Madeley Post Adoption: Month 10


Ten months ago today, we got our Madeley!

This month, our sweet girl hit some very big milestones!


#1: She’s pretty much potty trained.

What?  Yes.  The reason why this is so shocking is because if you’ve read this blog for a while now, you know that I am officially the world’s worst potty trainer.

 I used to think Kensington was just a horrible kid to potty train…until I tried it with Smith…and then, I realized that I was most likely the problem.  I’ve blogged about this.  I’ve asked you guys for help.  I paid the online fee to do that 3 Day Method.  I did everything.  It was basically two years where one (or two) of my kids would have multiple accidents every day.  One time, I took my kids to a big group play date at a bounce house place and BOTH of my kids pooped in their pants.  BOTH.  I had to do the mommy walk of shame as I exited the place with TWO kids who had just had accidents.  Sigh.

The day that we adopted Ashby and they handed her to me, the translator said “she’s potty trained” and I about cried.  I got to skip right over Ashby and her potty training.  #praise  BUUUUUT…then 20 months later, I was handed another kid…in a diaper.  #sigh  So, I’ve been basically waiting until she’s 10 before I attempted potty training her.  I figured I would just explain it to her at that age and she would decide to stop wearing diapers 😉 .

So…when Kensington and I headed to NYC a few weeks ago, Andrew casually said “I’m going to potty train Madeley while you’re gone.”, and I selfishly thought “Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!  Because if you start it, I will have to finish it when I get home.”  But friends, I got home and he had potty trained Madeley!!!  I have no idea what went on in my house over those four days and what method he might have used…but she even sleeps in undies at night now.  #whoa  Andrew Shull, two things: 1. You’re the best husband in the world and I love you so much for doing that!  And 2. Where the heck were these amazing potty training skills between the years of 2010 and 2013?


#2: She spent the night at Lovie and Papa Jay’s for the first time by herself.

Madeley has spent the night with my parents on two other occasions while we were out of town/Ashby had surgery, but never has she been by herself with my parents.  And she LOVED it!!  She came back home after her night away telling me all sorts of things.  She was saying words like “swim water” “Lilly” (my parents’ dog), “play”, “eat eggs”. Ha!  She was spoiled and had the very best time!


#3: She’s sleeping in a big girl bed now.

Originally, we assumed that Madeley would sleep in our bed like Ashby did when we first got her.  But…if you recall, while we were still in China, we tried sleeping with her and she kept slithering off the bed in the middle of the night and walking around. So…we had to come up with a Plan B and that was…she would sleep in a pack ‘n play right next to our bed until she was ready to transition out of our room (which happened four months later).  One day, they were doing construction in our master closet, so we moved her pack ‘n play upstairs to Ashby’s room for nap time, but then that night when we started moving it back downstairs, she emphatically let us know that she wanted to stay in Ashby’s room.  So, she’s been sleeping in a pack ‘n play there now since the end of January.  All of that to say, this past week, we asked her if she wanted to sleep on the bottom bunk instead of her little pack ‘n play and she was SO EXCITED!!!  She had the BIGGEST grin on her face when we put her to be and then again the next morning when she woke up.  She knows she’s a big girl sleeping in a big bed now.  She was absolutely precious about it!  So…no more pack ‘n play…off to a big girl bed for Miss Madeley!


This kid just makes our family complete.

Last week, China changed/added/created new laws making it even harder for Americans to adopt children from their country.  My heart has been so heavy and broken for so many families who were in the middle of adoptions and now, are not going to get the children they had been waiting for.  I have one friend here in McKinney who was supposed to get a little girl and now, she’s not.  I cannot even begin to imagine the devastation.  My heart breaks even more for the MILLIONS of precious orphans over there who do not have forever families.  If the laws had been changed in July 2016 instead of July 2017, we wouldn’t have been eligible for Madeley.  That just takes my breath away.  Please be in prayer for those who are affected…both the parents and the kids.  Adoption is beautiful…but adoption is also very hard.

To see some other post adoption posts, just look below…

Madeley Post Adoption: Month 9

Madeley Post Adoption: Month 8

Madeley Post Adoption: Month 7

Madeley Post Adoption: Month 6

Madeley Post Adoption: Month 5

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 Post Adoption: 2.5 Years

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

    Wow, congrats on getting Madeley potty trained in just… a few hours? Haha, how incredible. Happy ten months adoption to your family!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    • Alicia D July 11, 2017 at 10:23 am

      My hubs potty trained our two year old when I had to travel for a weekend as well. It was the MOST AWESOME thing!! Shout out to all the great Dad’s out there!!

  • Susan July 11, 2017 at 5:03 am

    Beautiful post! She is absolutely precious, and her sweet face radiates love! I can’t imagine being so close to adopting and then not allowed to. It’s even more devastating for the innocent children.

  • Elspeth Mizner July 11, 2017 at 5:59 am

    How exciting and so beautiful! Love seeing you kiddos can change so fast! How did she do traveling to Alaska?

    • Mix and Match Mama July 11, 2017 at 6:18 am

      Fantastic!! She had the BEST time on the big boat 😉 .

      • Elspeth Mizner July 11, 2017 at 7:23 am

        Wonderful!!! So happy to hear! Have a fantastic day Shay!

  • Hanna July 11, 2017 at 6:00 am

    Madeley is absolutely precious!!! Do you have more info on the adoption law changes?

    • Mix and Match Mama July 11, 2017 at 6:18 am

      You can find them all over the internet. had a great article about it.

  • Heather Bramlett July 11, 2017 at 6:09 am

    She is precious. So thankful she found her forever home.

  • Courtney July 11, 2017 at 6:16 am

    Miss Madeley is growing up so fast! Prayers go out to those families and the children. Thanks for sharing, Shay!

  • Erika Slaughter July 11, 2017 at 6:34 am

    Remember my post yesterday? Big girl Madeley could probably take care of Britt all on her own. Miss Madeley is so fun. She has the best little personality and we love her big!

  • Bailey July 11, 2017 at 6:47 am

    I am so saddened about China’s new laws and what it will mean for adoptive families. I don’t understand why it has to be so difficult to place orphaned children into the arms of a loving family. God knew what he was doing when he pushed y’all to act so quickly after adopting Ashly. He knew if you waited, you’d miss your girl. Who btw, is just the cutest thing ever!!

  • Lauren July 11, 2017 at 7:18 am

    Loved this post! We are one of the families affected by the rule changes. 😔

  • Vicki Leuck July 11, 2017 at 7:20 am

    What does China have to gain by ‘adopting’ stricter laws? This is so sad.

  • KimW July 11, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Good grief! I had to do a double take… 10 months?? That went fast!! LOVE watching the changes on the faces of Madeley and Ashby since you adopted them both. #twoless Super fun to watch their personalities emerge!

  • KimW July 11, 2017 at 7:23 am

    Also – thank you for sharing your parenting journey with us…

  • Sheaffer Sims July 11, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Madeley had a reallllllllllly had act to follow. But my goodness she rose to the occasion! LOVE YOU, MADELEY!!!

  • Lauren July 11, 2017 at 7:40 am

    Every picture of your sweet Madeley brings a smile to my face. I will be praying for all of the families affected by the change in laws. It’s so sad that the course of those children’s lives has been changed. I will be praying and I know He has great plans for them.

  • Laci July 11, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Madeley is absolutely the cutest thing!!

  • Brooke Richardson July 11, 2017 at 7:49 am

    This post made me tear up! Madeley is so smart, funny and insanely cute! I just can’t even fathom your family without Madeley. The new China laws would have done the same to us and we would still not be eligible for Willow.

  • Lauren July 11, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Hi Shay! We are going to start potty training our little guy soon. Do you know what Andrew did to help Miss Madeley? Any advice would be great! Thank you!

    Love, love your blog and your sweet family!

  • Rebecca Brittain July 11, 2017 at 8:16 am

    I love to hear that Madeley is doing so great, as if she’s been a part of your family from day one. And kudos to your hubby for potty training her! That’s both super sweet of him and quite intriguing that he was able to do it so smoothly. =) It is very disheartening to hear about the laws changing in China. We have to trust that God has something powerful in store with the changes that will benefit the children somehow in the end. XOXO

  • Kayla B July 11, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Love this post. Madeley seems like just the sweetest little girl!! I thought of y’all right away when reading the new adoption laws. Praying God makes a way for all those families!

  • Ann Marie Tennison July 11, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Such a sweet girl!!!! She is blessed along with each of you to have her in your arms!

  • Alexandra M July 11, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Good morning! I hope this doesn’t come across as critical as I really don’t mean it that way–my fiance and I love to travel and have also talked about adoption sometime in the future after we have bio-kiddos (But, you know, we plan and God laughs so who knows) my question is do Madeley and Ashby ever get nervous when traveling that they won’t get to come home with you? How long did you wait before traveling with them so they knew that when they left home they were coming back home? Was the first trip with them post-China homecoming difficult? Thanks in advance, I just love following your little family’s adventures. 🙂

    • Mix and Match Mama July 11, 2017 at 8:41 am

      That is a very honest question! Neither girl has ever expressed any concerned that they would not be coming home with us. For that matter, they’ve never expressed concern that weren’t coming back to get them (like when we drop them off at church and stuff) or won’t be returning home (when we go to dinner and have a sitter). I think each child is different, but neither of my girls have been concerned about this.

      • Alexandra M July 11, 2017 at 11:58 am

        Thank you for answering! I appreciate the added part about church and sitters–that had never even entered my mind. So glad your girls know who their families are. Prayers for continued wonderful attachment for your girls and all the kiddos who are in that transition right now.

  • Angela Ellingson July 11, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Such a sweet little girl! Absolutely adorable! Praying now for all those affected by these changing laws. The verse you always mention, Ephesians 3:20… God can change the lawmakers hearts. Praying He holds each of these precious children and families close.

  • Alexis deZayas July 11, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Madeley is truly blossoming as a part of your sweet fam!! What a blessing she is!

  • April Parrish July 11, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Way to go Andrew on that potty training!! Madeley is just perfect!! Praying for all those sweet children in China that need and deserve a forever family!

  • Whitney Pegram July 11, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Such a baby doll! God is so good! ❤

  • Laura @ Laura Likes Design July 11, 2017 at 9:11 am

    She is such a cutie!! I’m so sad to hear that they’re changing the rules about adoptions — I feel so bad for all of the families that have had their hopes up.

  • T. B July 11, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I hate to think that China has made it harder to place children in families.
    Horrible to think you have a friend that now can’t adopt a little girl .
    I had hoped the changes weren’t that drastic.
    On Holt Internationals website they wrote the requirements have largely stayed the same. Some becoming more lenient and some more strict.

  • Ashley July 11, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Hard to believe it’s already been 10 months since you posted that photo of the little lock with the letter ‘M’! I feel so fortunate to be able to follow your adoption journey and see how blessed your family has been throughout the process.

  • Jess July 11, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Out of curiosity, what part of the changes should have prevented the adoption? It seems like most would just add to the wait time poteintally if there are younger kids in the house?

    • Mix and Match Mama July 11, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      For my friend in particular, the number of kids that she currently has and she adopted less than a year ago are the reasons. It’s just so sad.

  • Angelique July 11, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Can Andrew make house calls? Potty training is the worst … Congratulations to beautiful Madeley on achieving so much this month. They sure grow up fast!

  • Jessica July 11, 2017 at 10:42 am

    No but seriously what is this magical potty training method? I NEED to know!

  • Kerri July 11, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Love this post! She’s so adorable! She seems like the sweetest kiddo who just makes your family whole. Thanks for always sharing. Praying for those families that are affected by the new laws.

  • The Nelson Nook July 11, 2017 at 11:15 am

    She is simply adorable ! I love your post adoption blog posts 🙂 Your family is truly inspiring !

  • Amanda @ That Inspired Chick July 11, 2017 at 11:47 am

    I cannot imagine your family without Miss Madeley! I love to just sit back and watch her do her thing. Also, big kudos to Andrew!!! I had no idea he did that!! That’s amazing! I’m guessing it was potty training boot camp! He should write his own 3 day method! 😉

    And my heart just breaks for all those families who can’t adopt now because of these new laws. It is devastating and I just don’t understand it at all. Prayers for those hurting families and all those kids who will be even more affected by it.

  • Lindsay @ Lindsay's Sweet World July 11, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Hats off to Andrew for potty training her IN FOUR DAYS. Seriously, what is his secret?! Potty training our son was a complete nightmare, but fortunately our daughter potty-trained herself. She hated being messy and she pretty much just started going to the potty on her own. I didn’t even have to do anything. Lol. I was very fortunate for that after what went on with Jacob.

  • Katie July 11, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Because of your story (twice now) I’ve recently started feeling the desire to adopt, particularly a little girl from China. And I think my husband is finally realizing it’s a real thing. Praying for those families affected and that the laws will change before we are done having biological kiddos and starting the adoption process.

  • Maria D. July 11, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Madeley is so precious! Ha that Andrew got her potty trained in 4 days – I think it’s a combination of the child being mentally and physically ready and the method so maybe he just got lucky or God took pity on him and helped him out – lol…So sad about China changing the laws – these orphaned children need homes with families that want them and would give them opportunities they would never get otherwise. Keep up the good work with Madeley and Ashby – they are a precious gift!

  • Jane July 11, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Hi Shay,
    Do you mind me asking what new rules would have prohibited you from getting Madeley? I’ve been reading articles about it and the only new rules that seems restrictive to me are the youngest being three and adopting more than a year apart, and it doesn’t seem those would apply to you. Are there other rules I’m not finding? We have thought about adopting so I’m wondering where I can find all the info.

    • Mix and Match Mama July 11, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      When we turned in our application, we had a two year old and we had adopted less than one year before…so both strike us out.

  • Abby July 11, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Madeley is DARLING! I can’t believe how big she’s getting! Is she going to start preschool in the fall?

    • Mix and Match Mama July 11, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      She is! She cannot wait!!

      • Abby July 11, 2017 at 5:49 pm

        How exciting! I have a little boy about Madeley’s age and I can’t decide whether I want him to do 2 or 3 days. What do you recommend? We’re new to the preschool thing!

        • Mix and Match Mama July 12, 2017 at 5:03 am

          We’ve always done two days :).

  • Danielle July 11, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    I love reading all of these adoption posts! Due to medical issues, I will never have biological kids but can’t wait to adopt someday! These updates have made me even more hopeful for that day!

  • Natalie July 11, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    I just love seeing your pics and reading your posts about adoption! Your family is just precious. Your blog was a huge inspiration when we were researching and praying about adoption. Thank you for addressing the new requirements so others know. We have been expecting our I-800A approval to arrive any day now and were totally rocked by the new requirements as we have a 2.5 year old. So, we have to wait until mid-January to be logged in. I know other families have it way worse than we do but it is devastating. Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly.

  • Bryanna July 11, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks for sharing miss Madeley with us! She is precious! I was unaware of the changes China had implemented and WOW. After reading the “PAP” rules, age restrictions etc. I’m not sure I can think of a single human being that still qualifies. Absolutely heartbreaking. 🙁

  • sarah smith July 11, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    You should have Andrew guest blog and write a post about his potty training wisdom! Madeley is just the sweetest, and I can’t wait to see what she wants to do on her gotcha day! Xx

  • Kacy July 11, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    What a beautiful post! She’s so precious and she’s blessed to have the Shull fam! And vice versa 🙂

  • Bethany July 11, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    I love these updates! They make my heart so happy! Also, I might need to borrow your husband in about 6 months….K? 😉

  • Helena July 15, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    I would also love if Andrew can write a post on how he did the potty training. Thanks!