Friends, tomorrow, we celebrate THREE YEARS with our sweet Madeley James!
Three years of kisses.
Three years of hugs.
Three years of those cheeks.
Three years of family.
Three wonderful, wonderful, wonderful years.
We’ve been talking quite a bit lately about how much our lives have changed in the last three years. We’ve been talking about birth moms, orphanages, China, love and how God can take people on opposite sides of the world and make them a family.
Madeley loves to watch the video of us meeting for the first time. I would say that almost every day she asks to watch it. She always says the same thing “I cry because I not know you were my mommy”. Sweet girl! That’s exactly why she cried. She was 23 months old and all of a sudden her whole life changed. New people, new places, new language, new food, men (they said she hadn’t seen one before), animals (hadn’t seen one of those either!), airplane rides…her whole world was different within just minutes of meeting us. And you know what? OURS WAS TOO!!!
Madeley James Shull stole our hearts from the first minute.
She makes us laugh.
She makes us happy.
She really does make us a family.
Now that Madeley is almost five, she can really carry on genuine conversations with us. One of them we had recently was about her “rocking” herself to sleep every time. She takes turns sleeping with all three big kids each night and they asked her if she could please stop rocking herself to sleep (because it’s very aggressive rocking). No matter how many times we’ve tried to rock her ourselves, pat her, cuddle her, tuck her in…she will always revert back to rocking. So, the big kids asked her and this is what she said, “I have to rock. When I was a baby, I not sleep, so Jesus told me to rock myself.”.
The air was sucked out of the room.
Andrew and I prayed so many times for her when we knew she was in the orphanage (even before we had a match, but just knew our baby was over there somewhere), and always asked Jesus to take care of her. And according to Madeley, He did.
If you’re thinking about adoption, but it sounds scary, daunting, unfamiliar, confusing, hard and complicated, well, it is. It is also beautiful. It’s love. It’s family. If it’s on your heart, I do not believe it will ever go away. It’s on there for a reason, friend. Take that step of faith and go get your baby. Boy, girl, domestic, international, young or old…I don’t know who your kiddo is, but I firmly believe God does and He wants you to be a family.
Madeley is amazing.
Adoption is amazing.
You are amazing and if God has it on your heart, do it. I’m so blessed we did.
Happy three years, Madeley James! You are more special than words could ever say. xo
To see more about our journey to adopt Ashby, see below: