Monday, March 4

3 years!

Today marks 3 years since we brought Hallie home from to be our foster daughter!    Here's what I remember!

After a 6 month hiatus from doing foster care that enabled us to mend broken hearts from sending our two foster boys back, we decided to do foster care again.  We called our Resource Family Consultant and told her that we were ready to do it again, and said that we only wanted to have one child in our home and less than a year old.  While she was thrilled that we were ready and willing to foster again, our new stipulations resulted in telling us that we might be waiting a while.  Unbeknownst to us, it would be only a short 3 week wait before March 3rd, 2010 we got a call telling us that an adorable little redheaded baby girl nearly 11 months old needed a foster home.  Excited beyond words, and feeling very strongly that we needed to meet this littlel girl, we went and met her that evening.  We brought her home the next day and the rest is history!

We adore this little kid more than words could ever describe, and are blessed beyond measure that she is ours!

Thursday, January 3

What's In a Name? Everything.

I've googled my last name.  It's different.  There aren't a lot of Dopfs in the USA.  For those of you that might not know how to pronounce it, it sounds like DOFF, because the "P" is silent.

Taking this into consideration, there have been jokes at to what I should/would never name my children.  Because everyone knows how I feel about stupid, ridiculous, made up, trendy, "your kid is going to hate you for life because they will either be made fun of or no one will know how to spell it" type names.  Only some of the names we have come up with are actually names, but considering that some people will name their kids just about anything....

Names that might be considered NO BUENO:

1. Carrie
2. Broke
3. Twist
4. Buck
5. Screw
6. Bent
8. Run
9. Jump
10. Ride
11. Snooze
11. Jack**

This is probably only the beginning.  There are probably tons out there that I haven't come up with. :)

**That would just be cruel and crass. :)

Friday, December 14

It's Not Stuck in Your Head....

I love to sing.  I sing in the car, in my house, and sometimes in the shower (is that an overshare?).

Especially around this time of year when one of the local radio stations has been playing Christmas songs since November 1, I have had a few songs stuck in my head.

Last Saturday was our church Christmas dinner.  A bunch of the little kids got up on to the stage to sing and sign a song.  I was singing this song as I was cleaning the kitchen the other day.  Hallie came in and asked me what song I was singing.  I told her it was the same song she and the other kids had signed and sang last week.  I told her that it was stuck in my head.

She replied saying "It's NOT stuck in your head, it's stuck in your mouth!"

I stood there and after a moment in thought, told her that I agreed!

Wednesday, December 5

Ladybug Wants a Sibling

Over the course of the last couple of weeks, Hallie has told me that she wants a brother or a sister.  Depending on the day, she says she wants one or the other.  She even comes up with names that I could never pronounce, or are completely made up.

And all I can think of when it comes to even considering this subject, is if only it were easy for us to give her what not only she wants, but what Brandon and I would also love to have.  We have often talked about wanting one more little one to come in to our home, but by what avenue...this remains to be seen.

Some people have asked us if we would ever consider fostering again, and the answer in my mind is one resounding "NO".  Even when people say things like "well isn't that how you got your daughter?"  or "isn't adopting from foster care pretty much free?" I can say "yes that's how we got her" and "yes it was 'free', if you're talking about the financial aspect, but she wasn't 'free' when you think about what we had to go through in order to bring her into our home.  We tried to adopt our nephew, and that didn't work out.  We had 2 beautiful children brought into our home for 48 hours, and they were sent back into a chaotic environment, and that broke our hearts.  Not long after that, we had the incredible blessing of fostering 2 sweet boys that we came so close to adopting, and we had the rug pulled out from under us and they weren't supposed to be ours. I never knew what that kind of heartache felt like.  It sounds cliche', but I have deeply loved and lost, and believe me, it is one of the most difficult and trying things I have EVER done in my life.

So, with fostering thrown out the window when it comes to options, what does that leave for possibilities for Brandon and I? What can we do to bring another little one into our lives?  There is the option of going down the infertility road, but that poses some difficulties and challenges when it comes to my health.  There is the option of privately adopting, but that means finding the finances to do so.

It has been nearly 2 years since Brandon and I officially adopted Hallie. We couldn't ask for more joy and happiness when it comes to her.  But we know that with the possibility of her having a sibling, there would be so much more joy and happiness to be had.  I wish with all that I am that I could give her what she has been asking for.

I want with all that I am to be a mother to a newborn.  I want to experience the sleepless nights, the spit up, the blowouts, toting around a diaper bag, setting up a nursery, buying diapers and bottles, buying beautiful and precious clothes, experiencing and relishing in a baby's firsts: their first smile, their first roll-overs, their wiggles, their coos, their scooting, crawling and walking etc.

But how?

She Knows Jesus

Hallie has an incredible relationship with Jesus Christ.  She knows who He is.  There have been some experiences that provide pretty strong evidence of this fact.

-Right around the time she turned 3, Hallie and I were riding in the car after leaving the dollar store.  She was upset about something and when I told her she needed to calm down and tell me what was wrong, she replied "I NEED JESUS!!!"  I remember being very shocked that she would say something like that at such a young age.  I responded "Oh sweetheart, we ALL need Him."

-In September when we were on our vacation to the Oregon Coast, Hallie was kind of difficult at times, which made us question our sanity when we decided to go on vacation.  One night, after nerves and frustrations were already fried, she was playing in the tub at the condo, and she pooped in the tub.  That about sent me over the edge when it came to patience.  My mother in law (bless her!) went in and helped clean out the tub and to bathe Hallie.  Hallie knew I was upset, and she told my mother in law this, "I hope Jesus isn't mad at me."  My heart melted when I heard this, and I have since wondered where she would get that.  I have never reprimanded her and told her that anything she does upsets Jesus. She clearly somehow came up with that all on her own.

-A couple of weeks ago, we were driving in the car together and I got frustrated that some guy came dangerously close when he cut me off while pulling into my lane.  Hallie observed my reaction to the guy and asked me, "Mama, do you need Jesus?"  All I could say was that I really did need Him.

My daughter amazes me. She often says some pretty profound, astute, and intelligent things.  It is almost like she is an old soul in a toddler's body.

I believe that children can see and feel things that we adults cannot.  They are so innocent and loving that it is almost impossible to not believe that they can see angels, and be so attuned to the Spirit.

Ever since she came into our home, people have often remarked how special of a little girl she is.  She draws people to her (just like her Daddy) and is such a happy little thing. She is at such a fun age.  I am so thankful that this precious daughter of God is ours.

Wednesday, November 7

Just Call Me Grace

Hallie and I have been sick for almost a week now fighting the flu/cold crud that has been going around as it does every year.  We have been cooped up in the house for several days and we were both going kind of nuts.  The last 3 days have shown signs that we are on the mend, so we ventured out to a park today before the nasty weather hits at the end of the week.

We spent some time playing and chasing each other and as I was walking to sit on a park bench so that Hallie could play with some other kids, I told her "Be careful while you play honey."  As soon as I said this, (oh the irony) I ran headfirst into a pole.  I immediately looked around to see if anyone had seen, but luckily not.  But boy did I feel stupid!

As if that wasn't bad enough, I crouched down to walk under one of the bridges on the playground and nearly knocked myself out cold AGAIN by beaning my head HARD on the bottom of the bridge.

Just call me Grace........

Monday, September 24

Diabetes? Fine. Infertility? Nope.

I am pretty open about many things in my life.  People who know me well know that when they ask me an honest question, they can expect a reciprocating answer.  In this fashion, I might be a bit too trusting.  There are things that I get asked about the most often, the front-runner being my diabetes.  Diabetes is something I harbor absolutely no bad feelings about.  I sometimes feel discouraged, frustrated, or downright ornery about the subject, namely on days that have seen rollercoasting highs and lows when it comes to my blood sugar, but for the most part if someone has questions, they can feel free to ask away.  I even answer the seemingly endless barrage of stupid/ignorant questions about my diabetes.

Then there's that other topic once people find out that we have been married for as long as we have and they learn that Hallie is adopted.  The elephant in the room when such questions arise or such information is learned: INFERTILITY...

I don't know why this topic is so taboo for me.  Accepting it? Easy.  Facing it with medical help/intervention?  Haven't quite gone there yet.  Discussing it with members of my family who struggle with it?  No problem.  Discussing the sometimes personal and searching questions from people I hardly know or don't quite know well enough?  YIKES.  

I can't quite explain that feeling of me putting up a nearly tangible but invisible barrier/wall around me when someone expresses curiosity as to why we only have one child. You would think that having married into a culture where blunt and searching questions abound, that I would be able to be more open about this...topic.  

Not only are there the questions surrounding how Hallie came into our family, then there are the questions about how do we plan on having/getting more kids, or questions as to when we plan on it etc.  I can't quite put a label to all the different types of questions that result from one BIG question, but I just don't always feel ready to talk about it, or I get sick of giving the same answers over and over and over again.  

I have friends that are pretty open about the fact that infertility is a challenge they and their significant others face in their lives. I support them in that.  Even when they are a bit TMI in my opinion.  

So there you go, I have put this out there.  Do any of my 3 readers (maybe I'm being presumptuous) or so struggle with anything like this?