Madeley Post Adoption: Month 15

On Monday, we celebrated 15 months with our precious Madeley James.

Fifteen months of four kids.

Fifteen months of squishy cheeks.

Fifteen months of the cutest waddle around.

Fifteen months of figuring each other out.

Fifteen months of hugs, kisses and pure joy.

Fifteen months not living in an orphanage.

On one hand, it seems like we’ve had Madeley forever and ever.ย  Just the other day, I was thinking about our trip to Switzerland and had to catch myself because I really thought she was there.ย  But then…on the other hand, it still all feels so new.ย  We waited 18 long months for this sweet girl and have only had her fifteen…but the “newness” hasn’t worn off.ย  She’s still the star of the show, everyone still fights for her attention, and it still feels too good to be true.

I wanted to post this picture today too…

…Ashby on her 15th month post adoption update ๐Ÿ™‚ .

I honestly think the best thing we ever did for Ashby was bring home Madeley…

…they are just the best little friends.ย  They’re inseparable!ย  To hear them laugh and giggle all over the house makes this mama heart SO HAPPY!

A lot has happened between Madeley’s 1st Gotcha Day post and today.ย  For starters, she turned the big THREEย on October 19.

She also got to go visit Kansas State University for the first time where she learned all about the Wildcats…and kept us entertained the whole time ๐Ÿ™‚ .

But mostly, she’s just morphed from this little baby into this big girl.ย  A big girl that can do so many new things now that she wasn’t even able to do a mere three months ago.

This girl can zip up her own jacket, work an iPad and select her favorite movies (Trolls) and shows (Peppa Pig) and play all sorts of games.ย  She can count to four, identify many of her colors, recognize the letter M and knows that it stands for Madeley, brush her own teeth, and set the table just to name a few.ย  And when I say set the table, I’m talking…get the place mats out, put out napkins, flatware, cups and plates all by herself.ย  She is such a helper!!

Madeley has convinced us to take dance this January.ย  At the big girls’ recital a few weeks ago, she was bound and determined to put on a costume and get up there too.ย  So…we have signed her up.ย  When she tried on her new little tap shoes and ballet slippers the other day, she BEAMED!

She loves playing with Little People, Duplo blocks and her baby doll the best, BUT she will play anything with the big kids.ย  Just Monday night, I saw her creeping around the corner with a Nerf gun because, hello?ย  Smith invited her to play and she is not going to turn down that invitation.

This child is nothing short of pure joy.ย  Her boundless love and affection have completed our family in a way we didn’t even know possible.ย  It catches my breath sometimes to think about how close we came to not being her family.ย  We would have missed out on so much!ย  She is the blessing to us.ย  The thing is…there are MILLIONS of other girls (and boys) just like her out there.ย  Please understand, I fully believe that if adoption is on your heart, it will NOT go away with time.ย  It’s on your heart for a reason.ย  My prayer is that you consider your life, your home, your future and really think…can I share it with a child that has nothing and no one?ย  A child who needs a home, a hug, a meal and a forever family.ย  There are millions of Madeleys out there just waiting on YOU to come get them.

Fifteen months down with the most precious girl around.ย  We love our sweet Madeley!

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

Madeley’s Gotcha Day {1st Anniversary}

Madeley Post Adoption: Month 11

Madeley Post Adoption: Month 10

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

Madeleyย 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 December 14, 2017 at 4:44 am

    Madeley has grown so much! I bet she’d have so much fun reading your monthly posts when she’s older, too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    • Kelly December 14, 2017 at 9:42 am

      How did you determine which adoption agency to use? I have so many questions and I will try not to bombard you, but it is an inspiring post. Happy Holidays to you and your family!

      • Mix and Match Mama December 14, 2017 at 12:36 pm

        Feel free to email me any time, Kelly!

  • Sheaffer Sims December 14, 2017 at 5:11 am

    This girl’s squishy jeans, waddle, and sweet little spirit have all captured my heart. Love you, Madeley!

  • Denise December 14, 2017 at 5:49 am

    Awe..This made my day I love when you blog about Adoption Updates on the girls & Life Lately with The Shulls. I love the picture of Madeley on Andrew’s shoulders because there’s just something that makes her look like Andrew. Also the picture of her & Ashby in the twin bed together is adorable to. (Ok who am I kidding they are all so cute of all of them) It blows my mind how kids can just sleep anyway & anywhere. Like when they have sleepovers in your bedroom they are laid out every angle possible & sound asleep. Thank you for sharing your family & your adoption journey with us!!! ๐Ÿ’›

  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams December 14, 2017 at 6:02 am

    It has been so fun to watch Madeley blossom in your photos! She looks like she has a sweet and funny personality!
    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

  • Angela December 14, 2017 at 6:02 am

    Madeley…so adorable!!!! I love seeing all of the pictures of how this little one has been woven by God right into your familyโ€™s hearts. God is just so incredibly good!!

  • Erika Slaughter December 14, 2017 at 6:04 am

    What a blessing she is to our family as well! We love that Madeley Shull! XO

  • Marilia de M B Farias December 14, 2017 at 6:27 am

    Obviously you donโ€™t know me, but I feel like I know a little of you. I follow your blog for some time now. If my memory isnโ€™t wrong, since Ashby was born from your and all hearts. I really donโ€™t remember how I met your blog, but I truly believe it was by Godโ€™s hand. We are in a time of the year where we become sentimental and grateful for all blessings. And I had to write and let you know that you have been a blessing in my life in so many ways, a real angel. And you not even knew it. Iโ€™m very far from you, from a different country, english is not my language, so excuse me if my writing isnโ€™t so good. Thank you for your advices on so many things, you have an open mind, you donโ€™t mind to share, you help so many people Iโ€™m sure you donโ€™t even imagine. My life has become so much simpler, so much organized, and this has made me so much calmer and happy. Your family became my family, we can feel your love for each of your kids, husband, parents, friends… everyone. I guess I could be your mother, Iโ€™m 56, but I have learned so much from your words and examples. I had to come here and say thank you. You have a beautiful family, lovely kids who will grow with great examples. God will keep blessing you all and give you all a Merry Christmas and a great New Year.

  • Narci Dreffs December 14, 2017 at 6:38 am

    Precious Madeley! We love her little waddle and her FUN personality! We are so thankful for you, sweet girl!

  • courtney December 14, 2017 at 6:44 am

    This made my day! I love reading about Ashby and Madeley’s adoption updates.

  • Elspeth Mizner December 14, 2017 at 6:44 am

    This warms my heart!!! What a beautiful post for sweet Madeley. I feel like we have been reading about her forever. No just 15 months! She is precious

  • KimW December 14, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Absolutely LOVE watching the progress post-adoption!! Amazing!!

  • Melissa December 14, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Your adoption posts get me every.single.time. Pure sweetness!

  • Sarah @ Foxy's Domestic Side December 14, 2017 at 8:06 am

    So sweet, I love reading these updates on your precious kids.

  • Ruth December 14, 2017 at 8:29 am

    I love your adoption posts! Madeley is just so cute and just like with Ashby, it’s been a lot of fun to watch her blossom with her forever family. Being adopted myself, I always heard people say I looked like my dad or sounded like my mom. I’m Korean, they are both caucasian and I always thought people were trying to be nice. But, I think I get it now. God clearly meant for Ashby and Madeley to be part of your family, but there are times I see their pictures and think they really look like all of you!

  • Paula Hawthorne December 14, 2017 at 8:46 am

    All of your children are beautiful, but Madeley’ s smile comes from deep within her soul. From the inside out. She looks pure joy!

  • Kacy December 14, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Always love the adoption posts. She’s such a precious gift from God!

  • Julie December 14, 2017 at 9:10 am

    she is just the cutest!!!!! I just love these posts and to see how she has blossomed is just awesome!!! such a special little girl and a SPECIAL family!!! I love your posts!!!

  • Laci December 14, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Madeley just screams JOY and LAUGHTER!!! Her little face just melts my heart. I am sure the bond between Ashby and Madeley is so very special.

  • Gabrielle storey December 14, 2017 at 9:25 am

    She kills me! She is too cute for her own good…. Yโ€™all are blessed to have her!

  • Kimberly December 14, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Madeley is a doll! I love reading about your girls’ adoptions and their progress since coming home. I remember I was so happy when reading that Madeley’s medical issues turned out to be basically nonexistent — what a blessing! Thank you for continually sharing about adoption, your kiddos, and life in general! I love reading your blog ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you and your family have a fantastic Christmas!

  • Amanda @ That Inspired Chick December 14, 2017 at 9:52 am

    We LOVE Miss Madeley!!! Those squishy cheeks, that boss walk, her sweet little voice…she is so full of personality! That girl has got spunk. I can’t wait to see how she does with dance! She’s going to steal the show! That Inspired Chick

  • Lauren December 14, 2017 at 10:19 am

    All of your kids are adorable, but I can’t get enough of Madeley as Moana!!

  • Jen December 14, 2017 at 10:45 am

    She is just the cutest and I just love hearing about her. I love Marilia’s comment for you, made me tear up reading. All so true.

  • Tracy December 14, 2017 at 11:31 am

    I love your adoption updates. She is precious!

  • Liz Thorson December 14, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    The picture of Madeley and Ashby in their bed and what you shared about their relationship makes my heart so full of joy for them and for your entire family! Those two could not have found a more perfect forever family! โค๏ธ๐ŸŽ„โค๏ธ

  • Amy December 16, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    I second Marila’s comments- it’s amazing to receive a special Blessing and gift in you sharing your life, faith, blog/words and special family with the rest of us.
    Some of us live harder lives and reading your words help provide a calm, hope and respite — if even temporary; it’s a favorite time of day –that satisfies, refuels, and gives hope.

  • Detroit Duchess December 19, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    These are my favorite posts – I love seeing all your pictures of her cute little smile! How can you have a bad day with that little ball of sunshine around ? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lauren @ Funky Monkey Children December 26, 2017 at 8:09 am

    She is SO cute! I love this post and the updates. We have three biological and are beginning to explore the possibility of adopting a #4, so I love to read your experiences. Thanks for sharing!