Anjelica Marie Hoffer
*NOTE - her name was changed to Hadsell at age 16.
My first of three daughters.
DNA doesn't define fatherhood.
JAZ. - The beginning......
We went everywhere from the Big Easy to Big Sky Country together.
In the summer of 1998, on one of our first great adventures, Anjelica and mommy blew a tire in the middle of Wyoming, going 85 miles an hour (that’s the speed limit). I was driving behind them. I saw their little Mustang veer left into the dirt. It slid for awhile, then suddenly it was airborne! The car flipped onto its top and then again back to its wheels...
I stopped my truck and ran back to them. They were ok, except for a cut to the top of Anjelica’s wrist. A scar that never went away. The EMT on the scene checked her out in the ambulance and gave her a bear she always kept. His name was Smokey.
Everything changed at that moment. I realized these two girls were my heart.
We settled down in Montana for awhile. Our first Easter Egg Hunt was on a mountainside. Her first motorcycle ride was in the snow. She was bundled up like an eskimo, but she wasn’t a fan of the whole thing. Southern girl I guess.
Let a 5-year old tell it!
(notice she began driving in 1999 - 3 years old)
She always carried Tigger around, even when he was invisible.
We climbed mountains from Montana to Arizona to Virginia. She loved the outdoors. Her spirit for adventure was contagious.
She was fearless.
We first climbed rocks together when she was 4, at the White Tank Mountains in Arizona. I cradled her and guided her hands and feet. We climbed almost 20 feet together, found a really secure place for her to wait so I could climb down and take a picture. We went back and climbed it again when she was about 10, no help this time.
She was so brave, even when she was little. She would jump from the top of a car, or some other high place, into my arms. She was so fearless and adventurous.
When she was a baby, she called toilet paper, “pack”. I never understood that. She called a truck, “fuck”, which was always hilarious. One time we got her a picture frame that allowed a person to record a greeting. She said the cutest thing when she saw the picture of her. She said, “look at me, ain’t I coot?” I had her say it again for the recording, but the first time was the best. I still can hear it plain as day in my mind.
She was an interesting little cat. Always seemed to be pondering something more profound than I could understand. Learned so quick, like she really already knew it, but had to play along with this whole ‘little kid thing’.
She could give ya that look, like "really dude?"
She really cut loose with Gramma Sandy. Dressing up like a little diva one minute and a hobo the next. She was adorable as both. It was really hilarious watching her ride Gramma Sandy's big ol exercise bike when she was about 3. I think she always thought she was bigger than she really was. Some of her best times were with Gramma Sandy. They were two peas in a pod. Gramma Sandy called her PUMPKIN DOODLE. She loved the animals at Gramma Sandy's rescue.
She had this habit of having one pant leg up and one down. Or one sock on and the other nowhere to be found. She was a peculiar little thing.
She first broke free from training wheels on a hill at Grandpa Ted’s house in Montana. Summer of 2002. She was almost 6.
The most amazing thing about Anjelica was being a big sister.
It was amazing watching when she first held her first baby sister. I remember how she shyly put her top lip over her bottom and looked at us, as if to say, can I hold her? She was so delicate and caring. Sometimes the baby would get more attention and she would just play in the background without complaint. And then she would kick in helping change diapers or cleaning up. It was truly amazing to see the love in her heart radiate. She is one that would give love in action, not just word.
She was such an organizer. Sometimes she would get her sisters to do skits, or concerts, or cheers. Sometimes she would get them to help clean up. She loved folding socks and doing the organizing that I wasn’t so good at once I became a single dad.
We all loved watching her do her spider climb up door jambs. Her feet would just stick to the sides. I remember first putting her in the doorway when her feet would barely reach. At first she just hung out there. Soon she was climbing it herself.
Her grades were always top of the class. In 4th and 5th grade, she broke school records for reading. Always in a book, with her little glasses falling down her nose.
She was humble and kind and despite her talent for excelling at everything from rock climbing, to mountain hiking, bike riding, softball, basketball, bowling, golf, field hockey, cheering, tennis and on and on. She was even a great little dancer when she was little. But I guess kids are always cute when they try dancing as toddlers. But she seemed to have that extra spunk that drew your eye to her. Maybe I’m biased..
I was a baseball player growing up, so when she started playing teeball I was so happy. It just felt so cool rooting her on at the ball fields, practicing with her at home, and just being part of the excitement of it all.
I loved basketball too and was very proud to see her do her best at that, even when everyone else was bigger and older. She would play with enthusiasm, even if she was on the bench most of the game. She was swimming in the oversized shorts and her glasses would fall down her nose from time to time, but she hustled as if she was just a basket away from being a superstar. Gotta love that heart.
We had so many good times. I remember her first trail ride on her orange mountain bike that I got her. We went to the Great Dismal Swamp. She did 9 miles that day. What I wouldn’t give to go back.
One thing for sure. She had family that loved her and who she loved. When she was taken from my home, she not only lost contact with her father, but lost contact all our family on my side...
It’s hard to cram so many years into a few sentences or even a few pictures. Even after their mommy and I separated, I spent every minute with my girls that I could. Probably spent even more time after we separated, even though my time was cut in half with them. Sometimes it takes losing someone to realize how much you love them.
I feel compelled to tell the world that her name isn’t AJ Hadsell. She grew up as ANJELICA MARIE HOFFER. That’s her name. I need to tell the story about why she ended up with that name, and why I wish it could be changed to anything but hadsell.
I had already adopted her and permission was finally given (when she was 8) by her biological father, who had left the country and never looked back to see how Anjelica was.
Unfortunately, the mother and I were in the throws of separation when permission was granted and she decided she needed control.
Their mother and I separated in February 2005.
Their mother left the girls and I at home and after she got her own place we started sharing custody of the three girls 50/50.
In the summer of 2006, their mother took me to court to get full custody because she felt I needed to pay for child care that I wasn't using. Nevermind that I had been paying more than half of the children's expenses up until that point.
Well, God helped me in that hard time to retain 50/50 custody of my THREE girls.
I also learned at that time that their mother told Anjelica I wasn’t her biological father. I cried to hear this as she casually told the mediator that she told Anjelica months prior. I should have been part of that conversation or at least been told she that knew. She was almost 10 when she learned I wasn't biologically related to her, and she never let on that it bugged her. She hadn't met or talked to her biological dad since she was one, so I was still daddy, as far as she was concerned. I told her that it means even more that I CHOSE to be her father and that even Jesus was adopted by Joseph, who wasn't his biological father either. Biology isn't everything, especially when there was so much time and love between us, and I was the only one that cared to be her father.
After the separation, there was always a little tension between their mother and I, but for the most part, we handled the 50/50 pretty good. But things started getting really tense during the summer of 2009. The mom had been blowing up Anjel's phone all the time and planning stuff during my weekend. She was putting pressure on and making me feel I wasn't doing enough. All along she had a plan to keep Anjelica eventually. She had been building up to this. It's hard to break the bond between a father and daughter but if you keep etching away with lies and disparaging comments then the child begins to believe that 'maybe their dad really doesn't care'.
On August 9, 2009, Anjelica’s mom kept her when she was supposed to come back to me. It was her birthday. Me and her sisters had plans and had been spending the day preparing for her to return to have her birthday party. Neither the 'mom' nor Anjelica were answering their phone. FINALLY, the 'mom' answered a text and said their phones weren't working. I felt this was a lie just because of the pressure she had been putting on Anjelica in the prior months. I got angry and when I got Anjelica on the phone I told her if she wanted to stay at her mom's then go ahead.
Well, 2 days later I asked Anjelica to come back. No response. The new chapter had begun.
I continued to plead with her over unanswered emails and phone messages, to come back. I am her dad and nothing can change that. At the same time I was mad because of this game where I was being shut out of Anjelica's life for no given reason.
WHO IS ANJELICA'S FATHER? DO FATHER'S MATTER??
I AM HER DAD
It takes ACTION and SACRIFICE, not just DNA. Her bio dad left the country and gave permission to two different men, that he didn't know, to adopt 'his' daughter - trusting the mother's discretion.
I raised Anjelica since she was a baby, through ALL her milestones, her schooling, her achievements, being a big sister. I potty trained her, played tooth fairy, taught her to ride a bike, held her when she was sick, sang songs to her, read bedtime stories, did homework with her, went to her events, celebrated holidays, etc... etc...
My family was her family.
I had EQUAL parenting time with her from February 2005 until August 2009, when she was 13.
4 1/2 years as a single father to Anjelica - my oldest child.
She was ANJELICA HOFFER in school until she became 'Hadsell' at age 16. Learn more about the FRAUDULENT ADOPTION by Clicking Here.
Girls without LOVING & PROTECTIVE fathers are vulnerable to predators who look for girls with 'daddy issues'.
THE PROBLEMS WITH FAMILY COURT
Family court Judges and Guardians are LAWYERS with nearly zero required training in family and child matters.
In Virginia, GALs are required to take a 7 hour online course in order to be the most important person in deciding custody matters. Other states require as much as 96 hours.
The system is adversarial, rather than truly seeking healthy solutions.
Society's most precious resource - OUR CHILDREN - pay the ultimate price for this broken system.
READ MORE ABOUT THIS AT ANJELICAMARIE.COM/CHANGE-OUR-COURTS
DESPITE THE BRAINWASHING…
Anjelica managed to spend time with me and the other two girls a several more times after she left my home.
During the summer of 2011, she came with us to Arizona for a couple weeks to say good-bye to her Gramma Sandy, who always called her ‘Pumkin Doodle’. She called me daddy once on the plane. Probably on accident. That was the last time I heard those words from her. I turned away and cried when I heard her say it because it had been so long since I heard her say that.
I spent most of the next year in Arizona, taking care of my dying mother.
We went bowling and roller skating a few times.
The last time I saw her was the summer of 2014, before she headed off to college, except for one time that she dropped off the girls to my house and I caught a glimpse of her.
My heart was broken without her as my daughter. As were my parents. The rest of my family and close friends missed her too.
On March 2, 2015, at the age of 18, Anjelica’s life would be robbed and everybody else’s life was forever changed.
“The forest has been turned to nothing but black and gray ash, but behold - life from the nothing springs forth…”