You guys, six years ago today was also a Thursday.
I remember that day so clearly. Andrew and I picked up our three kiddos from school a little early, drove to the airport, boarded several flights and headed straight back to China (where we had just been 18 months before) to meet our newest little girl…
…then, on the afternoon of September 11, 2016, we met our Madeley James.
She was a very timid, shy, unsure and cautious almost two year old…
…after being in an orphanage since she was about two months old, she wasn’t sure about our rowdy little group, but she let us love on her and very quickly…
…became the center of our universe.
Oh my word. We ADORE this little girl.
The five older Shulls, well, we’re a rather serious bunch. We’re all pretty focused, type-A, schedule oriented and can each be a bit uptight/rigid/regimented from time to time. Andrew and I always wanted two kids…and then we met our Ashby and instantly knew our hearts were full and complete with three. And then…
…God blew all five of our lives and hearts WIDE OPEN WITH THIS GIRL.
Madeley is exactly who we needed to bring a special kind of joy, love, silliness, comedy and passion into all of our lives.
She and Ashby have similar interests, but they’re very different, and yet, complement each other SO WELL! They are inseparable and at least once a day, I say to them “what would you do without each other?!”.
No one makes the other laugh more than the other. It’s constant giggles and entertainment with these two.
Mades never takes herself too seriously. Mades never makes a joke at anyone else’s expense. She’s funny. She’s clever. She’s quick-witted and very mature. She can read a room and always knows how to draw out the best in her audience.
This little girl is so super smart and excelling at school. She loves to read, she loves to write, she loves me to quiz her on “math facts”. She has a love for learning.
She is by far the cuddliest of all the Shulls and full out arguments occur every evening over who gets to cuddle with her on the couch. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. want to snuggle this kid.
Madeley has never had a bad day. She’ll cry occasionally or get upset about something specific…but it’s not a “bad day”. Mades has a few bad moments but never a bad day. She’s super compliant. Always agreeable. Flexible. Easy going. Happy to tag along. Up for spontaneity. Down for an adventure. Okay chilling out. Just always easy to be around.
Six years ago, we opened a hotel room door and had no idea who this child was or how she would affect our family.
God knew EXACTLY what we needed when He made Madeley James a part of our family.
We love this sweet girl so very much!!
We absolutely cannot imagine our lives without her in it.
My prayer for my girls’ moms each and every day is that God grants them a peace…a supernatural, unexplainable peace that their daughters are happy, healthy and loved. That’s my prayer every day but especially this time of year when we stop and celebrate the day the six of us became a family. Our joy came at another woman’s loss. We are so incredibly humbled by that and thankful for her and the daughter she brought into this world.
Geez, I love you sweet Madeley James. You are my forever baby.
You are quite certainly the center of our world.
Happy Gotcha Day! xx
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: