Friends, it’s 2021!!!
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. I seriously missed you guys!!! I thought of this little community many times each day over the last two weeks. I truly miss this time with you each day. I’m super pumped that I’m back with you today because we’re celebrating one of the greatest things ever…
…it’s the SIXTH ANNIVERSARY of becoming a family with Ashby London!
I know so many of you were here six years ago with us as we made that trip to China and met this precious girl…isn’t crazy how fast six years has gone by?!
I feel like it was yesterday…but then, I also have a really hard time remembering life without Miss Ashby. Just Andrew, Smith and Kensington? Life doesn’t even sound right if Ashby isn’t in it.
Ashby fills our house with so much joy. Every single day, she’s upbeat, happy, positive and confident. No matter what challenges come her way, she keeps moving forward and handles them with a sense of peace and purpose that can only come from divine intervention.
This last year, so many things have happened and changed in Ashby’s life. It’s been a hard year, a complicated year, a scary year, but she’s handled it with such grace (especially for a 7/8 year old!!!).
Among other things that were hard for our girl, Ashby had two surgeries last year (fewer than normal), but the last one was so complicated and the recovery very brutal. We’re currently 3 months post-op, but she’s still in pain and living with reduced mobility in her elbow, wrist and fingers. We’re working through it, but it’s so hard because she’s old enough to realize several things: First, no matter how painful this surgery is and how long it takes to recover from it, it does not “fix” her problem. A lot of us have surgeries that are brutal but we know that it’s a means to an end…for Ashby, it has a purpose (to keep her healthy and safe and preserve her limb as long as possible), but she doesn’t get the peace/satisfaction of seeing the results she wants to see (to no longer have the problem). Secondly, she knows this is a life-long thing…have a painful surgery, live through the painful post-op, do it again…forever. We’ve spent a lot of time this year (and with the help of some amazing professionals) working through these realities with Ashby because her mental well-being is just as important as her physical one. So many of you tell me that you pray for Ashby every day (something that leaves me quite speechless), so this would be our prayer request for this year…just pray for her as she processes this reality. We can’t change the situation, we can only learn how to live in it peacefully.
Ashby is so tiny, but she is SO MIGHTY! I live in awe of her each and every day. I also live in awe of a God who would see this baby in China and know she belonged with a family in America. How crazy cool is that?!
Ashby, you are spunky, you are funny, you are silly, you love jewelry, lip gloss, and purses, but you also love climbing trees, playing soccer, shooting Nerf guns, and you are obsessed with dogs. OBSESSED. When you grow up, you say you want to be a veterinarian.
I typically wouldn’t consider myself a “hover mother”, but I certainly hover over Ashby. Smith told me this fall that I had to stop worrying about her. He said “Mom, when you drop us off every morning and we walk down the hall to our classrooms, Ashby is like a celebrity. Every teacher and kid that walks by says hi to her. She’s so popular and has so many friends.”. Ha! For the big 5th grader on campus to think that about his little 2nd grade sister made my heart happy. I love that she’s known for having “so many friends”.
Six years ago, we waited in that little office in Xi’an, China for them to bring me a 2 year old girl whom we had never met, but already loved. When they walked in and handed me that sweet little girl (crying her eyes out and holding a banana), I instantly felt like she was mine…the exact same way I felt when Andrew handed me Kensington or Smith for the first time. That was my baby. Forever.
I cannot imagine what the Shull family would look like if we didn’t have Ashby London.
Is there someone missing from your family right now? If adoption is on your heart, it’s there for a reason. Is your kiddo just waiting for you to be brave enough to take that first step and begin the process? Adoption is complicated and messy and born out of brokenness, but friends, it’s also filled with love, joy, hope, hugs, snuggles, and so much happiness.
Adoption is amazing.
Ashby Shull is amazing.
I’m incredibly blessed to be her mama.
Happy Gotcha Day, Ashby! You certainly “got” my heart six years ago today.
To see all of my posts on our adoptions, please scroll and click below…
To see more about our journey to adopt Ashby, see below: