Two years ago today, we waited in a hotel room in Jinan, China for them to knock on the door and hand us our baby girl.
We were so nervous, so excited, had so much anticipation, wanted so badly for the clock to move faster, we were tired (we had just arrived the night before), we were hyper, we were ready to finally meet the little girl from the pictures. Then they knocked, and our lives were changed forever…
Two years ago today, we became a family with Madeley James Shull.
Friends, what would life be right now without her?!
Each one of my kiddos is so different and so special. I have one who is so passionate, so loyal, so kind and such a creative little soul. I have another who is witty beyond his years, funny, smart and full of imagination and energy. Then there is this one kiddo who is just sweet to her core. She is so loving and kind that you often forget she is TOUGH AS NAILS. She is a fighter and not a complainer. And then there is this one…
…she is the life of our party.
The perpetual fountain of fun and entertainment.
She is the one who says “I love you so much” the most to all of us. Without prompting, all the time…she says, “I love you so much, Smithy” or whomever…she is so full of love.
This once shy, reserved, and unsure girl is now, the funniest one in the family. She knows she’s funny too which only makes her funnier.
This kid is spunky and lively and has MADE our lives in ways we didn’t know we needed to be made.
Two years ago, we met this little girl and some would say we changed her life, but friends, SHE changed our lives.
Miss Madeley is our kisser and hugger. She wants to cuddle with all of us, she wants to sit by all of us, she wants us all to tuck her in, to sing her songs and tell her stories…she knows she’s the center of attention and she loves it (and we love it too!).
Friends, I could have missed out on all of this. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…you could have talked me out of either of these adoptions. I didn’t go into to them with all of this confidence and assurance. I didn’t think “Gee, this will be easy! I’ve got this!”. No. I was scared to death. I was worried and nervous and fearful that adopting would change the wonderful balance we had at home. If you’re waiting to feel like you’re 100% ready to adopt, then you’ll never adopt. I have never met anyone who didn’t go into it with fear and doubts. You can’t wait until you’re ready, you need to go when God calls you. He’ll get you ready in His own time.
Are you being prompted to adopt? Is this global orphan crisis someone else’s problem or is it everyone’s? Are you waiting for everyone else to adopt because it’s scary for you to think about stepping out and doing it too? I fully believe that if it’s on your heart at all, it’s on there for a reason…it’s on there because God is calling you to adopt too.
Sweet Madeley. She is precious and beautiful and funny and smart and so full of life and she wasn’t alone in that orphanage in China.
There are millions of precious kids in the US and abroad who need homes. Who need families. Who have so much love to give if someone would simply give them a home.
I cannot believe it’s been two years. I try to remember what it was like pre-Madeley and it’s hard for me. Sometimes, even now that she’s almost four, I still wrap her in a blanket and hold her. I’ll tell her to pretend like she’s a baby and she makes snoring noises and acts all “baby-ish”. We laugh about it as we do it, but I’m always thinking about what it was like when she really was a baby. Madeley was found when she was two months out which means…her mama kept her for two months. She fed her, she held her, she loved on her and for some unexplainable, and I can only imagine, horrible reason, she was forced to give her up. That poor mama. I’m sure there isn’t a day that goes by that she doesn’t wonder what happened to her baby girl.
I pray for my girls’ mamas daily and it’s always that God can give them some sort of sign or some sort of unexplainable peace that their girls are okay. I just want them to have a peace in their hearts that their daughters are alright. Can you imagine not knowing? I want them to know in their core that their girls are safe, healthy and loved.
Two years ago today, we adopted this sweet girl. Wouldn’t it be terrible if your kiddo was out there waiting for you to come adopt them? My prayer every day, but especially on days like this, is that if adoption is on your heart, that you will MOVE. It’s scary, it’s uncertain, it’s filled with unknowns…but friends, it is the BEST THING I’VE EVER DONE. Don’t make them wait any longer.
Happy Gotcha Day, Madeley James! It was two years ago today that you got our hearts. You got ’em and you’ve held tight to them ever since. We love you so much! You are our sweet girl and we cannot imagine life without you. xo
If you really want to get to know our adoption stories (or take a peek back in time), you can see some other post adoption posts right here…
To see more about our journey to adopt Ashby, see below: