Madeley Post Adoption: Month 5

Well, now, I’m sad.

I went back just now to look and see what we were doing on Ashby’s Five Month Post Adoption post and she looks so little!  Just look…

 Where has the time gone?  Why is she getting big?  Someone do something about this!  Insert a very sad face HERE.

Sigh.

I digress.

Today, we’re celebrating having sweet Madeley James five months!

I know what you’re thinking…there’s no way it’s only been five months?  It feels like they’ve had her forever.  Yes, yes it does.  I mean…she just fits right on in…

…it’s hard to believe this is the girl who didn’t want to show us her personality a mere five months ago.  It’s shocking actually.

So, here are a few little things going on in Madeley’s world:

1: She’s sleeping in Ashby’s room now!  We moved her little crib up to Ashby’s room for a nap while the construction workers were in my room replacing the floors in the closet and when we went to move it back that night, she wanted it to stay.  She was pointing and making sounds and smiling really big for Andrew to leave it upstairs with the big girls.  So now, all three girls sleep in Ashby’s room and all we hear are giggles for at least 30 minutes after we put them to bed each night. #sisters

2: She has new words!  Madeley’s vocabulary is coming along.  She says new words unprompted every day.  Some of her new ones include: up, down, eat, hello (instead of just hi), Tab (Erika hates this and is working very hard on her saying Erika instead. Ha!), car, book, and poop.  Which leads us to…

3: She’s using the potty (sometimes)! She has been pointing to her diaper and telling us “poop” sometimes when she needs to go.  We are self-proclaimed horrible potty trainers around here.  (Don’t bother giving me tips, we stink at it and will most likely screw up your tip.)  That being said, we’ve been working with her on it…but I don’t see her being completely potty trained any time soon (and I’m okay with that).  But she’s making progress.  She’s so proud every time she goes!

4: She loves Mickey Mouse!  It’s like the circle of life over here.  As soon as we stop watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, another kid comes along and it’s turned right back on.  This time eight years ago, I was listening to the Hot Dog song every day…and I still am today.  She’s really started to stop and listen to Mickey on TV and even repeat back things to him.  You know how he asks the audience to repeat words?  She’ll do that sometimes too!  She hasn’t shown any interest in Barbies, princesses and such yet…but she enjoys her some Mickey 🙂 .

5: She loves playing outside!  We’ve had crazy weather lately where it’s freezing or it’s 75…and on those warmer days, she loves to be outside playing with balls, riding on the little tricycle, or blowing bubbles.  She also loves it when I take her on a walk in either the wagon or stroller.

6: She’s crazy good at imitating! She loves to imitate, so we work on a lot of sounds and actions throughout the day that she can repeat back to me.  She gets excited when we do this together.

7: She can make sounds!  She loves to make animal sounds 🙂 .  Her favorites are dog, cat and cow.  Any time she sees a dog (whether real or fake), she starts barking.  It’s hysterical!

Miss Madeley is a very good sleeper (woohoo!).  She goes to bed a little before the big kids most nights (around 7:30) and then we wake her up the next morning when it’s time to leave for the day.  Plus, she always takes a three hour nap in the afternoon.  #sheismyfavoritechild  Why does she sleep so much?  Because she NEVER sits still…

…sweet M is not the child to sit around and be lazy.  No ma’am!  The minute she wakes up to the minute she goes down, she’s busy.  Busy, busy, busy, busy.  She loves to play with toys, she loves to put on other people’s shoes, she loves to explore, climb, empty, stack, build and destroy.  She is ALWAYS on the move!

The other day, I was on the phone in my car (the bluetooth) and Erika was like “what is that noise?” and I was like “oh, that’s just Madeley singing at the top of her lungs”.  She has the happiest little spirit about her that even extends to car travel.  She sings loudly for all to hear 😉 .

So, I’ve been meaning to share this little story too.  I don’t know if it’s because I walk around with two Chinese kiddos instead of one…but people ask me a lot more questions now than before.  I never mind the questions!  I’m always hopeful that they’re asking because they too are considering adoption.  That being said, as an adoptive mama, might I share with you a simple request when talking to moms with adopted kids: please be careful about what you say because the children are listening to you.  I had a lady ask me (in front of my kids) if my youngest girls were my “actual kids”.  And do you know what my answer was?  Why, yes.  Yes, they most certainly are.  And then I left the conversation.  I think the word she was looking for was biological…but she said actual and even though I know she didn’t mean anything by it, sweet Ashby was listening and I don’t need her to hear me explaining why I’m her mom to anyone.  She and Madeley are my actual kids.  So, as much as we adoptive mamas love sharing our stories, we really need people to be a little more sensitive and selective with their words if our little ones are standing there.  You would be amazed at the boldness of the questions we get sometimes.  This precious girl right here is my actual kid.  Biological?  No.  Actual?  Yes.  She wasn’t born from my womb but she was born from my heart 😉 . (I love that quote.)

So, that sums up our fifth month of having Madeley James!  ADOPTION IS AMAZING.  I look at her (and Ashby too) and think, “what if we wouldn’t have done this?”.  We would have missed out on so much.  They have blessed us more than they will ever know.  I could not love these girls more.  If adoption is on your heart…stop and think about it seriously.  Your kiddo could be out there waiting on you.

To see other posts on our adoptions, look below…

Madeley Post Adoption: Month 4

Madeley Post Adoption: Month 3

Madeley Post Adoption: Month 2

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:

Ashby’s Gotcha Day {Second Anniversary}

Post Adoption: Month 21

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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  • Erika Slaughter February 13, 2017 at 4:51 am

    Yes, when I hear Miss Thing spout off “TAB”, it makes me crazy. And her little singing voice is precious. It sounds a bit like a screaming child. Hahahaha!

    • jamie February 13, 2017 at 5:52 am

      “it sounds a bit like a screaming child”
      ???

  • Leslie Z. February 13, 2017 at 5:05 am

    Although I love alllllll of your posts, the post adoption ones have to take the cake! I love hearing all about how the girls are coming along. 🙂

  • ELizabeth February 13, 2017 at 5:07 am

    Looks like she has been such a joy to you and your family! She’s always smiling and so adorable!
    XO
    Elizabeth
    http://stripesandsolitaires.com

  • Suzanne February 13, 2017 at 5:11 am

    My three biological boys all have VERY different hair. I have lost count the number of people who have asked me do they all have the same father!! In front of my children!! I now mess with them by tilting my head to the side quzically and reply with ‘I think so…’

    No manners.

    Your family is gorgeous. ?

    • Melanie S February 13, 2017 at 10:22 am

      Best response ever! Hahahahaha

  • Suzanne February 13, 2017 at 5:12 am

    That was meant to be a smiley face not an eye roll!! ??

  • Shelley February 13, 2017 at 5:23 am

    Love your blog, and this is my first time commenting. My sister and I are adopted, and we always hated being asked “Do you know your real parents?” We always said “Yes, we live with them!”. People mean well and sometimes what they really want to ask comes out skewed, but it’s still hard to deal with sometimes. Keep doing what you’re doing, because it looks like you’re doing an awesome job being a mom to all of your babies!

  • Katie Williams February 13, 2017 at 5:29 am

    Sweet post! I’m so glad she’s adjusted well. Great job, mama. I am wondering when and how you will approach the adoption conversation with the girls? Has Ashly started asking any questions? Adoption is on our radar for the future, and this is something I’ve always been curious about to how to address with honesty and love. Thanks 🙂

    • Mix and Match Mama February 13, 2017 at 6:13 am

      We already talk about it, celebrate her birth mom, talk about forever families…you know, make it a part of the conversation from time to time :).

  • Tammy February 13, 2017 at 5:34 am

    Love your Post Adoption Posts ! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Beautiful family !

  • Narci February 13, 2017 at 5:35 am

    Oh, Miss Madeley! She is such a joy! Love her sweet personality! What did we ever do without her?? 🙂 so thankful for her and you!

  • jamie February 13, 2017 at 5:50 am

    i would think the answers to people’s questions were obvious, so why do they bother to ask? how about “oh my, your children are just so beautiful and well behaved!” i’ve been thinking about ashby and her procedures. i hope she is doing well. i hope you do a post about her procedures because i often wonder what progress you’re seeing {praise god} and what the ultimate goal is. i know this post was about M and all her amazingness, but i’ve been thinking about A and her procedures lately. also, i pray manda is feeling well. have a beautiful monday.

  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog February 13, 2017 at 5:51 am

    So adorable! So happy she’s been able to fit in so well, what a bundle of joy 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  • Sheaffer Sims February 13, 2017 at 5:58 am

    My favorite Madeley story is when we were at Snug, she was patiently waiting on her meal, and every single time the waiter brought somebody’s meal she was pointing (quickly and repeatedly) at the empty space in front of her like “Um, sir. Put the food down here.” It was so cute! She must have pointed 20 times! 🙂

  • Lesley McFarland February 13, 2017 at 6:02 am

    These last 5 months have been so fun watching this sweet girl grow. I must agree I think she has been a Shull this whole time.

  • Stephanie Zapata February 13, 2017 at 6:10 am

    Love your adoption posts-I’m an adoption mama too. I’ve gotten so many questions over the last 14 years-are they your “real” children is my least favorite. I usually correct and say “biological” because I want my children to understand the language so they can tell others if they choose but I do just walk away sometimes. I have adopted and biological as well so sometimes my biological (they are the younger ones) will proceed to share the story to who ever will listen. ?
    I’m also a terrible potty trainer too! My 5th (we have 7 total) will be 3 in May and I haven’t even started yet with her. She’s requesting a princess potty so I think over Spring Break I’ll give it a try. I don’t do pull ups and I hate the constant questioning about the potty. My 2nd potty trainer herself-partly because she knew I was bad at it! ☺️

    • LYNNE February 13, 2017 at 7:46 am

      What a great way to approach it! Sometimes people need grace, and I am sure hardly anyone means it offensive when they ask if they are your “real” children. That is a great example to set for your children, as it may be something they encounter themselves while growing up!

  • Deanna Zehr February 13, 2017 at 6:12 am

    its so wonderful to see their little personalities emerging. Love the post adoption posts! xo

    http://www.fromheretozehr.blogspot.com

  • Bailey Bryant February 13, 2017 at 6:12 am

    That baby is precious! If you have any tips on how you get her to sit still and smile for pictures, I’d love to know! I pull out my phone/camera and my baby wants to take the picture himself! Also, becoming a mom has introduced me to many people who could use a manners class. 😉

  • Melissa February 13, 2017 at 6:24 am

    Your adoption posts are my favorite…thanks for being so real and encouraging about the process! I am amazed at what people say in front of my children and they are all biological-for now ; ). We have 3 boys and I get asked if I really wanted a girl, are we having more to try for a girl, etc. Sometimes it’s a good conversation starter and sometimes it makes my mama heart hurt. Always a good reminder to just #bekind

    • Jessica February 13, 2017 at 7:33 am

      It’s amazing to me the things people will say. Good for you to walk away from the conversation. I have 4 boys and everyone always asked with my 4th if I was hoping for a girl or if he was an “oops baby”…to which I would respond ‘No, we were just praying for a baby’. After three boys it took almost three years to get pregnant with our fourth.

  • Jordan@the2seasons February 13, 2017 at 6:25 am

    Thank you for addressing ways to be sensitive towards adoption. This video is so funny and sums up what you should and should say. From one adoptive mamma to another you should check it out. “If you wouldn’t say it about a boob job, don’t say it about adoption.”
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KeT3c9TmxLE

    • Jessica Still February 13, 2017 at 3:02 pm

      I was going to post this video!

  • Dustie Day February 13, 2017 at 6:28 am

    She’s just so precious!

  • Kim Bacon February 13, 2017 at 6:29 am

    I’m so happy for you and so thankful that you share your story! Hope I get to see your sweet family in action someday 🙂

  • becky kelly February 13, 2017 at 6:39 am

    I hear you! One day when I was pushing my triplet grandsons, a man asked if they were real. I told him ‘No. They are plastic.’ I felt horrid afterwards! We used to be foster parents and normally had 8-10 including ours. When people asked if they were all ours, I would always say, ‘For now!’ I don’t think people have bad intentions, they just don’t often stop and think that those little ears hear……….

  • Brittany Hensley February 13, 2017 at 6:41 am

    I love this!! So, so sweet!

  • Megan February 13, 2017 at 6:49 am

    I love your post adoption updates! I’m sorry you experience some of the insensitive comments. My favorite? “How much did she cost?” My answer: “she’s priceless”

    http://www.lettinginthelightblog.com

  • Lizzie @ This Happy Life February 13, 2017 at 6:55 am

    I love when you do these posts! Madeley is just the sweetest! She reminds me of my youngest who is non stop all.day.long.

  • Paula February 13, 2017 at 7:14 am

    Potty Training & Tying Shoes…no awards here! 🙂

    I love your updates & seeing God’s goodness! Sweet sweet sweet!

  • Brooke Richardson February 13, 2017 at 7:19 am

    So much I love about this post!!! I remember thinking at first that Madeley was just guna be more serious and not smile as much which is totally fine. Man, she proved us all wrong!!! She steals everyone’s hearts who meets her including mine!!!!

  • Nancy Delpha February 13, 2017 at 7:23 am

    We have adopted two children from China also, and they are now 15 and 18. Yikes, how did that happen! Truly the best thing we ever did too. And yes, think about the questions you ask – we’ve been asked how much they cost and do we know their ‘real’ mothers among other doozies. Enjoy every moment because they grow up way too fast!

  • Rosemary Vo February 13, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Okay this made me tear me. The girls are just too precious.

  • heidi February 13, 2017 at 7:34 am

    My parents always say the same thing about my sister, they were asked once in front of her if my parents ‘ stole her’ because her skin color didn’t match theirs. .I think that one threw them off guard. .lol.. I never think of her as my ‘ adopted sister’ she’s my sister, and though it was funny to see people’s reaction when we say we were sisters that’s exactly what we are. #foreverfamilies

  • Laci February 13, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Madeley is simply adorable!!!

  • Holly February 13, 2017 at 8:16 am

    All 4 of your kids are precious!

    As an adoptive mom of 3 I got the most questions in the grocery store for some reason! Most were curious and kind and a few were rude (mostly unintentionally). As they got older I started carrying a few cards from our adoption agency. If someone asked a personal question about my kids I would say with a smile “I am excited that you are considering adoption, here is a card from our Adoption Agency and they can answer any questions. Have a great day”!

    I read years ago from a man who was adopted. He had siblings that that parents referred to as their “natural” children. He always felt that it made him not natural. He said he preferred the word biological. I have always used that word ever since.

    When my oldest started Kindergarten her classmates often asked about her “real parents”. After she had to answer this about 20 times, I told her to pretend to pinch me gently. I pretended a big “Ow” then a laugh! I told her I was real and could feel her touching me. I told her that her birth parents were also real. We talked about how we were a real family but often people were confused since they don’t understand birth parents. It is a lot for a 5 year old to understand and explain to curious peers.

    Just this week someone asked if my kids were “real” sisters and if my daughter knew her “real mom”. I told her they are not biological sisters but they are real sisters now! I lightened the conversation that they argue and laugh like real sisters too! I then changed the subject to avoid any other awkwardness.

    I do think people are just curious and I have said things before that come out wrong. I try to give grace but protect my kids at the same time. We honor their birth families at the same time, we talk about our family unit. We talk about how we have family in China, California, Texas, etc. Some we know really well and some we will not know until we are in heaven.
    God Bless,
    Holly

  • Natalie Clark February 13, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Oh, Madeley is so dang cute!! I love these posts so much! We also had the same thing happen to us with my little sister, especially as she got older and was so much taller than my short family. It’s super frustrating, and hard not to say something back! I love that you just said “yes” and walked away. Ashby and Madeley are 100% your “actual” kiddos!

  • Carol February 13, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Always like these particular posts.
    There is a 90 minute documentary on Netflix called TWINSTERS. As soon as I saw it I thought you might find it interesting. While in many ways very different than your stories it also has a strong thread of commonality.

  • Angela Ellingson February 13, 2017 at 8:28 am

    What a precious, precious girl! Love her!

  • cassie {hi sugarplum} February 13, 2017 at 8:28 am

    I love this so much!! That sweet face brings me to my knees!! And I loved your tip about using the right words, and proper etiquette!!!

  • Megan Butler February 13, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Love these posts!!! Sweet miss Madeley just has the best smile and those cheeks!!! And love that you have started a conversation about what is appropriate to ask adoptive mamas (and kids!). Sometimes we all just need reminders!! And have y’all started watching Mickey road racers??! It’s a new favorite around here. It’ll be a sad day when I don’t hear the hot dog song anymore.

  • Caroline Burke February 13, 2017 at 8:52 am

    We just submitted our final ‘application’ for adoption in a program from India. We are so excited. The only sad part is that we have to close our home to foster care while we home study. Hopefully we can reopen that in a few years.

  • Ruth February 13, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Believe me, I know people mean well and they are curious, but yes, sometimes it comes out all wrong. People sometimes ask me, do you ever want to meet your “real mom?” Now, I have nothing for respect for my birth mother for choosing life and making a decision to leave me in a safe environment. But, my “real mom” is the one who raised me, prayed for me, worried over me, celebrated life’s milestones, etc. etc.

  • Barbara February 13, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Both Madely and Ashby are happy little girls which is due to how safe, secure and loved they feel with their parents and siblings. When our girls were little, people approached more often to ask questions. Depending on what we were doing at the time, my favorite response was “why do you ask”? Often times it was someone who was related or knew someone who had/was adopting but just didn’t know how to ask the right way. And for someone who was just curious, many times I’d let them know my girls were listening and I wanted to be able to tell them why a stranger asked a personal question. Even when they were little, we talked about the exchange so they would know how to answer questions about being born in China on their own or to choose not to. That was especially helpful in grade school when kids would ask unfiltered questions out of curiosity or repeat something they heard their parents say about Chinese persons. Now that they are in middle school, the question I get is whether they were adopted from the same family in China. (Or the dreaded are they “real” sisters”). Which if you looked at them is funny because they are from different provinces and look nothing like each other from skin tone to eyes to physical build. My philosophy is to keep the conversation with my girls real so we can discuss if something bothers them or me and how to deal with it. I also think that people are drawn to your littles because that are so beautiful -and it sure does sound like they both have engaging and firecracker personalities which is endearing to many.

  • Melodie February 13, 2017 at 9:05 am

    I feel ya! We’ve adopted 3 boys that clearly weren’t from my womb. The most common question we get is: are they brothers? Im serious when i say my husband or i get this question weekly. And for the life of us we don’t understand the fascination. They aren’t biological. Who cares! Now, they know they all have different birth mothers. But don’t ask me in front of my 8, 7 and 4 year old if they are brothers. Of course they are! So we answer with a yes. Then they say something like: wow! That’s so great…. No. It’s great regardless. We’re family.

    • Holly February 14, 2017 at 8:16 am

      Melodie-love your answer to their question and your heart for your boys!

      Holly

  • Ashley February 13, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Love this! My favorite posts are either where you discuss just one of your kids, or life lately. I still remember the post where you just talked about Kensington and the story where she screams louder for other kids when they win the cannonball contest in the pool than when she does. You’ve raised them so well!

  • Michelle N. February 13, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Just precious. My friend has adopted 3 children, 2 from China and it’s really opened my 13 year old daughters eyes to what makes a family. She says she isn’t having biological children, only adopting. And she wants to go into family law and work in international adoptions. So don’t even doubt how your decision to adopt is changing the lives of those around you who will hopefully go on to change lives!
    Mickey Mouse makes me want to rip my ears off and don’t worry about potty training. They all get it eventually. You haven’t sent anyone off to kindergarten in a diaper yet 🙂

  • Katherine February 13, 2017 at 10:20 am

    My sister and I are adopted, and the only time we get remotely snippy when people ask questions is when we get the “So, do you know your REAL parents?” That’s always my answer—“Yes, my real parents raised me. I don’t know my biological parents though.” We’ve also always known we were adopted, so it’s never been an issue with us. My mom still loves to tell the story of when I was in first grade and a little girl told me that being adopted was “weird.” Apparently I fired back at her, “hey, my parents CHOSE me, you’re parents were STUCK with you!” Not the nicest thing to say, but it got the point across! Love your stories about your family, it’s always a joy to see how much you all love each other!

  • Tori S. February 13, 2017 at 11:24 am

    I absolutely love reading your stories about your kids and your adoption journey! I was adopted from China too. My mom got me from an orphanage in Wuzhou, Guanxi, China when I was 1 year old (actually on my first birthday). We truly believe I was supposed to her daughter and she was supposed to be my mom. And she is and will always be my “real and actual” mom!

  • Christina February 13, 2017 at 11:47 am

    You know, I’ve thought about adoption so much. I just don’t think we can afford to go through the process. I wish there were some other way.

    • Mix and Match Mama February 13, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      Fostering in the US is so inexpensive (basically, it’s just about free)!!

    • Carol February 13, 2017 at 8:52 pm

      Check out the blog Migonis Home.
      Jen and her husband are going the foster -to-adopt route. They just *had* boy/girl twins in the last 30 days. When it rains it pours. Jen is very open to receiving email in order to give people who are interested HER experiences and to answer questions.

  • Mandi Moore February 13, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    She seriously has the best “cheese” face! I love all the updates! God Bless! href=http://mandimoore.com/>Mandi Moore

  • Lindsay @ Lindsay's Sweet World February 13, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Oh gosh, it is scary how insensitive people can be. You handled that like SUCH a pro! I’m not even sure what I would have said because it would have thrown me completely off guard. Haha.

  • Courtney February 13, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Can you write a book about adoption and your experiences? 🙂
    I love reading your stories and insights. You would inspire many, that’s for sure!

    XOXO
    Courtney

  • Michelle Sherrod February 13, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Shay, I’m due with baby #3 in June, but we have already been saving for an adoption. We hope to adopt in a few years, once our kids are a little more independent (we have a 1.5 and 3.5 year old.). I have always been amazed at how well adjusted Ashby and Madeley are…they seem to perk right up and fit into your family very quickly. I’m sure there have been some tough moments along the way, but both of your girls just seem so full of joy and spunk! I’m curious how ya’ll deal with discipline. Especially in the early attachment period and the first few months at home. Do they throw fits when they are told no? Do they act out, hit, bite, etc? And how do you deal with that while still maintaining an atmosphere of love to help them attach? Just curious. Thank you for sharing your blog! I agree with so many other commenters, that these posts are some of my absolute favorites!

    • Mix and Match Mama February 13, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      Well, that’s tricky. At the beginning, we don’t discipline, we try and redirect. I would say even now with Madeley, she’s not disciplined. Honestly, the only time she throws a fit is when she wants to eat…right that second. She’ll throw a whopper of a fit, so I kind of just ignore her and get her something to eat. Then, as soon as she’s eating, she stops. If my older two did that, I would handle things completely different. She doesn’t bite or hit, but she’ll cry…and we just try to calmly redirect and disengage.

  • Cassie February 13, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Thank you for shedding light on adoption!! I was adopted from Korea and am now 29. I’m still shocked by the gusto of others to ask if I’ve ever met my ‘real’ mom and dad. The titles ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ are a privilege, not a given. My mom always spun it as a positive that I was blessed to have 3 mom’s who loved me at different stages – a birth mom, a foster mom for 3 months and my REAL mom. I love this blog!

  • Amy Morse February 13, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    As an adopted child myself, I adore these posts. You have given all four of your children the gift of a loving family. I thank God everyday for my parents. I also praise the woman who loved me enough to give me away. She gave my the best life! God Bless the Shulls!

  • Alexis deZayas February 13, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    These posts make my day! Sweet Madeley was truly made for your little fam 🙂

  • Danae February 13, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Thank you for sharing these updates. Both Ashby and Madeley are too precious for words.

    Just wondering, would you ever encourage any of the four kids to learn Chinese?

    • Mix and Match Mama February 14, 2017 at 4:48 am

      I would totally encourage it if they were interested! Absolutely!

  • Lulu February 13, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Thank you! I love your updates. The Snug restaurant story is too previous! That’s it, Madeley is officially my favorite. Never realized she is so active as she always seems to be happy in her stroller.

  • Kara February 13, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    My son is not adopted, but he is half Asian, as my husband is Korean (I am white and blond?). He’s two and several times I’ve gotten “Is he yours?!?”…..which I find amusing because even if he was adopted, he’d still be mine! I just try to remind myself that most people have good intentions and remember that this is a great way to have the “not all families look the same” conversation. ?

  • Amy February 13, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Best part of this is that the girls sleep in the same room together. Sister bonding!

  • Brittany Smith February 13, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    I love your story! Adoption has been on my heart the last year as my husband an I have been trying to get pregnant the last 3 years. (It has been a very challenging time for me) Everytime I read your posts about adoption I just know it’s on my heart for a reason. Unfortunately we do not have the funds for adoption. We have a great house have been married for 6 years (in March) and two loving sets of parents who want to be grandparents so badly. But adoption is very expensive and we simply do not have enough. I hope one day I can make my dreams/hopes of adoption come true. I would love to be in your prayers.

    • Mix and Match Mama February 14, 2017 at 4:48 am

      You know, there are so many kids in the US foster system that need a forever home. Fostering is almost completely free!

  • Susan February 13, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    Madeley reminds me so much of my cousin who was adopted from the Philippines.

  • Joanna February 13, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Hi, I have been reading your blog posts for a while now and love reading about your family. I am also adopted (from Korea), and understand the questions that can be asked by others. I was wondering if you have heard about the Colorado Heritage Camp, located in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. They have camps where adopted children can go with their families to learn more about their “homeland” culture, and be around other adoptees. I went as a child and absolutely loved it! Just thought that I would throw it out there if you haven’t heard of it

    • Mix and Match Mama February 14, 2017 at 4:47 am

      I have heard of that!! I’ve had several people tell me how fantastic that camp is and that they’ve sent their adopted kids along with some of their bio kids too (so that it can be a family affair!).

      • Joanna February 21, 2017 at 10:17 pm

        Oh yes, a total family affair! I totally suggest looking into it for you and your family if you haven’t already. Like I said, I went as a child (age 7 to age 17). Families are all totally supportive and the children can make lifetime friendships with others who have the same type of families (being adopted or being a sibling of an adopted child).

  • Sharon S February 14, 2017 at 12:20 am

    Oh man. Madeley is so adorable, it makes me want to adopt again. Like you, we look at our daughter and think, what if we hadn’t done this. We would have missed so much.. She has made our family so much richer But adopting again would be 4 kids! And for some reason 4 seems overwhelming. The whole adoption process and year after wiped me out (just past a year now). Honesty, each new kid stresses our marriage for the first year as we adjust – but then we are great again. I wonder how wise it is to keep putting that stress on a marriage? It’s so hard to know what the right size is for your family when you are in the younger/harder years. Was Andrew on board for four or did it take convincing? Did you ever worry about 4 being too much to handle?

  • Marty February 15, 2017 at 9:25 am

    I love reading your adoption posts. They are my favorite! You are such an ambassador for adoption! 🙂 And boy can I relate to the BOLD (#rude) comments from people.

    We have 4 actual (and biological) children. Our oldest son has Down Syndrome. He’s 30, and this still happens occasionally…but especially when he was younger, people would come up and ask me questions about him. Now, I typically welcome questions, because how else will people find out how awesome people who have DS are? I will talk all day to people who are generally interested, but curiosity seekers? No, ma’am. He is not an exhibit…go to a museum. What I don’t like is when people talk about him, his diagnosis, their experiences with their great-uncle Bill, etc, and use words we feel are hurtful and derogatory to describe people with intellectual challenges…RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM. Hello? HE.CAN.HEAR.YOU. “Can he talk?” “Would he like a cookie?” Or, my personal favorite (#sarcasm), “I’m guessing you didn’t know about him in advance, because you could’ve done something about it.” Um…he’s a person, not an “it.” And, NO, and THANK YOU VERY MUCH, good-bye. Honorable mention goes to the lady in Wal-Mart, who asked me, IN FRONT OF HIM, if I was going to “put him in a home,” and proceeded to tell me some long story about one of her family members. I don’t know the future for Joshua…or for any of our other 3 kids. Or for ourselves. But I nicely told her that he already has a home: OURS. 🙂 Years ago, I adopted the mantra: “most people mean well.” Because they do. Most of them.

  • Lori McKee February 16, 2017 at 10:11 am

    I love your adoption stories and updates. So glad I found you thru Sheaffer’s blog.

  • Mary February 21, 2017 at 6:43 am

    When someone oversteps the line with an inappropriate adoption question, my favorite response is: “Why do you ask?” I say it very sweetly (although my internal emotions may be different), then stand back. Sometimes the response is a genuine interest in adoption, and the question was stated awkwardly. More often, the question was pure nosey-ness, and I just watch while the busybody stammers out an explanation.