Tomorrow is such a special day at our house because…it’s Madeley James’ Gotcha Day!
Five years ago tomorrow, we met our baby…
I mean…there are really not enough words.
After we met and fell in love with Ashby, we knew God was calling us back to China to bring one more girl home. As much as we both “knew it”, I was still scared to death. What if she didn’t click with the other three kids? What if she felt less like mine than the other three? What if she and Ashby didn’t bond? What if she wasn’t meant to be the baby?
What if God is so freaking big and mighty that He knew MY BABY WAS IN CHINA, SO SHUT UP SHAY AND JUST GET HER.
We met a very timid and reserved 23 month old baby girl in Jinan, China on September 11th, brought her home…
…fell head over heels in love…
…as she became the absolute LIGHT and JOY in our family!
Where we might all tend to be a bit more reserved, Madeley is the life of the party.
She is naturally so funny, so clever, so sweet, so smart, so bubbly and full of energy while also being so sweet and affectionate.
Madeley James is everything our family didn’t know we needed…and we NEEDED her.
That once shy toddler is now a bubbly, social, active first grader. She loves school, loves her teachers, loves learning. On Labor Day, we were at our neighborhood pool, and she had more friends there/made more friends/knew more people than all of my other kids combined. She’s so social and so outgoing while also being…
…such a baby too 😉 . She loves being “the baby”. Yes, she’s almost seven, but she really enjoys her role as the youngest, wants to cuddle and snuggle with any of us, wants to just spend time with us, wants to help, wants to play, always game for anything and always, always, always happy. In five years, I really can promise you that she is my only kiddo who has NEVER had a bad day. She is JOY.
Her role as little sister is often hanging out and waiting at practices and games, but she doesn’t mind. Mades is always just so happy to be along for the ride and can turn any mundane task into something special.
I am so proud of how hard she’s worked at speech therapy and school. She’s always so eager to read, learn, practice. She’s up for anything, all the time.
Andrew and I always talk about Madeley’s birth mother. She’s somewhere out there right now. We imagine she has round cheeks, sparkly eyes, she knows how to command a room and make ’em laugh. We imagine that everyone lights up when she walks in. We know she can twerk. 😉 She’s funny, quick, and happy. We always think of her that way. I bet there is a part of her though that’s missing. I bet she thinks of her baby girl every single day. Madeley was about two months old when she was found abandoned. It always reminds me of Moses. I imagine her mama tried to keep her, love her, feed her, care for her and snuggle her as long as she could before she couldn’t anymore. I am thankful for that mama. I am thankful that I get to stand in her place at this time. Our hope is that one day in heaven, I’ll get to meet her. I’ll get to hug her and let her know what an honor it was to raise her daughter. Our daughter. I think about that sweet mama every day, but today especially. My prayer is that God gives her this peace today. This overwhelming sense that her baby girl is doing just fine. That’s my prayer.
My prayer is also that if adoption is on YOUR heart, you stop thinking and start doing. If God doesn’t want you to do it, He’ll close that door. You go forward and pray for His will. He’ll either open up doors and lead you to your child or He’ll close them. You need to go though. Go. Go get that next Ashby. That next Madeley. That next child that will complete your heart and your family more than you could ever imagine.
Happy 5th Gotcha Day, Madeley James Shull! Five years ago today, you certainly “got” all of our hearts and haven’t let go. We love you! xo
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: