Oh little Miss Madeley.
You are the life of the party.
Tomorrow, we celebrate eleven months with Madeley James.
Right now, we keeping starting conversations around our house with the phrase “this time last year…” as we prepare for back to school.
Because this time last year, we were awaiting travel approval so that we could all head off to China to bring this sweet girl home.
And now, she’s been here 11 months and it has been THE BEST THING for our family!
Madeley is the gift that keeps on giving.
She’s our “bonus child” …you know, the one we weren’t really planning on, but God gave her to us as an extra bonus…and she just makes EVERYTHING so much more fun.
This girl is SWEET. She is FUNNY. She is SMART. She is CARING. She is just so SPECIAL.
This month, she’s started doing two things that really make us laugh. One, if I call out for another kid in the house (let’s say Smith), she will cup her hands over her mouth and walk around screaming “Smith!, Smith!, Smith!” until he appears. It’s so funny! She just thinks everyone should and will listen to her, so she takes it upon herself to get things done (like retrieve Smith for me). And you know what? They do 🙂 . The second thing she started doing this month…is running. And it is hysterical. Andrew came in the house the other day and was like “have you seen Madeley run”, so I went out to the driveway and off she went. As she runs, her cheeks bounce up and down. Ha! It’s the cutest thing! Now, she runs everywhere…and by run, we mean a trot with a lot of cheek jiggling.
This girl is a ray of sunshine.
Adopting Madeley has kind of been the easiest thing we’ve done. Easy because she just fit. We didn’t even know there was a hole in our family until she showed up…but there was and it was GAPING wide open for her to fill. I can lose my breath sometimes thinking about the “what ifs” and I have to stop myself. What if we wouldn’t have adopted her? What if we wouldn’t have stepped out on faith? What if?
Andrew and I have a friend named Lance and this month, he asked me about Madeley’s story…and so I told him. When I finished he said “wow, I can’t wait to watch how God is going to use her story as an adult”. It gave me chills. I’m very guilty of thinking “well, Ashby is going to have a great story and I can’t wait to see how the Lord is going to use her challenges, disabilities and strengths to share with others when she’s older” but Madeley is going to have a story too. It’s going to look a lot different than Ashby’s…but boy, she’s going to have one. Madeley James Shull is going to have a story.
I love these two girls so much. There were times in my life when I could have been talked out of adopting. It was scary. It was expensive. It was unknown. It had a lot of risks. It was going to change my family (maybe not for the better?). It was such a HUGE leap of faith and the biggest decisions Andrew and I have ever made. BUT WHAT IF WE DIDN’T DO IT? This time last year, this precious girl was living in an orphanage. What if we didn’t do it? What if your kid is living in an orphanage right now? I know it’s scary…but if it’s on your heart, I encourage you to keep praying about it. Oh what a blessing adoption has been to our family. I cannot imagine not being Madeley’s mom.
What a wonderful eleven months it has been!
To see some other post adoption posts, just look below…
To see more about our journey to adopt Ashby, see below: