Find Me

In lieu of a Friday Favorites post today, I’m sharing one favorite…the documentary on Netflix called Find Me

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Last week, I had a reader email me and tell me about this film because it’s not only about Chinese adoptions, but a large portion of it is filmed right in Ashby’s orphange.  While she was there.

I sat down to watch it and was immediately a mess of emotions.  This documentary is so good because it’s so honest and raw.  If you have adopted, are in the process of adopting or are thinking about adopting, you should watch this.  But you know what?  Even if adoption is not on your heart whatsoever, you should still watch this.  What I loved most about Find Me is that it covers the perspectives of the adopting families, the adopted children, the birth mothers and the nannies that care for these kids.  All four points of view are so important and often, some of them are overlooked in this process.  I thought they did a phenomenal job of covering all of them and explaining how each person is affected by adoption.

We’ve shared our story on here before, but the Lord called me to adopted before he called Andrew and that was a real struggle for us.  I think this film even touches on that subject as well.  In my opinion, this would be something I would have wanted Andrew to watch back during that time period because it really does lay out the experience and most importantly, THE NEED these kids have for forever homes.

 I cried watching this both times because when they get to the part about Ashby’s orphanage and they show footage of so many kids in the background…I looked for her.  But the sad part is…I don’t even think I would have recognized her if I saw her.  How sad is that?  It makes me cry just thinking about it.  I wouldn’t know what infant Ashby looks like.

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We were given sweet 2½ year old Ashby…so we’re not really sure what baby Ashby looked like.  (This is Ashby the morning after we received her 🙂 .)

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While we were in China the first time, we were able to visit Ashby’s orphange.  It is a very large one in Xi’an.  When Ashby was two, they moved her from the main orphanage building to the building next door where she lived in a foster home her last six months.  This was her foster mom.  This sweet lady here and her husband cared for five little girls in their little apartment here inside the orphanage.  How blessed we are that people loved and cared for Ashby during this time?!  She loved my baby when I couldn’t.

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This is the main room where most of the babies are kept.  Ashby was in this room and the room next door for two years.

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And this is the room next door.  This is where the babies sleep.  The lady in the back is standing by the crib where Ashby slept for two years.

Two years.

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Watching Find Me brought back a lot of memories…good, bad and bittersweet.  After I watched it alone, we watched it as a family.  I told Ashby what it was about and made sure she wanted to watch it.  When it was over, she was all like “Ahhhh!  The cute little Chinese babies were so sweet!”.  She was completely not phased (at this point, one day, she will be).  Kensington and Smith sure were though.  I think it was a really good reminder for both of them that this little bubble we live in is not the norm.  The documentary mentioned how children at this orphanage are turned out at 14 and this really bothered my big two.  Stuff like this is hard…but it’s happening right now.

There are a lot of things in this film that are really personal to us.  The lady that brought Ashby to us is the same lady that brought this daughter to her new family.  In the very same room.  Watching it just flooded me with memories of that time.  The stoic look on that sweet daughter’s face reminded me so much of Ashby’s.

So, after watching Find Me twice this week…I really can’t think of anything better to suggest for you this weekend.  For me, it was a real honest and raw look at Chinese adoptions.  It was full of a lot of joy and happiness (families are being made!), a lot of sadness (Nannies are losing babies they have been caring for in these orphanages and kids are being removed from the only home they’ve ever known), a lot of selflessness (so many of these parents are turning over their kids because they truly in their hearts think it’s the best thing for them) and a lot of HOPE.

When I watch those sweet babies in that film and think that my sweet baby was there…it breaks my heart and makes my heart happy all at the same time.  Adoption is so beautiful but it’s born out of such heartache.  But oh my goodness!  I am so glad we did it…

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I’m so glad we found her.  She was meant to be ours.

Happy Friday, friends. xo

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  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog August 11, 2017 at 4:40 am

    Oh wow, I can see how shaken you would be. You might not recognise her even if you saw her… but that doesn’t matter, you have her now and that’s the most important. 🙂

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

  • Courtney August 11, 2017 at 5:18 am

    Bless your heart, Shay! Thank you for recommending this, I will watch it for sure.
    XO
    Courtney
    http://www.greywoodmama.com

  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams August 11, 2017 at 5:28 am

    I’m sure this film brought a lot of mixed emotions. How amazing is it that Ashby has her forever family though 🙂 I hope all the Shulls have a great weekend!

    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

  • Bethany August 11, 2017 at 5:30 am

    I AM watching it now! I stopped and googled it after way through this post!

  • Elspeth Mizner August 11, 2017 at 5:45 am

    So beautiful and sweet! I am definitely going to add it to my list on Netflix. Have a great weekend Shay!

  • Kathy August 11, 2017 at 5:57 am

    Where can I watch it at? Is it on netflix?

    • Mix and Match Mama August 11, 2017 at 5:58 am

      Yes! Netflix!

  • J August 11, 2017 at 5:57 am

    I’m so glad adoption worked for you. Some people are really not so lucky. My husbands family adopted a child when he was about 4. They already had 3 biological kids. I know they were doing what they thought they were called to do, but unfortunately it has not been a good experience. And really has somewhat torn the family apart. It is so sad.

    • Haley August 11, 2017 at 8:40 pm

      I am stopping to pray for you and your husbands family right now 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  • Lizzie @ This Happy Life August 11, 2017 at 6:38 am

    I will add Find Me to our list of things to watch! Sounds very raw and real and educational

  • Sheaffer Sims August 11, 2017 at 6:43 am

    I love a good documentary, and this one sounds phenomenal. We will be watching it this weekend!

  • The Nelson Nook August 11, 2017 at 6:48 am

    I have loved following your adoption journey with the two girls and will continue to follow ! I plan on watching this as it sounds like it would be very eye opening to a lot ! Thanks or sharing Shay !

  • Ashley August 11, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Thanks for sharing. We are planning to submit our application to start the adoption process next month. It is so helpful to see your posts and info about your journey.

  • Lisa N August 11, 2017 at 6:59 am

    I could hardly see the words on my screen reading this for the tears that were welled up in my eyes.
    God bless you and Andrew and your sweet family!!

  • sydnee August 11, 2017 at 7:07 am

    It made me tear up just reading your post! It’s wonderful you found each other.

    http://www.designbysydnee.com

  • Narci Dreffs August 11, 2017 at 7:15 am

    I am pulling this up on Netflix today. Thank you for recommending this to us!

  • Heidi August 11, 2017 at 7:15 am

    I am already crying and I’m only three minutes in to watching it. Thank you so much for recommending this!

  • Lindsey Gumer August 11, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Love this. So glad you are her mom.

  • Erin Port August 11, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Well I am bawling reading this and we are adding it to the cue immediately! Thanks for being such a sweet advocate for the tangible God calls us too! Adoption is such a beautiful depiction of how God adopts us into His family and my heart yearns for the hope we can write adoption into our story! xoxo ERIN

  • Sarah August 11, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Thanks for the good recommendation! I was adopted as a baby from Korea so I love watching these movies but always have to gear myself up for them! They’re so emotional and just total wreck me.

  • Ashlan Z August 11, 2017 at 7:40 am

    Ugh Shay, seriously in tears after the first paragraph. Can’t wait to watch this on Netflix. We’re in the thick of our home study right now. I watched Lion earlier this summer and was a total mess. It’s amazing what God does to our hearts. Bless you!

  • Alexis deZayas August 11, 2017 at 7:48 am

    This is so moving. You are truly blessing so many people by following God’s calling to share your story! Going to watch this today!

  • Chelsea Barnhart August 11, 2017 at 8:05 am

    And this is why I follow your blog. Not that I don’t love your pictures, updates, and just fun day to day posts (especially book reviews!), but these real, raw posts. I found your blog a few years ago from instagram when Kensington turned your oven temp up and burned your cake. It was right before your family adopted Ashby. Since then I have followed Ashby and the Shull family journeys and it’s just so fun watching her grow. I love your transparency. It is so refreshing in my social media world. Thankful for you 💗

  • Susan August 11, 2017 at 8:16 am

    I will have to watch, thank you for suggesting. Last month, I finished the book , The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See. It is her newest release. You will find it fascinating..all about tea and adoption. Fascinating. The author also recommends the book Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother as a must read for families with children adopted from China.

    • Emily A August 11, 2017 at 8:08 pm

      I’m reading this book now & am loving it!!

  • Brooke Richardson August 11, 2017 at 8:17 am

    I’m so watching this and I can’t believe I haven’t already.

  • Carol August 11, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Lovely heart touching post.

  • Angelique August 11, 2017 at 8:33 am

    I’m crying just reading your post so I cannot imagine the emotions you must have felt, after being there yourself and knowing it was Ashby’s reality for over two years. Thank you for sharing and for opening your arms to two sweet girls. I’m adding it to my Netflix list and grabbing a few boxes of tissues …

    http://www.fourpointsmom.com

  • Rebecca Brittain August 11, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Wow. So beautifully written, Shay. Every word. Praise God for people like you & your family who open your hearts and homes to children in need.

  • Laura @ Laura Likes Design August 11, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Definitely going to check this out! I’m so happy Ashby and Madeley have a forever home with you guys!

    LauraLikesDesign.com/Blog

  • Dianna August 11, 2017 at 9:10 am

    I am adding this to my Netflix list. Sometimes I feel like I am being called to adopt but I worry since I am a busy full-time working mom. I am hoping to get my husband to watch with me to see what he thinks. Thank you for sharing your story and this documentary.

  • heidi August 11, 2017 at 9:17 am

    I’m so emotional just reading your post. I will watch it today. Thank goodness that you acted on the Lord’s promoting to adopt and Ashby & Madeley found their forever families. Xx

  • Nikki - Speak at Home Tonight August 11, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Thank you so much for the recommendation! I will watch it with my husband this weekend <3

    Lots of love from Philly,
    Nikki

    http://www.speakathometonight.com

  • Kelly Franks August 11, 2017 at 9:27 am

    I got teared up just reading this so I know I will be a ball of emotions watching it. I’m with you. For some reason, God has placed adoption on my heart. I know he has a plan for us. However, my husband is not on the same page much like Andrew was. I listed to your happy hour with Jamie Ivey when you talked about this and I’ve been praying for God to either change my heart or Jared’s. Also, random note. I’ve always said if I couldn’t have babies I would adopt two Chinese Girls. It was always my comment when people would ask when we were going to have kids. I just feel like God is calling me to adopt. Sorry for the randomness of this post!

  • Erika Slaughter August 11, 2017 at 9:29 am

    Shay! You were just telling me about this and I guess because I didn’t remember the name I completely forgot! I’ve seen it! Watched a year or two alone during football season and cried the entire time. I think Beverley recommended it. I would have been sobbing had I know that was Ashby’s orphanage! So so glad we found that sweet girl. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Charity August 11, 2017 at 9:29 am

    Added to my Netflix and will be watching it when I’m free to sob!

    I think of you (And Erika) every Monday evening. I teach PIano, and one of my adult students is a college student from China. He decided he wanted to learn how to play the piano now since music was not encouraged when he was growing up in China. It’s so fascinating to hear this stories and hear about the traditions and customs and how life is different in China. Some things are the same, like they have the songs Brother John, and The Alphabet Song, but they have totally different lyrics to them. Brother John is about a Tiger 🙂

    He was telling me this past week that it’s very rare for people to say “I love you” in China. As in he has never heard it from his parents. And he is in his 20s. He’s never heard his parents say it to eachother either. He said he knew his Dad loved/cared for him, but it just wasn’t something they ever spoke about. Apparently now there is a trend starting of more people marrying for love, and feeling more affectionate. So he said when he has kids he will probably tell them he loves them. I was blown away by the whole thing! I can’t imagine growing up and never being told that I was loved. Even if I knew I was. Crazy!

  • Kay August 11, 2017 at 9:29 am

    I have always felt called by god to adopt. And more than one child too. It’s forever been in my heart. And I’m sure it forever will be until I fulfil this need. I plan on fulfilling it in the future, but this documentary really tore at my heart. God bless you Shay and Andrew.

  • Kayla B August 11, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Thanks for posting this! I have such a heart for adoption, and I can feel yours through every post. I plan to watch this my husband this weekend. Wouldn’t have known about it otherwise!

  • Shawnna Griffin August 11, 2017 at 9:43 am

    hey girl- great post! Sounds like a very nice film! Ashby is so sweet ! God has blessed y’all so much! have a great weekend!

  • Amanda @ That Inspired Chick August 11, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Oh Shay, this makes me sad just thinking about it! I’ll definitely be watching (alone, so I can ugly cry if I need to) very soon. So proud to know you and all the other adoptive mamas around here, friend. xoxo

    That Inspired Chick

  • Ainee Harmon August 11, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Oh my goodness. I’m a mess right now. We leave for China in 13 days to get our sweet baby girl and this just made all the stress of “getting ready” for travel totally worth it. I’m freaking out about luggage, passports, paperwork and all the necessary things that need to get done, but I read this and I feel God’s peace fall on me as a gentle reminder why we are doing this. He called us to this adoption, He has handled all the details, and He will be glorified in this process. Thank you so much for posting this. Exactly what I needed today.

  • Amanda Wilson August 11, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Wow….I can’t begin to think of the emotions you must have experienced watching that!

  • Kristen August 11, 2017 at 10:10 am

    This is such a beautiful post and for sure brought tears to my eyes. ❤️ I love following your family’s story!

  • Kristin August 11, 2017 at 10:10 am

    I will be watching this tonight for sure! I do feel like my heart is stirred toward adoption and/or foster care, but I know my husband is not there. I so appreciate you sharing that this was something you and Andrew had to walk through because it helps me to remember that it is possible!

  • Angela Ellingson August 11, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Wow, that’s incredible. Hugs Mama. I will definitely watch it.

    • Angela Ellingson August 12, 2017 at 7:03 pm

      Just finished it! I was choking back tears most of the time. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  • Liz Thorson August 11, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Thank you for this lovely, moving post, Shay. You have such grace and kindness in your generous heart. Ashby and Madely could not be luckier little girls to have found home and their forever family with the Shulls.❤️

  • Liz Thorson August 11, 2017 at 11:10 am

    *Madeley! Sorry for the typo!

  • Amanda August 11, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Oh sweet Ashby. I’ve read her adoption story from the start, and I’m so glad you were called to adopt. She truly was meant to be your daughter.

  • Maureen Werner August 11, 2017 at 11:52 am

    I am so sorry, I know how you are feeling right now. My oldest daughter came to me at 5 years old and my second daughter came to me at 2 1/2 years old and it has always been hard to not have pictures or anything from their babyhood. Hard on them and hard on me. But I give that sorrow to God, because I know He was with them both. Even though our girls beginnings weren’t perfect, they are what God used to get them to us. Praying for you and your sweet family! And rejoicing in the beautiful girls we both have!

  • Caroline Burke August 11, 2017 at 11:56 am

    I’m literally reading this post in the parking lot of Trader Joe’s bawling my eyes out. I just spent the last two hours walking by the harbor in Annapolis while almost if of my dossier was getting apostilled by the Secretary of State. Getting so much closer to getting a match of our sweet baby!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for keeping adoption on your blog.

  • Amie August 11, 2017 at 11:59 am

    I think the most amazing thing is the look on both of your sweet girls faces the day you picked them up vs. the pictures of them today. The first pictures seem to not have joy but now they are full of giant smiles and happiness. You all have given them a wonderful life and happy home and that is so evident 🙂

  • Lindsay @ Lindsay's Sweet World August 11, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Thank you for such a raw, emotional post, Shay. Every time I think of all of those sweet babies it just makes my heart break. Those girls are so blessed to have you guys, and I know that you are just as blessed to have them as well.

  • Jessie August 11, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    This is one of my favorite adoption documentaries on adoption (also the movie “Stuck”). It’s so powerful, and I’m so thankful it’s on Netflix and easy to share. We are working on bringing home our second child from China. I can’t imagine the emotions of reliving your experience in the same places!

  • Bethany August 11, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    This is such a small world. My in-laws have two adopted daughters from China and one of them was from this orphanage as well and she’s in the film! She is 7 now so I’m not sure how old she was when this was filmed but to think that she was there with Ashby is pretty neat, even if they weren’t the same age! They are waiting to be matched with their newest daughter.

  • Emily August 11, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    I just watched Find Me. I was crying the whole time. Thank God for families like you who love on these beautiful kids. I wish I could adopt but I’m a single woman and I feel like these kids would really want two loving parents to take care of them.

  • Bethany August 11, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Tears upon tears reading this post. We have not watched this film yet, but will do so soon! Although ours was a domestic adoption and the situation was obviously quite different, just reading this still brings up so many emotions with our own 2 year old baby girl. Thank you for providing such a platform for adoption – the good, the bad, the hard and the miracles. It truly is beauty from ashes – so thankful to serve a God that picks up the pieces and puts the missing puzzle pieces together in ways that only He can!!

  • SS August 11, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    We watched this film when we were in process! So good. We need to re-watch it!

  • Stehanie August 11, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    As soon as I read this blog post, I started watching the movie and just cried my eyes out the entire movie. Such a great great movie. Thank you so much for blogging about this.

  • Linda Louie August 11, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Shay~Just watched “Find Me” and it brought back such a mix of emotions when we adopted our two girls twelve years ago from Kazakhstan. From excitement to fear to prayerfulness to discouragement to such sweet joy! Thanks for telling me about the documentary. I want to watch it again with all my kids so they can see all the different aspects of adoption that we don’t normally think of. God bless you!

  • Kary August 11, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    I watched this afternoon and I am in such awe. Although I do not have a calling for adoption, I have such a soft heart and compassion for you and other families that do. I have followed your blog for quite some time and literally woke up several times a night to check your blog the day you got sweet Ashby. Watching today, I recognized so much just from your blog postings. What a gift. What a gift!! I pray often for your sweet family and all those around the world waiting for their families. You are all truly the salt of the Earth and what a blessing God has put in your lives.
    Kary

  • Ashley August 11, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    are you open to adopting again?

    • Mix and Match Mama August 12, 2017 at 6:49 am

      Absolutely! I don’t know if it will happen…but we’re prayerful about it.

  • Chloe August 11, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Thank you so much for recommending, my mom & I just watched and are both sitting tear-stained in awe. My parents are foster parents so it was even sweeter watching this & seeing that perspective! Bless your sweet family!! 💕😊

  • Kathleen Latham August 11, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Thank you for sharing, Shay! I just got done watching and cried. Adoption has always always been on my heart (especially adopting Chinese little girls) but my husband has never been on board. I know the Lord can change his heart and it is something I will continue to pray about.
    I am so thankful you and Andrew acted on this calling and found sweet Ashby and Madeley. What a wonderful blessing!

  • Samantha August 12, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Each Friday night, my husband and I bake a pizza and watch something on Netflix. I started “Find Me” without really telling him what it was about. I figured he would lose interest or ask why we were watching it in the first place (as we usually binge on a TV show or movie) but he watched the ENTIRE thing without much of a word. At the very end, I looked over at him and saw tears coming down his face. I was adopted (not from China, but in the US) so he knows the subject is near and dear to me, but also knows I would really like to have biological children – since I never experienced that as a child. Since reading your blog, something has been pulling at my heart. Maybe adoption is in our future, maybe not. But thank you for Ashby when Madely’s stories… they are spectacular!

  • Shelly August 12, 2017 at 11:37 am

    It just blows me away seeing the difference in Ashby from that first picture to now. I can only imagine how emotional it would be for you to watch this documentary.

  • Kristen Thompson August 12, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    I stumbled across your blog a few years ago when you were adopting Ashby and have been so inspired by your adoption stories and have shared all of your posts about adoption with my husband. We watched this documentary today and it was the first time in our 3 years of marriage I saw my husband cry. We talked all afternoon about our future and how adoption will 100% be a part of it. We are currently going through fertility treatments and hope to add biological children to our family soon but our hearts are so open to adoption too! Thank you so much for sharing all about your journeys! Your posts about infertility have also helped us through some very rough times! Thank you!!

  • Laura August 12, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Wpe that looks so good. Thanks for sharing. Unfortunately its not on Netflix in new Zealand yet 🙁 hopefully soon.

  • Yolanda McLean August 14, 2017 at 10:28 am

    I watched Find Me last night. I wanted to watch if before I read your post. I knew your post would have me bawling and then I might not want to see the rawness of Find Me. So good!!! Thank you for sharing your heart.

  • Aoife Knoth August 15, 2017 at 7:48 am

    I watched Find Me last night. What an incredibly moving and insightful movie. I sobbed almost the whole time. Thank you for the recommendation!

  • Ana August 16, 2017 at 10:57 am

    I tried to watch this last night but was so sad to find that it wasn’t available in Canada:(

  • Gina August 22, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Thank you for sharing this, I’ve added it to my must watch list! I was adopted as an infant in Waco, Texas in December 1982, during a time where adoption had a very different stigma. I have loved reading your updates on both Ashby and Madeley throughout the adoption process and think it will be so special for each of them to have a diary of their first days/months/years as a Shull.