On Sunday, we will celebrate 9 months with this sweet girl!
Words cannot even begin to express how much has changed over the last 9 months. We were handed this precious little girl back on September 11th who was cute as can be…but she was kind of in a shell. She didn’t make eye contact, smile or really engage at all. Over the last 9 months, we’ve seen her little personality open up and she is THE LIFE OF THE PARTY. Madeley James is funny, quick witted, smart, and an absolute delight to have in our family. We all adore her more than I ever thought possible. We needed her.
I hate to say this…because I don’t want to be unfair to the other three, but this kid is the easiest of all the Shull babies (sorry Smith, she beats you!). Now, at first, when we got home, just having four kiddos was an adjustment and of course, we went through that phase where she got into everything (pots and pans, my retainer, Legos, the 750-count box of q-tips…), but her personality has always been SO EASY. Madeley wakes up happy, she plays happy all day, she’s happy in the car, she’s happy to take a nap, she’s happy to eat, happy to run errands, happy to swim…JUST HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY!
Her vocabulary has exploded over the last two months. She has way too many words to count. She says things that surprise me all the time! Just Saturday, she asked for a high five and when I went to give her one, she pulled her hand away and said “too slow”. What?! When did she learn that trick?!? #smith
Madeley loves to play with certain things at home: the dress up plastic shoes, her stroller and baby doll, her magnetic shapes and Little People Barn. And she loves to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
Nine months ago, she didn’t have a family, and now, she has actual friends! She knows Bowen, Britt, Abigail, Libby and Willow are all her friends and talks about them at home all the time. She also loooooooooves her baby cousin Samuel. He might be her favorite thing EVER. (That and Tab…she adores her some Tab!)
Madeley still loves her a high-protein diet. She requests eggs for breakfast every morning (and often for lunch too!). She really has very little interest in sweet things but prefers all the savory (just like her big sister Ashby). We joke that Ashby’s mom must have eaten nothing but vegetables while she was pregnant with Ashby and that Madeley’s mom ate nothing but sausage. Ha!
She is a mama’s girl…but looooooves to tell me that she’s a daddy’s girl and then she’ll laugh her little head off. She is at my side all day long, but I don’t mind one bit. Who can resist this face?!
These kids mean the world to me. Nine months ago, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. We had initially set out to adopt a boy from India but felt the Lord strongly tell us that we were supposed to head back to China for another girl. HOW GREAT IS GOD?! I needed this girl. I didn’t even know that I needed her, but I did! When I look into her little eyes, I see us! She is a Shull through and through (a Shull with a much better tan, but a Shull nonetheless!). She fills our house with constant humor, giggles, laughing and fun. She is such a JOY and we count ourselves grateful to be entrusted with her care.
Adoption is amazing. Adoption builds families. Adoption has changed us all for the better. Adoption made me these two girls’ mama and for that, I will always be incredibly thankful.
It’s been just the best nine months 🙂 .
To see some other post adoption posts, just look below…
To see more about our journey to adopt Ashby, see below: