Friday, August 23, 2013

Party of Five

It is with grateful and humble hearts that Andrew and I announce our family is growing by one.  We are adopting a baby girl.

Ashby London will be the new addition to the Shull family :).



Almost 3 years ago, the Lord really started working on my heart and telling me that we needed to adopt an orphan from another country.  When I first mentioned this to Andrew, we had a 26 month old and a 10 month old...obviously, he thought I was a little crazy (Andrew's testimony about adoption is here!).  Over the last 3 years, we have been so prayerful about this decision, but it's with 100% certainty that we know God is calling us to bring this child into our family.  We began the official adoption process at the very beginning of June but feel like now is the time to share it with you :).

Because of the sensitivity of international adoption and the fact that my world is pretty darn public, we are not saying at this time where she is from.  At some point, we will fill you in on all of those details.  We are hoping and praying to have her home with us by next fall...but honestly, only God knows when our family will be complete.  

We had originally decided to wait until our new home was completed before we started the adoption process (because only crazy people build a home and adopt a baby simultaneously)...but God had different plans.  We are in the middle of both processes at the exact same time.  If you ever thought building a house was tricky, you should try adopting.  It will kick your butt.  No lie.  But knowing that this new home will be for the Shull five makes everything all worth it.

Please understand something...God doesn't call everyone to adopt.  Everyone has a different purpose or calling from God.  Some people are called to be missionaries, some people are called to be pastors, some people are called to work with children, some people are called to drive minivans...everyone has a different calling.  Our calling was clearly to adopt.

For me, I prayed and prayed to have kids for years.  I struggled with infertility, I had a miscarriage, my heart was completely broken.  Then God gave me everything I wanted.  He gave me a daughter and a son.  Both of my kids are healthy...both of them are pretty perfect.

But over the last 3 years, I kept coming back to the scripture in the Bible that talks about the parable of the talents (or bags of gold).  I kept thinking about my life.  Had God given me exactly what I wanted and was I just going to sit on it?  Was I just going to take what I wanted and then not do anything else? (Matthew 25:14-30)

I don't want to be that person.  I feel blessed to have received everything I wanted so to speak (my two kids) and now God is calling me to step out of my comfort zone and do something to further his kingdom.  He's calling us to do more.  And so here we are.  We are neck deep in paperwork...we are using words like dossier, home study, and immigration every day (while at the same time ordering lumber, windows, and flooring...it's craziness I tell you!).

I have no idea what the future holds.  I have no idea what God has planned for my life and the life of my sweet little family.  But I do know this...my life is going to be wonderful if I follow God's will.  It might not be easy.  It might not be a lot of fun sometimes...but it will be wonderful because it's what God wants for me.

Tomorrow, I'm posting Andrew's side of this story.  Believe it or not but this whole adoption thing did not come easily for him.  God is moving in our family.  Please pray for us and for our new daughter Ashby.

And yes, of course she has a British name :).


And we can't forget about our Stella & Dot giveaway today!  The winner is
Marianne Gleason!
Congratulations Marianne!  I will email you about your prize this morning!


And on the menu today, my Quick & Easy Cinnamon Rolls...



 Happy Friday everyone!



157 comments:

  1. Oh Shay, that is so wonderful. I have chills from such excitement for you! I have felt the same calling for several years now (we have a 6 yr old girl and twin 2 1/2 yr old girls). My husband is hesitant like Andrew but it's in my heart to follow this path. You guys are definitely in my prayers and I'm looking forward to hearing as much as you will share about the process and your little girl!

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  2. Congratulations! A very exciting time for you and ur family.

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  3. Oh my gosh!!! I was sooo shocked to read this morning! I didn't even see it coming....I thought when you mentioned a few surprises coming, you meant new recipes...lol. I am soo thrilled for you!! Congratulations and prayers for a smooth process and healthy girl. Love her name too. God bless you guys for listening to what He put on your heart.

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  4. Congratulations to the Shull family! I'm so excited to see God's work in your family.

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  5. Congrats!!! I am so excited for your family! What a blessing!! I will be praying for you all during this busy time of building a house and adopting! Can't wait to be here for the journey!

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  6. Sweet friend. I have tears streaming down my face right now. I am so happy for your family, and I am so proud that you listened to what God was calling you all to do. What an example for all of us. And as excited I am for you, Andrew, Kensington, and Smith.....the tears really start coming when I start thinking about sweet Ashby and how her little life is going to change. This little girl is going to be SO loved. I am so excited to watch this happen in your family, and I'm just as proud of you as I could be. Love you friend!

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  7. Absolutely wonderful! God bless you and your amazing family.

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  8. Congratulations! Adopting is a blessing!

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  9. I am so happy for you! I also struggled with infertility and have one beautiful daughter. Blessings to you and your family. Susan

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  10. Congratulations! Adoption has been such a huge blessing to our family also. We are in the process of adopting our 2nd baby right now (domestically) so I feel your pain on the paperwork! I'll be praying for your family during this exciting time.

    Kelley
    Www.thebiglongwait.com

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  11. Congrats! What a beautiful story, thanks for sharing it with us!

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  12. Congrats!!!!! My eyes are filled with tears! I also am thinking about precious Ashby & how her life is going to change when she is brought into your wonderful family!!! Can't wait to follow along on your adoption journey!

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  13. Oh wow...this is a surprise I never saw coming! :) But a wonderful one it is!! So excited for your family, but also for that sweet little girl, who will undoubtedly know love and happiness like no other in the Shull household!! (Totally adore her name!)

    Keeping you all in my prayers as you tackle both home- and family-building at the same time! Blessings! xx

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  14. Congratulations Shull family!!! I too was really shocked when I read your post, but I am so, so happy for all of you!!! I don't know anoyone that has adopted, so I am excited to follow along on this journey w/ you. Ashby is going to be SOOOO loved...she's a very lucky little girl. By the way, I LOOOOVE her name :)

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  15. Just love everything about this post. Blessings to you and your growing family. I agree with all you have said...my husband and I are adopting as well...thank you for following God's leading in your lives. Cannot wait to hear more when the timing is right!

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  16. Congratulations to you and your family Shay! What a beautiful calling and story to share and I know you inspire many (including myself). I am so delighted for you and your family. What a blessing to your family and sweet Ashby.

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  17. That is amazing! So proud you had the courage to listen to scripture and apply it ! Wow!

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  18. I am so very happy for you all. I have followed along for a few months now and love your blog. We have 4 bio kiddos and 2 sweeties adopted from China. You are in for a wild totally blessed ride, God will take your heart places you never imagined and he will bring you to a deeper understanding of who he is and what HIS desires for your heart are. What a wonderful joy you are stepping into. My family will be praying for you all. Kennsington and Smith will be forever blessed by this precious one!! Congrats!

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  19. Adoption will change your life. It was the best decision we ever made. Everyone will tell you what a wonderful thing you are doing for this child, but it really is the other way around. You are the lucky one to have her in your family. Grace and peace to you as you navigate the crazy adoption world!

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  20. Wow that is so awesome! Ashby is going to have the most amazing family! Thanks for sharing! God is so good!

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  21. Oh shay....

    Ive hd to sit here for 5 minutes , just so i could see through these tears.

    I have known since i started talking, 3 specific things about my life : #1) i was put on this earth to be a wife #2) i was put on this earth to be a teacher . But most importantly.#3) i was put on this earth and created by God, to be a mom.

    You see, I am a sucker for kids.( Which is why i work at a elementary school.) I look into their eyes, and i see a world of oppurtunity. But there are some situations, where I look at a child, and see the desire they have to be loved and wanted. And that breaks ny heart. which is what really what started MY desire to adopt. Brandon and I feel as if we are also called to do the same thing you and Andrew are doing. We want so badly to provide a loving home to a child that deserves a a second chance and a great life. The problem is, there are SO many precious little blessings waiting for a mommy and daddy, and not enough people willing to wear the hat.

    I knew I loved and appreciated you, and even Andrew before... But after reading this and crying like a little baby.... My appreciation and love for you is infinite!( I didnt know that was possible for someone you have never met!) All i can say is thank you giving a child a chance. Thank you following your heart, and listening to what our great and gracious God has called you to do. Most people would hear something like that and turn the other cheek. But, I commend you for taking it head on!

    What a blessing you are Shay, and what a blessing you will be to sweet Ashby London. I will be praying for you and Andrew and sweet little girl :)

    Everyone deserves their happy ending, and yours just happens to be a beautiful bundle of pink.

    Love, love, love.
    Jennifer

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  22. Shay! Oh my gosh, this brought tears to my eyes. I am so incredibly happy for you guys. What an incredible blessing and beautiful name. Wow! Can't wait to see pics of her. God is so good.

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  23. This brings tears to my eyes! What a lucky little girl! Praying for the journey ahead for the Shull family of 5!

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  24. How absolutely marvelous!

    Rachel
    Thirdgradecupcakes.blogspot.com

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  25. I am just some random gal that reads your blogs, but I truly have been touched this morning by your words! So happy for you and your family! I will be praying for you and your family as this adoption process continues. Congratulations!

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  26. That's awesome!! Congratulations to your growing family��

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  27. Shaaaaaayyyyyy!!!!! Once again I am beaming with excitement and happiness this week!
    Reading this news made me so happy for the 4 of you, but even more so for baby Ashby. The thought of God's plan for her little life even before she is/was born

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  28. Oh Shay, I LOVE, LOVE this so much!!! Congratulations!!! God has blessed my husband and I with the same passion and desire to adopt. In fact, He very clearly revealed to us that our child is in El Salvador. We don't yet know how or when we'll be able to bring our child home, but we look forward to the day our family becomes the Strong family of five! Again, congratulations!! And thank you for letting us walk this beautiful journey with you!

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  29. I am beyond excited to see how this unfolds. The Lord, He is good, He is mighty, He is psving the way and making what feels crazy and impossible, possible.
    Later, when your home is complete and Ashby is here, all the puzzle pieces will be clear!
    You have my prayers!

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  30. Sorry( my email got cut off?)
    Anyways... I love that this sweet baby gets to be a Shull and that God knew that all along!

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  31. What a beautiful post! So happy for you and your family!!

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  32. Ugh! Having phone probs.
    Congratulations and I will be praying that the adoption process goes as smoothly as possible.
    Every parent of and adopted child says that their family is the blessed one to have the honor of raising and loving that child. So very happy you get to experience that!
    Xo, Nyrla

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  33. Congratulations Shay!!!!......how exciting for you all......and how lucky is sweet Ashby to be placed with your family and your extended family......how her life will change!!!!.....but now for the silly party....I know you love England...I understand the name Kensington....not sure why Smith is English....or Ashby....can you explain for those of us not in the know on all things England?.....best wishes!!!!

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  34. This is amazing news Shay! You have an incredible family and baby Ashby is blessed to be entering into such a warm and loving home. All the best with the process and God bless you and your family!

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  35. Congratulations! What a beautiful story. We have 3 families in our church who have adopted recently. I can't wait to hear more.

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  36. Congrats!! I'm so excited for you. What a blessing for your family and this little girl!!!

    My husband and I hope to adopt one day, so it is always inspiring to read about other people's adoption journeys! It gives me hope! :)

    Christine

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  37. Wow! Wow! Wow! What an amazing (and convicting) testimony. I have always had a desire to adopt twin girls from China but have never acted on it. It is something that I know God put in my heart so I had better get busy!

    Thank you for being so open and honest about your everyday life with your readers! It is a blessing.

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  38. Smith and Ashby are both very common surnames in Britain (and all three kiddos have British middle names too).

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  39. Congratulations! Prayers from KC for you all!

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  40. wow! What wonderful news! That is one lucky little girl..she will be so loved. I look forward to reading more about your journey and about Ashby!

    Jan Fisher
    jan.fisher@comcast.net

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  41. Wow!!! Just wow! You have been blessed so much through your healthy children, your financial well being, your strong base and family, etc. I am so excited and happy to see you truly giving back and doing something out of your comfort zone. That sweet baby girl's life is going to change forever and even though I don't know you, I am so proud of you!

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  42. Wow! I am so excited for you guys. I cannot wait to welcome sweet Ashby into your family. You and Andrew are such awesome parents, she is one lucky little girl. Love you sweet friend.

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  43. Adoption is such a huge passion of mine! I long for the day when I can adopt a child of my own... and I am currently trying everything I can to get into a career of facilitating adoptions!
    My heart is filled with joy to hear about your new daughter Ashby! I cannot wait to follow along this journey and read more about you all, and her :)
    God is truly working wonders in you all's lives!

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  44. I don't even know you but I feel like I "know" you from reading your blogs, and I'm so happy for you and your family. What an exciting time! I love seeing how your faith guides you and how you apply scripture to your life. You are an inspiration.

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  45. Congratulations! I have also thought about adopting. My dad is adopted and I know how much that means to him. It's very dear to me. I am praying for your family and for Ashby. Love the name!

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  46. What wonderful, wonderful news!!!!!! Congratulations, Shull family!!

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  47. Congrats!! So very exciting!! My sister and brother-in-law have a similar story. They had 3 kids, and when the youngest was 4, my sister talked to her husband about adoption. And he was not really on that band-wagon for a while. He prayed. My sister prayed. And eventually God revealed to him what He has already revealed to my sister. Now, we have a fun, hilarious, precious almost 3 year old in our family, who may not look like the rest of us, but she sure is one of us, and I can't imagine what life was like before her. :) Such a blessing you are being, and such an amazing way to bring honor and glory to our Father. Prayers for you and yours in the days to come!

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  48. Congrats!! So very exciting!! My sister and brother-in-law have a similar story. They had 3 kids, and when the youngest was 4, my sister talked to her husband about adoption. And he was not really on that band-wagon for a while. He prayed. My sister prayed. And eventually God revealed to him what He has already revealed to my sister. Now, we have a fun, hilarious, precious almost 3 year old in our family, who may not look like the rest of us, but she sure is one of us, and I can't imagine what life was like before her. :) Such a blessing you are being, and such an amazing way to bring honor and glory to our Father. Prayers for you and yours in the days to come!

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  49. thank you for sharing your family story- all the time- but even now as this special event is taking place. will pray that God continues to lead clearly and you and your family can willingly follow!

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  50. That is WONDERFUL news! I'll be praying for you guys as you go through this process! I love her name!

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  51. I have tears streaming down my face! You guys are such and amazing family and this little girl is so lucky to be joining such a loving family! Congratulations Shull family! ♥

    PS. I was waiting for an announcement of another baby when Andrew answered one of the questions in his q&a post about more kids and he said he wants what God has planned!

    So happy for yall!!!!!!

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  52. That is so exciting! Some of my best friends have adopted internationally and while you're quite right, everyone is not called to adopt, it is such a blessing just to witness! :)

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  53. Amazing, congratulations! "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Ro 10:17 I had God's bumps the whole time I read this and I am praying for your family.

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  54. What a blessing for that sweet Ashby...she has no idea the love that awaits her!!! Congrats to your precious family, can't wait to meet her!!

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  55. Congratulations!! That is exciting news. Best wishes to the Shull family!

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  56. Congratulations! Praying for all 5 of you.

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  57. Shay, I debated whether to even leave a comment since I don't really have anything different to say than what everyone else has already posted. But I am so very happy for you and your family! I, too, teared up when I read this post! You were so kind to me a while back and sent me a book that has spoken words of peace and comfort in my life and I will never forget that. I will be praying for all of you as you walk through this exciting time in your lives! Ashby could not have asked for a better forever home, and I cannot wait to follow this journey along with you and your readers too! God bless you all!

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  58. AMAZING! Such exciting and wonderful news. And Ashby is just the cutest name ever :-)

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  59. I'm a quiet reader of yours ,but wanted to shout "yay, congratulations!". We adopted twin boys...our only children. What a blessing adoption is! It will change your life in so many wonderful ways. God bless you on your journey.

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  60. I was so excited to read the title of your blog today, such wonderful news! Ashby London is gaining an extraordinary family and you all will be equally blessed to have her. The Lord has truly blessed your family and I know He is so pleased that you are following his wishes and spreading your love to those in need. I and all of your faithful readers are cheering you on and are here to support you and your family!

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  62. Oh my goodness! Congratulations! I'm so looking forward to reading your story of adoption. That little girl just became the luckiest girl in the world..... Are Kensington & Smith excited??

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  63. I'm soooo beyond happy for you!! It is such a wonderful blessing to adopt. I too struggled with infertility & we were blessed two times thru adoption, one boy & one girl!! What a ride you are about to embark on! Enjoy it! I can't wait to follow along!!

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  64. First time commenting on your blog. I was adopted from Seoul,Korea at the age of 9 months old and my sister was 4 months old she also came from Seoul, Korea from different Foster Mom's though. My parent's had 2 boys then decided to adopt the girl's since my Dad's family had mostly boys in their family.

    My Aunt has 4 boys and she adopted 3 girls (1 from Columbiana, 1 from Romania-my Dad's Mom's family is from there, and 1 from Guatemalea.)

    Now I have 5 niece's and 1 nephew.

    Amy

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  65. I can't tell you how excited I was to read your blog this morning! We adopted our daughter from Russia three years ago and she's the biggest blessing I could have ever asked for. I'll be praying for your family as your adoption journey continues. International adoption is not for the faint of heart, it's filled with so many ups and downs and the worst part is you can't control a darn thing! Can't wait to hear more!! God bless you and sweet, beautiful Ashby!!

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  66. Congratulations!!! I know this little girl will be a blessing to you all and her little life will be so blessed to have your sweet family as her own. I am so excited for your family!

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  67. Congratulations Shay!!! That is so amazing and very exciting! Little Ashby will be/is so lucky to have such a loving family :) You and Andrew are role models to all of us. Thank you for sharing your story and can't wait to hear more! Good luck with the remaining process and new house...many, many fun life changes ahead!

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  68. Such a blessing and such exciting news!!! I've always thought about adoption. I know that it's not in my husbands heart, and with three girls I know that my family is complete for now. But it always warms my heart to read adoption stories!

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  69. I've never commented before, but love your blog. We built our home and adopted at the same time as well. We brought our son home 2 months after our home was complete and we are waiting to adopt again. I love adoption and I'm so excited for your family!

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  70. Congrats on this wonderful news!

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  71. That's amazing... congratulations! <3

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  72. Congratulations to you and your family! You are such an inspiration to all of us who follow your blog! I love how you show us all through your words how to better ourselves and follow the Will of God. I had no idea when I clicked over to your blog because I loved Sean on the Batchelor that I would find such a great and inspiring friend even though I never met you. So cool how blogging works! Again, congratulations to your family. What a blessing for you all!

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  73. I found out your news via Instagram. How exciting! I, myself am adopted. I have had the same calling to adopt. My husband and I have one daughter and no infertility issues. People are bewildered as to why I am putting myself through the emotional and time consuming process of adoption. The social worker I doubt is Christian and really doesn't understand the calling either. I am amazed at how The Lord keeps bringing stories of adoption into my life. There is hope. Thanks :)
    All the best to your family.

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  74. YAY!!! I'm so beyond excited for your family!!! Awesome news!!!

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  75. AHHHHHH!! Soooo excited for you!!!!!!!!!!!! Several years ago when friends of mine were adopting their first I felt God's voice in my heart pushing me that direction. I am just waiting for a husband!

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  76. What precious news. I know God will bless your family for following Him and caring for this precious girl by welcoming her into your family. Our family of 3 rejoices for your family of 5!!!!

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  77. I love following your blog. Love reading about your tips on pretty much everything. It's fun for me to read - like watching a good tv show or reading a good book. But then I also read something like this on your blog and its a reminder of how we can be encouraged spiritually from so many different places. Thanks for keeping it real, sharing your faith and your family!

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  78. Congratulations! Our daughter, who we adopted from China, made us a family of 5 too! Such a blessing! Makes my heart happy to see others who follow God's call to adopt.

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  79. I've been readin gyiur blog for a few months now. Even though I'm not married and do not have kids, you inspire me.
    I was adopted from Guatemala and have been in the U.S. since 4 months old. My parents have been the biggest blessings in my life. I feel God put me in their hands. I've had 6 major eye surgeres, but now I'm im my last yr of grad school to be a school counselor. I feel Ill probably go into menta health counseling too. Im constantly wondering about my purpose, but I do knownif I had not been adopted I dont know what would have happened. May God bless your family!

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  80. Congratulations to you and your family! I am a newer follower of your blog and what touched me most was your infertility story as we also faced that challenge. And then I got addicted to everything else you had to share. This is wonderful news and I pray that things move smoothly for all of you.

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  81. Love her name! Can't wait to see her and learn more about her. Congratulations to the Shull family!!

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  82. Excited for you guys and your growing family. My prayers are with you and your baby girl as you all go through the adoption process. The paperwork is just the beginning of this journey.

    Make sure your little Chinese girl with a British name is Americanized so that she knows all about ice in soft drinks and tater tots. Talk about a citizen of the world! ;)

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  83. Congratulations! I'm excited to follow along on your journey to your precious little girl!

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  84. Congratulations! I feel like your blog just got kicked up another notch. It's fun to read, but I have a huge heart for adoption and will love following this journey you're now on. God placed adoption on my heart as a teenager. But, I am now 36 (almost 37!) and still single and have started to re-evaluate what He was calling me to! I never imagined He was calling me to adopt without a spouse, but I am beginning to think about taking that leap as I have started to feel convicted that I've been disobedient in doing nothing so far. Would covet prayers!

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  85. Congrats to the Shull Family! I am so happy to hear the good news and that you found a calling to adoption. I was adopted from Korea many moons ago, and everyday am so thankful that my parents picked me, to love me and to share their home with them. While I was only 5 months old when I came to the U.S. I know I would have a very different life if they didn't adopt me. FYI, my brother and sister (not blood related) are also adopted. Congrats again, and I hope the process until your forever day gets here soon! Looking forward to seeing your family and heart grow by so much.

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  86. Congrats, that is amazing news!! I have read your blog for some time now and love it! As a mom to 3 children, it is a wonderful thing! I am a firm believer in God's Will and you are right when you are following God's Will everything will be just as it should! Good luck to you and your precious family!

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  87. I am so elated and overjoyed to read this news!! What a huge blessing you, Andrew, Kensington, and Smith will be to little Ashby. I pray continued blessings on you all during this time of transition and adventure, and I pray for peace as you go through the processes to come.

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  88. Congratulations to you and your family! What a beautiful thing to do!!

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  89. Shay that is so fantastic! I'm teary eyed sitting here reading your story. God's work is an amazing thing. Sweet little Ashby's life is going to change in such an amazing way! I'm so happy for your family!

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  90. Congratulations Shull Family. Prayers for all of you through this process!

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  91. Congrats! So exciting for you and your family!! My small group and I are going through James right now, and we spent a lot of time talking about the verse you referenced. It's a beautiful thing to see it played out. I will be praying for y'all!

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  92. Yay! As an adoptive parent, I am just smiling from ear to ear. I can't wait to follow along and learn more, but this is very exciting!

    No, adoption is not for the faint at heart. I started out going international, but as you know it is not an easy path. After several changes in direction I went with domestic adoption and met my daughter when she was 15 hours old. 5 1/2 years later I can't believe how lucky I am to have her as my daughter.

    It is not easy, the paperwork is crazy, there will be insane ups and downs, more than likely. But keep pushing forward and things will happen! Congrats on the big announcement, can't wait to see what comes next in the process for you!

    (VERY smart to keep a lot of the details under wraps though, some countries are extremely sensitive to information becoming public during the process, which you clearly know as well.)

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  93. Congratulations to you Shay and your entire family. This little baby is already very blessed and so are all of you!

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  94. You are the third person, this week alone, that has announced adoption! I'm so thrilled for you guys and will be praying! God laid adoption on my heart when I was young, and I can't wait to see how that plays into my life. What a wonderful gift for Ashby!

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  95. Such wonderful news! Makes me so happy to hear you guys seeking God's will and following His lead. Ashby is blessed already by you and your sweet family. xoxo

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  96. This absolutely gave me chills! I am an international adoptee and could not be more thankful that God put me EXACTLY where I needed to be. I am so happy for your sweet family :)

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  97. This absolutely gave me chills! I am an international adoptee and I could not be more thankful that God knew EXACTLY where I needed to be. I am so happy for your sweet family!!!

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  98. AWWW, so awesome! I'm adopted and it is probably one of the best gifts God has given me and my parents, too. :)

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  99. Congrats to your family! What an exciting experience for you all :)

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  100. I read a sweet quote one time about adoption you may want to put in your new home "I have 3 children. 1 is adopted. I forget which one."
    Congratulations!!

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  101. Congratulations on an amazing new adventure for the entire family! What an amazing and loving action! From somebody who works with abandoned children, you are giving this little girl a very rare and incredible opportunity to experience love and a loving family. Many well wishes and prayers your way as you continue through the adoption process!

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  102. Tears! So happy for your family! What a blessing you all will be to this new miracle! I will be praying for you all along your journey!

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  103. Now I love you and your blog even more :) We have a sweet little one from China..We also do seminars for america World and are very involved in our church's adoption ministry called project hope. We adopted a little one with a heart deffect and little did we know God would use her to prepare us three years later when we found out our first born boy needs a heart transplant. I love how God works in the heart of his people. I love that you reiterated the fact that we are not all called to adopt but we are called to care for them in some way through prayer, through helping someone adopt etc. If you would like another blog to read. Ours is www.countingourblessingslietzau@blogspot.com
    God bless I can't wait to follow your journey

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  104. Now I love you and your blog even more :) We have a sweet little one from China..We also do seminars for america World and are very involved in our church's adoption ministry called project hope. We adopted a little one with a heart deffect and little did we know God would use her to prepare us three years later when we found out our first born boy needs a heart transplant. I love how God works in the heart of his people. I love that you reiterated the fact that we are not all called to adopt but we are called to care for them in some way through prayer, through helping someone adopt etc. If you would like another blog to read. Ours is www.countingourblessingslietzau@blogspot.com
    God bless I can't wait to follow your journey

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  105. Congratulations! Adoption is a true miracle :)

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  106. What a beautiful gift you'll be giving your whole family! Congratulations:) Where did you find the board with the adoption quote? I would love to get one for my son, whom we adopted. Thanks!

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  107. Shay I am so excited and happy for you and your family!! I feel so extremely blessed to "know" such a great family. I will keep your family of FIVE in my prayers!! I am just soooo happy for all of you!!

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  108. Congratulations! I am so excited for you! I have two adopted children and I would agree that they have blessed me so much more than I could have ever blessed them. Good luck on your amazing journey:)

    adoptedaccepted.blogspot.com

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  109. That's so awesome! I have 6 cousins from China and am a huge advocate for adoption. Is Ashby her given name or the name you will give her? Praying for you guys =)

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  110. Hi Shay
    Congratulations on the wonderful news! Praying for everything to go smoothly for your family.
    Cathy

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  111. This is such exciting news! There's nothing quite like feeling God's leading and through prayer seeing His plan for you! Many prayers for the soon to be Shull 5! I personally, think 2 girls and 1 boy is perfect. ;)

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  112. Beautiful, brought tears and smiles!! You did an awesome job of sharing your exciting news. It is so obvious that this child will be beyond blessed by joining your family, as well as, you all will be blessed by having her in it! God is so good! You have a super big heart and it is really inspiring to see your living out your faith. Thank you for the gift of this blog and I look forward to following along on your adoption process.

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  113. Beautiful, brought tears and smiles!! You did an awesome job of sharing your exciting news. It is so obvious that this child will be beyond blessed by joining your family, as well as, you all will be blessed by having her in it! God is so good! You have a super big heart and it is really inspiring to see your living out your faith. Thank you for the gift of this blog and I look forward to following along on your adoption process.

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  114. Absolutely amazing Shay! God bless you and your family today and always.

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  115. Absolutely amazing Shay! God bless you and your family today and always.

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  116. Long time reader but had to come out of lurking for this one. LOVE! So happy for you guys - I truly can't wait to follow along on this new adventure in your lives!

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  117. So exciting! I will definitely be praying! I am an adopted 41 year old woman who met her birth family 2 years ago for the first time. I have always hoped to adopt, but God has made it clear that it's not in our family's future, yet we can REJOICE alongside others who are adopting. Blessings to you for being a blessing to little Ashby! I just love this!

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  118. Wonderful news! Many blessings to you all! Can't wait to hear more about this journey!

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  119. God is good! What a blessing!! Congrats! Thank you for sharing your faith, beliefs and convictions. What a mighty God we serve!

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  120. oh this is wonderful! I don't even really know y'all -- except for IG and your blog -- but I got so teary eyed reading this! I'd love to pray for your family of 5!!
    Leslie

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  121. Love this post ;) So exciting Shay!!! I can't even imagine everything that goes into the process, but I know there is a purpose in all of it and God is getting so much glory - not only that, but it brings you one step closer to your sweet baby!!!! :)

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  122. Amazing news! I am beyond happy to see God working in your life. John Waller has a song about adoption called "Somebody elses story" which you might want to check out.
    Congratulations!

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  123. Amazing news! I am beyond happy to see God working in your life. John Waller has a song about adoption called "Somebody elses story" which you might want to check out.
    Congratulations!

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  124. That is so exciting! Adoption is a hard process, but it really is so amazing! We have had our girls for 4 years now, and it is by far changed our lives in the very best way. Congratulations!

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  125. So, so wonderful. I rarely comment, but I feel compelled to tell you congratulations on this amazing decision. We adopted a 6 year old (now 8) from Ecuador 20 months ago. It has been the hardest and yet best 20 months. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Congratulations to you all!

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  126. Oh my goodness! What a blessing & such wonderful news! And I love her name! My youngest daughter's name is Ashby Grace. :)

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  127. I am adopted and it was the greatest blessing of my life to have such a fantastic family. Congratulations!

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  128. Wow! Congratulations and God Bless you Shay and Andrew! Thank you for continually setting a Godly example for all of us. Following God's Will will continue to shower blessings on your sweet family. Thank you for sharing your testimony and witness. Love you all!

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  129. What exciting news! Congratulations! I think it's great that you're following what God has placed on your heart. Sweet little Ashby London is going to be joining a wonderful family! Can't wait to find out more about her. By the way, I absolutely LOVE her name and how it fits with Kensington's and Smith's names. :)

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  130. This is wonderful. I am so touched by your testimony. Your obedience is truly faith-led and out of love for the Father. I will be praying for Ashby and the rest of the sweet Shulls!

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  131. So very exciting! Adoption is on my brain now as yesterday afternoon we adopted 3 brothers out of the foster care system. God had worked on our hearts making us realize that we are not on this earth for our own comfort, but to minister with those in need. These boys lived in our home as foster children for 3 years & 4 months while the system did its thing. These boys have made a mark in school, our community & church. They are loved dearly by their forever family and other brother. & sister. Blessings as adoption rocks your world forever!

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  132. Shay, I am so happy for you and your family! We were called to adopt many years ago and our precious Owen has taught me more about love than anyone else! He's going to be 6 In a couple of weeks and he is a joy and miracle to us. It was not easy and at times very painful but God was soooo patient with me and loved me so well through all of it. He is a gift and we can't imagine our family without him. He is my son and was always meant to be my son. I'm praying for you and praying you can get your daughter home very soon!

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  133. Beautiful post!! Praying the very best for you and your new little girl!! Adoption can be just plain hard, but it is SO WORTH IT! (I've got some posts on my blog about our international adoption if you'd like to read about our journey.) God tugged our heartstrings again and we are in the process of adopting again. So happy for you all! You will feel God in amazing ways throughout this journey, as you already have! =)

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  134. Ashley HinterscherAugust 24, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    God bless you and your family! I wanted to share the blog of a local family I know that has adopted not only one child internationally but three! Please check it out! She has blogged about the process all along with God's helpful hands and it is incredible! Praying for you all!

    "I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me the desire of my heart." 1 Samuel 1:27 www.ourjourneyofdreams.blogspot.com

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  135. As an adoptive mother of 2 beautiful girls I am so excited for your journey! It will teach you patience, hope & love like you haven't experienced before! Good luck!
    I would love the adoption sign you have on this post for my daughters. Is that available to purchase somewhere? Please let us know as I'm sure others would be interested in it as well. Thank you!

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  136. As an adoptive mother of 2 beautiful girls I am so excited for your journey! It will teach you patience, hope & love like you haven't experienced before! Good luck!
    I would love the adoption sign you have on this post for my daughters. Is that available to purchase somewhere? Please let us know as I'm sure others would be interested in it as well. Thank you!

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  137. I found that sign on Pinterest. I imagine someone on Etsy could recreate it!

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  138. This is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. If it is God's plan for you (which it is) then it will be perfect (which it will be). Congratulations!

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  139. Congratulations!! That is such a wonderful and beautiful gift for both your family and little Ashby :) Can't wait to hear more details!

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  140. Congratulations! We are also a family made complete through adoption-- it is such a blessing! Are you able to share a picture? I know I couldn't until our adoption was final, so I understand if you keep us in the dark!

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  141. Congrats! Can't wait to hear more about your new daughter AND your new house! I'm sure your children are thrilled.

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  142. I follow Caroline's blog as well and was so excited to see that you were a guest blogger today! Thank you for sharing your story.

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  143. I was on my phone when I read this post last week and it doesn't always work to comment, so I just wanted to come back to this post and say congratulations! I'm so happy for you and proud of you for following God's lead. Andrew, too! Hope you get your baby girl soon!

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  144. So incredibly excited for your growing family!

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  145. From one adoptive family to another, best of luck! :) It's the hardest thing we ever did (we adopted a baby boy and baby girl from the DRC and they came home in May 2012), but it has given us such insight into the heart of God.

    Peace & Blessings.

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  146. Such a powerful post...both yours and Andrew's. Congrats on your darling girl on the way. Can't wait to follow along on the journey! :)

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  147. In Feb 2012, we had just celebrated our long awaited, miracle twin girls 1st birthday. Life was bliss. A week later, I felt called to go to a specific website for special needs adoption advocacy. As I scrolled down through the pages, I saw her. In an instant I heard His voice, "She is YOURS." My husband, well, he didn't hear anything. Long story short, our sweet precious Russian came home in November of 2012. Today, the twins are 2.5 and our Russian is 5.5 and life couldn't be anymore perfect (well, except, a boy would be a good addition to the mix!).

    Anyway, I get all these journey's that you are going through!

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  148. Hey Shay! My husband and I have been married just over a year, and it has been a desire of ours to adopt since we began dating...or at least since we were seriously date and talking about marriage and all that :) Anyway, we plan on beginning the process in January. Our pastor has adopted 2 of his 4 children and our church (The Church at Brook Hills) in Birmingham, AL collectively has a huge heart for adoption. In March, our church will be hosting the kNOw More Orphans conference. I'm sure there are conferences like this all over the place near you, but I thought I'd share just in case your interested. Worship will be led by two of our very good friends, in fact one of them just brought their son home from Africa this past year. Anyway, here's the link to the conference. Praying for your family as you're in the midst of this process. I'm excited to begin, but I know it will be a lot of work and a lot of waiting. May the Lord have grace on your family in mine through this process. http://knowmoreorphans.org/index.html

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