing!

  • Kathy November 10, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Really enjoyed this Madeley adoption update! I had been wondering what her medical problem might be, and thought you would share when you were able and ready. Thrilled to hear that God either healed her outright, or used the people at the orphanage to do what was best for Madeley! She is the cutest and appears to fit in perfectly with your family. 🙂

  • Gina November 10, 2016 at 8:35 am

    What a great story Shay!!! My question is if she is not sick but they were giving her medication for her heart and thyroid, wouldn’t that medication make her sick? Or were the pills fake pills? Like a sugar pill.

    • Mix and Match Mama November 10, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      Good question! The doctors knew her blood tests were not normal…and then they realized it was because she was on medication she didn’t need to be on. We took her off the medicine for three weeks and then they re-tested her blood and it was all within the normal range. It wasn’t making her sick but it was messing with her blood work (and perhaps could have made her sick later on!).

  • Dianna November 10, 2016 at 8:36 am

    That is such wonderful news about Madeley! No matter the story it is such a blessing that she is healthy! Glad you are all doing great.

  • Melissa F November 10, 2016 at 8:41 am

    I type this with tears in my eyes because I know she was just meant to be part of your family. No matter what happened with her medical records – SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE WITH YOU. I love it!! How awesome! I look forward to watching Madeley and the rest of the Shull kids grow up! 🙂

  • Wendy November 10, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Wow! How awesome that she is 100% healthy! No matter the real reason….it was all God! You have a beautiful family!

  • Sarah Henderson November 10, 2016 at 8:54 am

    I know that you would have loved her the same either way, but for her sake, I’m elated to hear this news! I started crying reading those theories. It breaks my heart to think of little girls living in orphanages until they can be married. God works in mysterious ways, and I know he has big plans for your sweet Madeley.

  • Briana November 10, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Such amazing news! I know I really needed some good news this week and this was it. I am so happy for Madeley and for your entire family.

  • Angela Ellingson November 10, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Oh my, that is so incredible! Thank you Lord that Madeley is healthy. What an amazing two months! 🙂 I had my 3rd baby 6 months ago and she’s still the star of the show around here, too. 😉

  • Holly Osborn November 10, 2016 at 9:13 am

    So happy to hear that there are no medical conditions!! God is good!!

  • Ashley November 10, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Oh my goodness! I just started crying here at my desk when I came to the update about sweet Madeley’s health. Praise the Lord! Thank you for sharing your life with all of us. I read your blog every day and love all of your posts about your sweet family.

  • April Parrish November 10, 2016 at 9:32 am

    What great news! Praise God!! Prayers for Madeley as she continues to bond with her family!

  • Kathryn Madison November 10, 2016 at 9:40 am

    LOVE. GOD IS all knowing and all powerful and so GOOD ALL THE TIME! May God continue to bless your family a thousand times over. Thank you so much for sharing your sweet family with all of us. Blessings!

  • Beth November 10, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Wow! No health problems. That’s so big. Thanks, God, for that extra touch!

  • Melanie November 10, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Wow! What a blessing that Madely is healthy! I believe in miracles, 100%, but if it were the latter….and those workers did falsify those documents. Well God bless them!

  • Keisha Dawson November 10, 2016 at 9:46 am

    This just gives me chills! Whether she received total healing or the documents were falsified, God knew that sweet baby girl needed to be a part of your family. He is so, so good!!!!

  • Maria D. November 10, 2016 at 9:51 am

    You have been very busy! It’s pretty clear that Madeley is making a good adjustment to being in the states and has become a real part of your family. I can definitely see how she’s growing and changing both physically and emotionally. Very glad she has no real medical issues – I vote for option 5 too.

  • Leann November 10, 2016 at 9:53 am

    When I read the part, she didn’t have either problems, I shouted Amen… I’m in tears now.. Thank you for sharing your amazing story and reassuring me that God is good.

  • Becca November 10, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I love seeing how all of the Shull kids are developing and how post adoption is going! God is so good – whatever theory is the truth they are all miracles indeed! Madeley needed to be part of a family and the Shulls needed her! God is amazing & works in wonderful ways!

  • Kelly November 10, 2016 at 10:13 am

    Thank you for sharing your adoption journey with us! She is precious and truly a gift from God. It is so wonderful that God knew just the right family for your sweet babies!

  • Anna McMahan November 10, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Oh my goodness I had no idea Andrew was in Kentucky! I’m from Lexington! Congrats on two months with your sweet baby, Madeley is too precious!!

  • Natausha Manis November 10, 2016 at 10:43 am

    Praise His Holy Name. Any way you lok at it the Lord is all over this story. Whether He miraculously healed or used others to lead you to her His hands are guiding this sweet girl’s life. We have been home approximately three and a half months with our daughter from Tianjin, China. She has a special dietary need and has to drink a special formula. Up until now we have received free samples but found out we had to start paying coming in January. Just two weeks ago my husband found out he would receive a raise starting in January that would be around $180 per month. Just today I spoke with our insurance and our daughter’s formula will cost us $179 per month. God has provided exactly what we need at the exact right time with $1 to spare. Some people would think…”Well there goes my raise..”…. But I like to think..
    “Well there goes my Lord….”

    Much love your way….I have followed your story a couple of years now and this is the first time I’ve posted. Your blog blesses and encourages me.

    Love in Christ,

    Natausha Manis

    • Stacie Young November 10, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      That’s amazing! Praise God! ❤️

  • Karen November 10, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Love this update!!! Praise God she is healthy!!! I thought she had an eye issue …..I noticed in some of your pictures one eye turns inward. My youngest has this issue ~ it showed up around 20 months. She has a focusing problem and when she would bring something up to her face one one eye would turn inward. Glasses took care of that…….

  • Erika Mills November 10, 2016 at 11:02 am

    WOW!! I completely had tears when you revealed her health prognosis. Praise God for His healing hands and putting women in those orphanages who would love a little girl so much they would do that. Thanks as always for sharing her with us all!!

  • Sarah November 10, 2016 at 11:08 am

    First let me say that I read your blog everyday. It’s one of my favorites and I appreciate the variety of things you discuss. I would also like to say how much I (and other moms) admire you. I understand that we only get your side of things. I understand that some days are crazier than others and things don’t always go as planned. But you are a GOOD mom. Scratch that…you are a GREAT mom. Thank you for inspiring other women out there to pray about adoption. You certainly have made me pray about it. And I thank you.

  • Rachel November 10, 2016 at 11:14 am

    I am crying happy tears to know this sweet girl is healthy!! Thank God! He is so good! I am so happy for your family. I have a 2 year old with special needs and know that it can be challenging so God bless you and your husband for being willing to take two kids with special needs. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Kathi Mackintosh November 10, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Praising God with you for the clean bill of health! Thank you, Jesus for sweet Madeley!

  • Lindsay November 10, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Your family’s journey has been so inspiring. Not gonna lie, I tear up most of the time when you post adoption updates. I think it’s so incredible what you have done for those girls and what they have done for you! My husband and I are talking more and more about adoption (We also are blessed with 2 biological children that are now 1 and 2). I love your family’s story. It is truly inspirational.

  • Lori November 10, 2016 at 11:24 am

    I love these updates! I always get teary reading them! She is so precious and I love seeing how she melded so seamlessly into the family, she’s exactly where God had planned! I love how He is always so in the details!

  • Erica Marchelle November 10, 2016 at 11:30 am

    You adoption posts have to be one of my favorites. Seeing you love Ashby and Madeley just as much as Kensington and Smith makes my hear smile so big (and my throat tighten just a little)! I’ve always been interested in adopting because I think all little ones deserve the love of a family but your posts really make me think it’s something I need to do! I’m sure it isn’t always rainbows and butterflies but it just seem so worth it!

  • Kourtney November 10, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Wow, wow, wow do I have chills! Jesus is SO good, He is ever faithful! He does immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine, and He has done it in your family through sweet Madeley! I’m sure your mama heart is completely overflowing!

  • Lindsay @ Lindsay's Sweet World November 10, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    I’m so glad to hear that you guys have finally found your routine! I can’t imagine being outnumbered… we only have TWO and some days that can feel crazy! I can’t imagine what I would do with four! Haha.

  • Catherine Prell November 10, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    I’m crying reading this, and praising God. However this happened, I’m so very thankful for you and sweet Madeley that she is so healthy and that she has been placed in your family. No doubt she was created to be a Shull, just as Ashby and Smith and Kensington were. God is SO GOOD.
    Thank you for sharing your life with us! Even though you made me cry today! ha!

  • Angie November 10, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Oh my goodness! Tears!! And Chills! What an amazing, amazing story. I love reading your updates, and I am so glad Madeley is healthy! Blessings to your family!!! <3

  • Melinda November 10, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    LOVE this update!!!!!! Praise the Lord for your precious, healthy baby girl!!!!!

  • Brandy Ringer November 10, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Your posts make me cry every single time. Thank you so much for sharing your stories. Absolutely heartwarming and inspiring.

  • Julie Clark November 10, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    I love this!! So happy for all of you. God is good! ????

  • Hanna November 10, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    This literally brought me to tears. The part about her health is absolutely amazing! God is so good! -adoption is so beautiful! And this sweet little girl is absolutely precious!

  • Morgan November 10, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    The status on her health gave me absolute chills….especially if the orphanage workers falsified her documents. That just makes me tear up. If that is true, that must give you comfort knowing how loved she was even before she found her family. What a mighty plan God has for all of us <3

  • Kristen November 10, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Her smile says it all!!! So precious! I consider it a miracle no matter what really happened – God has His hand on her!

  • Madelyn November 10, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Love reading all about your adoption journey! My family is in the process of adopting as well. We are in need of an international adoption physician. Is there any way you could put me in touch with this person or agency? Thanks!!

    • Mix and Match Mama November 10, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      Sure! Email me!!

  • Jenna November 10, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Shay… I just have tears in my eyes after every post about Madeley. What a special and amazing story…. it makes me think of the Egyptian women saving those sweet baby boys from Pharoah in Exodus 1, putting their own safety at risk to better the lives of the little children they were looking after. Praise God for whatever way she was made while and found you. And thank you for sharing her story and Ashbys stories… it has been so special and inspiring, and adoption has become something my husband and I have truly been thinking more seriously about lately for our own family. May God continue to protect you and watch over you.

  • Carol November 10, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Congrats on a healthy little Madeley! I totally believe what you said about her health, because it happened to us too. We adopted twin girls from Korea 18 years ago and they were supposed to have a possibly major health issue. We had a specialist review their medical file and we ruled some things out before they arrived home but once they were home we had them evaluated again and they were 100% healthy!! We believe that it was Gods hand and if they hadn’t been classified “special needs” due to their health, we would not have been able to adopt them. It brings me to tears every time I think of their journey to us because it is so special! Best wishes to you and your family!

  • Alicia November 10, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    What a beautiful two months! She is such a blessing! I am so happy to hear about her clean bill of health and SO saddened to hear about a life lived in an orphanage just for being healthy. Heartbreaking. However her medical exams came about, the Lord is faithful! This makes me so excited. Our dossier is being sent to China TOMORROW!

  • Stacie Young November 10, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    I just got chills reading that!! Our God is so amazing!!

  • Jeanie November 10, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    This is great. So much information on that little cutie. Regarding her health, I choose reason #1 why she’s fine now. What a blessing!

  • Susan November 10, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    I am so thrilled for you and Madeley. I had a feeling this may be the case, as I have heard of other stories (one firsthand) of orphanage caregivers who have falsified the documents. I have a daughter from China who looked very, very much like Madeley when she was a baby! My daughter was in the “non-special needs program.” This seperate program used to run like clockwork, it was a steady and reliable 6 month wait for China’s part of the adoption. Our adoption was at the beginning of the slow-down, it took us two and a half years for China to match us with a child. Now, as your SW said, it is at least 8 years, maybe more. Someone in China loved Madeley enough to get her out. Enjoy every minute with Madeley and all of your sweet children.

  • Debi November 10, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Wow. Just wow! Thank you Lord for this wonderful news about Madeley!

  • Krystal November 10, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    I am shocked and amazed, what a miracle! God is SO good!

  • Ashley November 10, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Just spent about 5 hours straight reading your blog instead of studying for my exam.. worth it 😉

  • Megan Butler November 10, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    I got major chills when I read about Miss Madeley and your theories!! Especially the part about the orphanage employees changing her records!! Either way it was all God!

  • Alice November 10, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    This is the first time I’ve ever cried from reading a blog post. I’m Chinese and I know that there is so much corruption in China, any documents can be falsified. Usually for selfish or malicious reasons. But that the orphanage workers went to so much trouble to falsify extensive medical records, all for the ultimate goal of getting a healthy but neglected little girl to her forever family… wow. They are saints.

  • chewie November 11, 2016 at 6:38 am

    This happened to us too. Our sn baby boy is an amazing accomplished athlete and getting A’s in college now. We were told he had cp and severe frontal lobe deterioration. We were even given a series of pics of his brain. We will never know which answer is his either…did God heal?…did God disguise him as sn long enough to get him here?…were medical reports wrong?? It is a beautiful mystery.

  • Allison November 11, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Shay. I got chills on number 3, what you truly believe about Madeley’s health. CHILLS. Great post! She is absolutely precious.

  • Sarah November 11, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Every post I read makes me fall in love a little more with your sweet family! I am so happy to hear that Madeley is one perfectly healthy little girl, she is so lucky to belong to you now! PS I read this blog at work every morning and 9 times out of 10 I’m crying like a baby with my co-workers wondering what the heck is wrong with me. Don’t care 🙂

  • Jenny November 11, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Such a beautiful testimony she will be able to share with so many one day!! Thank you for sharing and inspiring others to live a selfless life! I was listening to the song Good, Good Father as I was reading this…He sure is a Good, Good Father!! Blessings!

  • Elizabeth November 11, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Precious girl- she was just meant to be yours! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Desiree | Beautifully Seaside November 11, 2016 at 8:53 am

    SHE WAS HEALED IN THE NAME OF JESUS! I have tears because God is so good! All the time He is! Hugs and kisses Shay! XOXO

  • Suzy November 11, 2016 at 9:12 am

    This post not only made me smile, it made me cry……the fact that she is perfectly healthy and that the adoption agency may have falsified her records so that she would be adopted…..just made my heart so full and so touched. GOD is so GOOD and there truly are such kind people in this huge world. I am so happy for her and for you all…….XOXO!!

  • Jane November 11, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Thank you Shay for sharing your story. Your family is truly a light in the darkness. You are inspiring and a true testimony to the power of God’s love and healing.

  • Karlynn November 11, 2016 at 10:50 am

    We brought our daughter home from China 6 months ago so I have loved following you and your family. I seriously just sat here crying my eyes out when I read that Madeley’s health issues are no more. We do serve an amazing God! Our daughter has a somewhat similar story. She is home with us, she is healthy, and we have no doubt the healing and protective hand of God was on her from the beginning.

  • Amanda Wilson November 11, 2016 at 11:16 am

    I have been waiting for this post for 2 months!!! I just knew she was going to be 100% healthy!! God is good! Now we just need to work on praying for Ashby!

  • Holly Hopkins November 11, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    First of all the you were willing to adopt a child again with health issues knowing the doctor apts and hospital visits ahead. I am in awe Shay Shull! I detest doctor apts and long waits for the normal apts we have to make I can’t imagine the stress of either of my kids having more than one doctor…and surgeries. My goodness!
    What a blessing for her to be healed no matter what happened God chose her for you! This was all apart of his big plan.

  • Katlin November 11, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    So you might think I’m crazy but the second I read that she was 100% healthy I knew it was because of falsified documents. My brain works in a weird way (too my law & order episodes always picking up on clues) but when you posted about your days in China getting her you said at one point that the adoption guide said she had a different problem a more severe one and it was not the same one(s) you were told she had. When I read that originally I thought to myself they made her seem sicker to get her out of there. And now to hear that she is 100% clear I know for sure that God put those wheels in motion to get her to you.

  • Jen November 11, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Absolutely incredible! So thankful you are all in her life and vice versa.

  • SueR November 11, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    What a story! So happy to hear she is healthy and catching up quickly. What a lucky little girl to have you as her family. But I know you are going to say “we’re the lucky ones” as we too are an adoptive family and totally understand the blessing of adoption.

  • Lindsey November 11, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    The last part of this post gave me chills!! God is good and the Shulls are blessed because of it!

  • Becky Carl November 11, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    What a praise this is!!! Like everyone, I have been patiently waiting to find out about little Madeley’s health , I say a prayer everytime sweet Ashby has a surgery. God is so good and He has everything under control. Even Ashby’s hand. I love your family and honored to hear all your life adventures. Hug all those precious children for me. Love, Becky from Alabama

  • Ashley B November 12, 2016 at 8:44 am

    This post brought tears to my eyes. The thought of those sweet, sweet social works who possibly risked their jobs to ensure Madeley was adopted and didn’t spend her life in an orphanage. God is so good.

  • Kelly November 12, 2016 at 9:00 am

    I’m tearing up! These post-adoption posts (for both little ladies) are my absolute favorite. Every child deserves a family, love, and care. This is never more obvious than with these children from international adoptions. So glad to hear that Madeley is just perfect, like every other babe, no matter her potential disabilities. Love this.

  • Sharon November 13, 2016 at 12:42 am

    Wow! I am so happy for Madeley and y’all that she is healthy!!! However it happened, it is a miracle! Maybe the Lord knew your hands were already full and could handle a few less doctor visits :-).

    That’s what I always think… All of my kids sleep like rock stars b/c God knew I wouldn’t be able to handle lack of sleep!

    Woohoo! So pumped for y’all!

  • Marybeth November 13, 2016 at 7:03 am

    Congratulations! What a beautiful story! I’m so happy for your family. By the way, some family friends celebrated their son’s eight year adoption anniversary on the same day as Madeley’s two month. : )

  • Southern & Style November 13, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Wow, wow, wow-I’m so thankful for y’all that Madeley is healthy! I got chills reading your three reasons why she no longer had the health problems-the third one almost had me in tears. Your whole family’s story is just so inspirational to me!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

  • Kristen November 13, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    How wonderful that Madeley’s health issues have been resolved! That’s amazing news! She is just a doll.

  • Amy November 14, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    I just can’t even with Madeley’s health . . . it is such an absolute blessing and miracle! I am so happy she is a healthy little girl adjusting to her new family! Wow!

  • Kayla November 15, 2016 at 10:39 am

    This is so cool! I got goosebumps all over reading about her development and her health. God is so good. He knew she needed you and you needed her. Love it!

  • Maggie C November 16, 2016 at 8:33 am

    That’s such amazing news that Madeley is healthy! Regardless of which option it was, and I believe it’s 1 or 3 ????, it’s a great testimony for her. My son was born the day after you got Madeley and when you were talking about her possibly not being found for days I definitely started crying at the thought. So glad she’s got her forever home now though!

  • Jaren November 19, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Shay, I am so happy she is fine! You guys are so inspiring, and I can’t wait to watch her grow with your family!!
    P.S.- Our oldest is 9 and our #4 is now 2, and I still feel like I’m herding cats. And we call our youngest, our Fiesty #4. Our friends get a kick out of watching him interact with the other kids. He’s one tough cookie! So happy for you guys!

  • Theresa November 29, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    So amazing. God is good in deed.

  • Binny December 2, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    I love your story and your kids! I would love to hear more about rest of you kids!!

  • Kelly December 9, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    I stumbled upon your blog via a link on another blog, and I loved reading your adoption stories. I was adopted from South Korea as a baby. I’m now recently married and starting to think about my own future family – having our own children vs. adoption or both! I love hearing about your experiences. I feel lucky to have such great parents and to live in the United States, and I know your girls will feel the same.