China: Days 12 & 13

Hello from Guangzhou, China!!
We are doing so well here on our third (and final) leg of this adventure.  Yesterday, we waited around the hotel for Ashby’s Chinese passport to be issued, we picked it up and headed to the airport for a flight to Guangzhou.  We didn’t arrive at our hotel here until 11:30 last night and we were all beat.  That being said, I love, love, love, love Guangzhou!  I feel like it’s a cross between…wait for it…Honolulu and Barcelona (random, right?).  The weather is gorgeous (60s and 70s) compared to where we’ve been the last two week (20s!) and the hotel and city are just beautiful.  I am so happy we’re spending our last week here!
Here you go…a smattering of pics from the last two days…
We knew we had all morning before leaving to get Ashby’s passport and to head to the airport, so we walked about 20 minutes to a really pretty park and let the kids play in their pajamas (this way, we could clean them up really well before the flight and they wouldn’t have to take a bath once we arrived at the new hotel since it would be so late).  Just a bunch of Americans playing in a Chinese park in their pajamas :).

Because when there’s a barrel that rolls across an open pit, your 6’5″ husband should totally get in!

Holding Smith’s hand across the bouncy bridge.

Instead of walking back after the park, we all climbed in this thing (along with our stroller).  The kids had a blast on our little ride!

And then sweet pea had her very first flight.  We left at 6:30 for our 2.5 hour flight but we were in a holding pattern at the end waiting to land, so we were actually in the air 3 hours.  She slept like this the entire time while Smith and I watched Iron Man.
9:30 at night and just hanging out at baggage claim.  Three tired kiddos.

This morning, we woke up to eat breakfast before Ashby’s medical exam (every kid needs a medical exam before they can get their US Visa).  The girls were twinsies today!

My girls and me πŸ™‚

My boys πŸ™‚

We went to the clinic area and waited for the examination to be competed (there were three steps).  Sitting there with dozens of other American families and their adopted kids made my heart just burst.  I think our visit to the medical clinic this morning was just as meaningful to my kids as the orphanage trip.  There are so many wonderful people who adopt kids with such severe special needs.  I know that my kid technically has a “special need” but seeing several amazing moms and dads with kids who have really serious special needs just broke my heart and made me feel happy all at once.  I felt like I was sitting in a waiting room full of angels.  God bless these sweet parents who take on so much from the get go.

We’re going to call this Ashby’s “I hate this place, get me out of here” face.
She did great with her medical exam, she was tested for tuberculosis and they drew blood…never fun.

After our morning at the clinic, we went back to the hotel for lunch and to play by the waterfall inside our hotel property.  The breakfast and lunch restaurant looks out on it, so we went out and let the kiddos play before we ate.  They had a blast!

Going over the bridge with her brother and sister.

This is her “look at the waterfall, mom” face.

Big, middle, little

Trying so hard not to smile…

…but she can’t help it!  Ashby is all smiles!

Kensington got up close and personal with the fish.

Ashby watched her sister by the fish πŸ™‚

And we ended our afternoon on this note.
Life is pretty good in Guangzhou :).
Tonight, we are finally eating Mexican food!  Woohoo!!  These Texans are having major salsa withdrawal!
One last thing, many of you have asked about Ashby’s name.  The province where Ashby was arbitrarily gave her a name when she was found and that is what’s on all of her legal documents now (like her Chinese passport).  Once we get her back in the US, we will quickly get her officially adopted (right now, we’re legal guardians) and her legal name from here on out will be Ashby London Shull.  She is getting a US passport ASAP because the Shull family has some traveling to do this summer!
In the orphanage, they called her by her legal name until they knew we were naming her Ashby and then they referred to her as that.  She responds to her name very well already.
I’ve blogged this before but I can’t remember where (or else I would link back), so I’ll do it again.  Andrew and I love to travel (love, love, love it!) and our favorite city abroad is London, so to honor our love of travel, we gave all of our kiddos British names…
Kensington (is a borough in Central London) Kate (we picked this name before Will married Kate)
Smith (a common British surname) William (a very common British name…so we coincidentally have a William and a Kate…they were both born before those two got married, totally random!)
Ashby (a common British surname) London (obvious, right?)
There you have it!  When we set out to adopt and started the process on June 30, 2013, we knew we were looking for our Ashby London.  It took us almost 18 months but we found her…and she is very much OUR Ashby London.
XO
Click here to see Days 14 &15.ο»Ώ
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  • Anonymous January 10, 2015 at 6:22 am

    Amazing, amazing, amazing! God Bless y'all! This makes my heart happy!

  • Danika January 10, 2015 at 6:30 am

    So glad to hear that the 'honeymoon' period is continuing! Love all the photos of Ashby smiling and trying not to smile. How can she not smile with such a loving family surrounding her. A place that is like Hawaii and Barcelona in one, that sounds fun!! Enjoy the last few days!

  • Amy Heinl January 10, 2015 at 6:38 am

    So glad all is going well
    Ashby has an adorable smile. Loved the picture of Smith holding her hand across the bridge

  • Chic Coastal Living January 10, 2015 at 6:43 am

    This whole post is just awesomely beautiful! How else can I explain it? Thank you for sharing your lovely story with us! You bring us hope and encouragement to share our love with others, just as Jesus calls us to do. I love sweet ashby! She's so precious!

  • Lauren Truman January 10, 2015 at 6:44 am

    Ashby's smile is priceless!! You are always so humble but I wanted to tell me how many lives YOU are changing by blogging about your adoption journey. People all over this country (and probably world!) loved and prayed for Ashby for the last 18 months. I can't wait to hear about more of your triumphs as a family of 5! Thanks be to God!!

  • Lauren January 10, 2015 at 7:02 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this journey! Though I've always known adoption is an amazing thing, I never thought about it for myself (especially internationally). You have totally changed my mind!!! Blessings to your sweet family

  • Hannah January 10, 2015 at 7:03 am

    I love how she tries to not smile. Haha! She is so adorable and looks like she fits perfectly with your family!

  • Lana January 10, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Oh my goodness, Ashby's smile is beautiful! All three of your kiddos look so happy and content. Congratulations again to your wonderful family. Praying everything continues to go well and you're back home soon!

  • Paula January 10, 2015 at 7:50 am

    My FAVORITE picture from this collection, the "Big, Middle, Little" one! Priceless! I am literally grinning ear to ear. Must make you both such proud parents! Blessings!

    Mexican Food! Woot! Hoot! Hope it was yummy!

  • Jenny January 10, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Hey there! I just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed your adoption journey. It's been a walk down memory lane for me. We adopted our daughter just a little over two years ago from Xi'an as well. So many of the places you visited there looked so familiar! We too loved Guangzhou, however our trip took place in the middle of the hot summer months. It was closer to 100Β° when we were there! Make sure you visit Shamian Island! So many great little shops there. We went, at least twice:)
    Enjoy this last leg of your journey. Savor each moment, for you are in the midst of a miracle!
    Much love!

  • Blue-Eyed Bride January 10, 2015 at 11:30 am

    This whole post made me so happy! She's a Shull, for sure!! Love love love!! Xoxo

  • Katelyn Sloan January 10, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Oh my gosh…tears from cuteness/happiness/joy. SO happy for you and your beautiful family

  • Anonymous January 10, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Ashby is just blossoming as a Shull!

  • I Like Ike January 10, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    I love following your story. It's so eye-opening about the entire process. Praying for your sweet family as you continue to adjust. My family adopted stateside and it's a beautiful thing. Congratulations!

  • Sarah Shaneyfelt January 10, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    I love her smile!!! It's amazing knowing how many people are living out the Gospel by adopting and also adopting kids with special needs. It's so wonderful!

  • Anonymous January 10, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Your family looks genuinely happy and that brings tears to my eyes. I can't wait to have a family of my own someday. I'd love to adopt! I've said it once and I'll say it again, Ashby is one lucky little girl. And so beautiful, too! I love reading your blog and following your journey. Thank you so much for sharing it with us! XOXO

  • Jen January 10, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    The smiles!!! Oh my goodness. She is looking happier and happier in each post. I feel so lucky to be "witnessing" her life change.

  • Patty January 10, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    I love these photos!! Ashby has the sweetest smile. Enjoy the rest of your week! Yay for warmer weather and Mexican food and Starbucks! πŸ™‚

  • Amber January 10, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Thanks for the update!!!! She's a doll!!! Many prayers still!!! ❀️❀️❀️

  • Deanna January 10, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Love following your blog and this beautiful diary of your family's adoption process. God Bless!

    • Dianna January 11, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      She is cute when she is serious but that smile takes it to a whole other level! Just adorable!!

  • Kristin Baetz January 10, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    All the photos and smiles are wonderful! Keeping you guys in prayer on this last leg of your journey home.

  • Rachel Embery January 10, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    What a wonderful post today. The smiles on Ashby are priceless. You are giving her a gift not too many do. Do you know why they only allow adoptions of special needs kiddos. In a way I find that phenomenal, but also what happens to the thousands of kids without a special need:-( Can't wait to see more of your adventure!

  • Anonymous January 10, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    I've been reading your blog for a few years and have never felt the urge to comment until now. If you get a chance you should definitely go to the International Circus @ Chimelong Resort. I don't agree what they do to the animals but the rest of the acts will blow your mind. Continued Happiness on this exciting journey you are on
    Renai

  • ~Maggie~ January 10, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    I look forward to getting up in the morning while drinking my coffee and catching up on your trip. It's been a very heart wrenching follow. I have been telling my husband about your adoption experience and we both were wondering why you chose to adopt from China? Just curious.

  • The Yarbrough's January 10, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Each day she's smiling even more. Makes my heart happy.

  • Keith and Brittany January 10, 2015 at 7:32 am

    I just love all of these posts!!! They make my day and seeing how much ashby is loving her new family makes my heart bursts!!!! Thank you for sharing this journey with all of us! I'm pretty sure this is the city both of my cousins were adopted from! Question, when they were adopted my aunt and uncle were with a group of other parents who were adopting. Every 5 years or more or less sometimes they all get together and go on a mini trip. Are you with a group or is solo? And lastly, do you know on average how many kids get adopted out of China each day or is it in like months? Just was wondering! You definitely put the adoption bug in my husband and I and we are so excited to hopefully begin the process over the next few years!!

  • Anonymous January 10, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Thanks for the update….I love reading about your journey and oh my gosh, the smiles are just overload cuteness!! Praying the last leg of your trip continues to go smoothly.,

    Can't wait to read the next installment! One amazing family and Ashby is one blessed little girl to join it

    Jan Fisher

  • Anonymous January 10, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    I've been reading your blog for the last couple of years. If you get the chance while your in Guangzhou you should definitely go to the International Circus at Chimelong resort. Continued happiness on this exciting journey
    Renai

  • Cori Patrick January 10, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    When in Guangzhou, and if you have time, you should try and visit the many storied (4 or 5 levels) toy store (I think that is what they called it, maybe mall). It is quite the experience…and your kids would love all the bright blinking lights! If you are staying at the White Swan hotel, there is a deli just down the street that serves the most amazing dessert as well. Have fun…we loved Guangzhou too! You are almost home.

  • Libby Gordon January 10, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Thank you for sharing! What a beautiful family and I'm so glad she's smiling! It must be scary to have your world change so fast when you're two-if she's already smiling this much, you can tell she's totally loving her new family!! And love the bows on your girls. When my girl was little, we had some HUGE bows and I loved every one of them. I was sad when she finally put the brakes on it at seven:( Good luck with the rest of your journey!

  • Mom to 4 J's January 10, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    PS….I was looking at your pics and my husband said "who is that"? I said, "it's Mix and Match Mama". He said, "well she needs to get back home and post some recipes!" LOL!!! Your faithful foodie blog followers are anxiously awaiting your return! :)))

  • Julie January 10, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    To see that precious Ashby all smiles, just brightened up my day!! God is good!!

  • Anonymous January 10, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    I have been reading your blog for years & I have never been so excited reading as I have been through your adoption journey. I look forward to your updates and am actually disappointed when there isn't one. Your family is an inspiration and blessing to so many. Thank you for sharing such intimate details of your life with us; I can't to wait to hear more. Continued prayers and blessings to you all.

  • julieann elizabeth January 10, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    I can't read your posts without a huge smile on my face. She is absolutely blessed to have you all as her forever family. Love following your family's journey! Also love the Starbucks picture πŸ™‚

  • Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} January 10, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    So different things in your posts make my eyes well up with tears. The first time in this post was the picture of you and your two girls. The second was when you said you were in a waiting room full of angels. God Bless them all! Love you! COME HOME!!!!! πŸ™‚

  • Jeanie January 10, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Love seeing all the photos and how happy Ashby is. Can you just imagine seeing all she is through her eyes? Love all the name choices.

  • kimm atwood January 10, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    I am so glad you have shared this journey with us. Ashby looks so happy and she seems to mesh just perfectly into your family. So happy for you all!

  • Angela Ellingson January 10, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    She most certainly is yours! Sounds like the girl can sleep. She must have gotten the Shull kiddo memo about being a fantastic sleeper. πŸ™‚ So happy to hear things are going so well. Love all the smiley pictures of all 3 kids!

  • Candice January 10, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    I've never posted a comment to a blog before but I was so touched by today's post that I had to reach out and say thank you for sharing your journey with us. I stumbled onto your recipe blog a few months ago and found "Mix and Match Family" from there (and quickly realized that my friends and I had loved you when you were on "The Bachelor"!) so now start my day with coffee, my devotional and your blog before getting ready for work. Even though I'm not married or have kids yet, I've loved reading about all of your adventures and how you manage being a working Mom, wife, daughter and friend. I know it seems strange from a total stranger but you and Andrew have been such an example to me (e.g., getting up earlier to ensure time for my devotional, do something special each day during Christmas and Andrew telling us to run towards the church if we want to find the guy that deserves us!) so I just wanted you to know that you really are changing lives. I don't know that I would have ever seriously considered adoption but I loved Andrew's raw honesty about how he came to the decision and I've loved, loved, loved all of your posts (the joy and the struggles) each week. Just seeing the last week of pics (I.e., uncertain faces turn into these beautiful smiles) makes me realize that I stumbled onto your blog for a reason.

    I know that you guys aren't perfect and we all struggle to figure out God's plan sometimes but I just wanted you to know that you have and are making a difference in not only Ashby's but my life as well. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

    (And no need to post my comment – I just wanted to thank you. Enjoy this last leg of your journey with your family and know that we'll all be praying for and cheering for you along the way!)

  • Megan January 10, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Love love love her sweet smile!!!

  • Mimi January 10, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Oh my! That "big, middle, little" picture made me tear up…it definitely belongs in a frame or a Valentine or even a Hallmark card! πŸ™‚ So happy for all of you!

  • Melissa January 10, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    The Big Middle Little picture juuuust almost got me teary eyed – so so sweet!! And the one of her trying not to smile? I can't even. It's just too sweet ? safe travels back home and yay for Mexican food!! ?

  • Whitney Smith January 10, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    The final stretch! What an amazing journey. Ashby's smile is well worth all the wait πŸ™‚
    Whitney

  • Rachel January 10, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    It looks like you might be at the Marriott in Guangzhou – that waterfall looks familiar πŸ™‚ We were there in 2011 when we adopted our son. I hope you're planning to visit Shamian Island where the White Swan hotel is (that's where we stayed when we adopted our daughter) It's a beautiful part of the city with fun shops and things to see…and there's a starbucks πŸ™‚ Enjoy your time in China – congratulations on your beautiful little girl!

  • Heather Forcey January 10, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    I love your updates and am constantly looking to see if you've posted a new adventure for us to read about! Thank you for sharing such a sacred part of your life. I know many people who have adopted, but for some reason, your story has touched me in a way that none of those have. Prayers for smooth days ahead and an easy flight home.

  • Marty January 10, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    That last picture of Ashby by the waterfall with all smiles…LOVE IT. She looks so…at peace. Honeymoon or not,"Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us-to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21 A couple of things: ABOVE AND BEYOND…how awesome is that?! And that adopting Ashby not only blesses her, and your family, but will impact GENERATIONS for Christ! LOVE reading your posts! Congratulations!

  • Kathy Olson January 10, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    So happy to read your update!!

  • Kathy Olson January 10, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    So happy to read your update!!

  • Kim Taylor January 10, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    I have thoroughly enjoyed your adoption journey and look forward to waking up and seeing what new posts you have! The kids all look so happy! Seeing Ashby's cute smiling face is just joyful! Enjoy the last leg of your journey and I look forward to seeing what exciting travels you have planned for this summer! Safe travels Shull family!

  • Melissa January 10, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Just beautiful!

  • Shelli January 10, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Beautiful Ashby London! I have enjoyed reading this journey so much. Thank you for sharing!

  • JenniferW January 10, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Shay, thank you for sharing Ashby's adoption journey and for giving her a forever family. Hope the rest of your trip goes smoothly.

  • Morgan January 10, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    It made me smile to see Ashby opening up and blooming as she gets to know her family! I am just loving seeing her sweet smiles.

  • E January 10, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Love watching the transformation!! We stayed at the same hotel last Feb., but Guangzhou was having a cold snap…we packed for your temps., but instead had 40s. Brrrr!! There is a great park about a 10 min. walk away that I would totally recommend. Lots of activity and fascinating people watching:) Enjoy the last leg of your trip.

  • jojo January 10, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    The twinsies are adorable! Love seeing Ashby's beautiful smile! Your family has the biggest hearts.

  • Anonymous January 10, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    I have loved following your journey! My husband and I have been thinking about starting the adoption journey over the past couple of years (and have started the preliminary informational sessions where everything is SO overwhelming) and reading your story has spoken to me that now is the time to move ahead. Once you are home I would love to take you up on your offer from the other day to email you with questions. Congratulations to the Shull 5!

  • Sara Laverty January 10, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Ashly's smile……sweetest smile I've ever seen! πŸ™‚

  • Carol Woodrow January 10, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    LOVE this!!! So happy for you all and oh my she's just a doll. I'm so excited for her to meet your sweet families too when she gets back to TX!!!!!

  • Beth January 10, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    There is nothing like the feeling you get when you have finally made it to Guangzhou! Especially when you go to the Consulate and get her sworn in. So happy for your family.
    We loved Shamian Island! Since you're there for a few days, I hope you can get to the White Swan Hotel for the traditional adoption Red Couch photo! How cute it would be to see the Big, Middle and Little dressed in traditional Chinese clothes on the red couch! My favorite store on Shamian is called A Gift From China. They give part of the profits back to orphanages, and they gave us a cute memento, a magnet in the shape of China. You can buy Mother/Daughter charms there, plus Jie Jie, Ge Ge, Me Me, Nai Nai, Ye Ye [big sister, older brother, little sister, grandmother, grandfather]. and the pearls! My daughter was born in June so we bought her pearls there and tea sets. Zaijian!

  • Lauren January 10, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    What a sweet sweet little family! I love Ashby's smiles! πŸ™‚ And I love how you picked out all the kiddos names, such a unique idea!

  • Kristen T January 10, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    THANK YOU for sharing your journey! I love seeing her face light up as she experiences unconditional love from her family! I have some friends from church (two families) who are about to bring home three children from China! My husband and I have always been interested in adoption and hope to do so in the future. I am looking forward to learning more through your story! May God bless your family as you show Ashby a beautiful picture of the gospel! Prayers for yall!

  • Lauren January 10, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    I can't get enough of your updates! I'm so glad you are in a warmer city. That smile of Ashby just gets me, so glad she seems to be going with the flow at this point. The pic of the cribs lined up in the orphanage in your last post ripped my heart out and I immediately told James we must adopt Chinese babies. Who knows if we are called to adopt, it's something we've never thought or prayed about but I know this… because of your story and sharing your journey, many couples just might feel the call and adopt! If I could send you some chips and salsa, I would! πŸ˜‰

  • The Trombly's January 10, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Ashby has such am adorable smile!! And you my friend have some seriously good camera jumping skills! πŸ˜‰ Praying the rest of the trip goes smoothly!

  • McFarland Family January 10, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    This smiles are just amazing. I'm am oh so happy for your family of 5

  • Laci Murray January 10, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    I loved this post!!! You can tell how much y'all are enjoying that sweet girl and man how lucky are you guys!! She is a doll and I know your sweet family will be blessed. Keep the pics and updates coming. This journey has been so fun to follow. Much love and prayers from Tennessee as you guys continue to make your way home as a family of 5!!!!

  • Aubrey January 10, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    The photo of that sweet girl sacking them out made me smile. The peace on the face of a sleeping toddler is something special. And the snap of you and your girls (plural!)…so amazing.

    I will never forget that we were in London the day you adopted your Ashby London. πŸ™‚

  • Katie Smith January 10, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    This post warms my heart so much!!!! Such a beautiful family!!!!:)

  • Susan Cardy January 10, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Shay, that little Ashby smile is so stinkin cute! I just saw pics on facebook of animals before and after they are adopted and it remindd me of little ashby…I think she is going to be showing big huge grins nonstop with your family's love!

  • Unknown January 10, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Ashby is the cutest little girl! Her smile melts me! I love that this precious little girl has a forever family and you can see she's totally getting comfortable and loving it. Thanks for sharing your journey… I'm sure it's not always easy too!

    Question… At what point did you know she was your girl? When you got the picture of her? Did you feel like you were missing a piece of your family (Zoe yourself) before you got to get her? You've given birth so you know the immense love you get when you hold them the first time. I was just wondering what that is like with adoption.

  • Rebecca Jo January 10, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    I love the London names.
    & finally…. lots of Ashby smiles πŸ™‚ so precious.

  • Molly Middleton January 11, 2015 at 12:22 am

    Ashby's little teeth are so precious. Can I come travel with the Shull 5 this summer???? Y'all take the best trips πŸ™‚

  • Elizabeth Birenbaum January 11, 2015 at 12:36 am

    Totally commented on your previous post about her name and saw you answered here so please disregard πŸ™‚
    So, so happy you guys are enjoying this journey! Love the picture of you jumping in the air so happy to see Starbucks πŸ˜‰

  • Kelli Badder January 11, 2015 at 1:02 am

    I am so happy to see that you finally got your Ashby London and things are going so relativly smoothly for y'all in the adoption process. Can't wait to watch her grow up on the blog like I have with Kensington and Smith.

  • Sally Hepworth January 11, 2015 at 1:51 am

    This brought tears to my eyes. How lucky you all are to have found each other. I wish you all the best. The best families are chosen.

  • Paula January 11, 2015 at 2:55 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your inspirational story with all of us. I look forward to reading more about your family's adoption journey. Thank you.

  • Rachel Goes January 11, 2015 at 2:55 am

    Shay! My heart is BURSTING with love for you all!!! Love everything about this. You are so inspiring and i hope i am half the momma/woman you are. Biggest hugs!!! Xoxoxo

  • Narci January 11, 2015 at 3:23 am

    We love you guys! Can't wait to hug on you soon! Xoxoxo

  • Anonymous January 11, 2015 at 3:58 am

    I've been a LONG time reader and have never commented before. But I am so so SOOO happy for your gorgeous family! Thank you so much for sharing your journey! I always look forward to your posts! It's so wonderful to see LIFE coming to Ashby's expressions…I can tell she knows who her family finally is!

  • Erika Slaughter January 11, 2015 at 4:09 am

    Girl!!! You got AIR on that jump!!!

  • Shelly S. January 11, 2015 at 4:10 am

    This is incredible! I love keeping up with your story and find it so inspiring! Three beautiful kids you have, and I just adore the British themed names. My youngest was born in England, so it will always be one of my absolute favorites too!

  • Jaren January 11, 2015 at 4:40 am

    I love seeing the kids loving their new roles as big sister and big brother! Love that she is really having fun and warming up! Just curious, was this last city a personal choice to visit or part of the adoption process?

  • Brittany Sciba January 11, 2015 at 4:53 am

    Thank you for sharing your journey. I love seeing all of Ashby's smiles! You can tell how much she loves her family. I also loved reading about your kids' names! You might appreciate this story since you love all things British. My daughter was born on the same day as Prince George. We didn't know if she was a boy or girl, but we named her Georgia Kate immediately after she was born. At the time we named her, Will and Kate had not announced Prince George's name. Once it was announced and our Georgia Kate shared a birthday with KATE's son GEORGE, pretty much everyone asked if we named our daughter in honor of the Prince! It's a fun coincidence and I like to think they are just meant to be some day! πŸ˜‰ I'm so excited to see pictures of Ashby at her new home soon!

  • Jessica Simmons January 11, 2015 at 5:46 am

    Thank you for sharing your story with us, God bless your sweet family!

  • Olivia January 11, 2015 at 6:31 am

    I'm glad everything is going so well. Ashby is really adorable. I love that picture of Smith holding her hand. And of Ashby trying to hold back her smile πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing this journey!

  • Brittany Medland January 11, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Her smile is just the sweetest thing!! So nice to see a happy family of 5! Xoxo

  • Anonymous January 11, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Goodness….I have not read any of your adoption posts without some serious alligator tears. My heart for adoption is so strong and my husband is more on the apprehensive side. I've had him read your journey along with me and his heart is softening so much towards the idea. Thank you, genuinely, for sharing with us when you are under no obligation to do so. We are praying for you all as you transition to normalcy and into routine. I hope others are opening their ideas to the beauty of adoption as well.

  • Denise Ross January 11, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Your post made me smile and to see Ashby's cute smile is a real treat. Smith seems more relaxed too in his photos. So happy for you guys πŸ™‚

  • DetroitDuchess January 11, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    I love Ashby's sweet smile! What a blessing! Safe travels!

  • Anonymous January 11, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    Hi, Shay! I am so enjoying your updates from China – what an unbelievable experience! I know you're bombarded with questions, and I'm sure you'll do more posts with details, but I was curious how you chose China as the country to adopt from. My husband and I are in the very, very, very early stages of contemplating and praying on this and one question that continues to pop up is "how on earth will we choose which country when there is need in so many?!" Any insight you have would be much appreciated – whenever time allows πŸ™‚ I hope you enjoy the last week in China and have safe travels home as a family of five!

  • Rebecca January 12, 2015 at 12:41 am

    Love all of this!!?

  • Anonymous January 12, 2015 at 2:52 am

    Such a precious smile as she becomes a part of your beautiful family. I continue to pray for your family.

  • Anonymous January 12, 2015 at 4:22 am

    So so happy for you guys. What an excellent testimony of Christ's love for His children.

  • Raegan Allen January 12, 2015 at 4:28 am

    this makes my heart so happy. seeing your kids interact, watching her smile- what an inspiration your sweet family is, can't tell you the joy I feel reading your posts about ashby becoming a shull.

  • hillary January 12, 2015 at 5:31 am

    I'm grinning ear to ear!! Thank you for sharing.

  • Ginger January 12, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Loved your Dad's song for Ashby yesterday at PPBC church. He is really talented.

  • Anonymous January 19, 2015 at 5:45 am

    You and your family are beautiful and amazing.

  • Candice Ibarra January 20, 2015 at 12:24 am

    Im so happy for you and your beautiful family! Where did you get those pink sneakers? They are so cute!