Friday, November 30, 2007

Winter's on Its Way!

I was working my sales territory in Madison, Wisconsin, when I noticed a massive amount of geese flying overhead. Every time I turned around, I saw more coming, so I grabbed my camera and shot this:

I thought it was fitting to post a video of geese flying south as we're gearing up for our first snowstorm of the season. We're actually under a winter storm warning, and they're predicting that the Twin Cities will probably get 6-12 inches of snow and freezing rain.

I hope it's a doozy! The woodpile is well-stocked!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Grand Night for Singing

I have the privilege of singing with the Great Northern Union Chorus, and on November 17 we had our season finale concert. Fortunately, someone's camera was rolling, so here are a couple of selections for your listening enjoyment. (Oh, yeah. I'm on the far right in the fourth row.):

    That Ever I Saw

    Loch Lomond
By the way, you can order a copy of our new CD here.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sheldon Family

As we celebrate Thanksgiving today my heart is with Sandi Sheldon. I am thankful that she has her daughter, Hannah, and that they were able to come home. Sandi's husband, Dennis, was cremated in China after his passing in Guangzhou.

Sandi worked part-time at Wal-Mart, so finances will be tight. If you would like to help, donations may be sent by check to Hope For Hannah, Fifth Third Bank, 6446 S. Cedar St., Lansing, MI 48911.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Something to Think About

Here's a touching audio clip from the Morning Show with Mike and Susan, which airs on KSBJ 89.3 FM in Houston, Texas. Logan is a 13-year-old who listens to the show online because he lives in a small town in Nebraska. He called in to share his thoughts after having to put down a young calf on his family's ranch:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

Update on the Sheldon Family

Lansing Woman OK'd to Return Home with Adopted Chinese Daughter
By JAMES PRICHARD Associated Press Writer

A woman whose husband unexpectedly died in China while they were there to pick up their newly adopted daughter is expected to return home Saturday with the child, a spokeswoman for a Michigan congressman says.Sylvia Warner said Friday that Sandi and Dennis Sheldon of Lansing, Mich., left for China on Oct. 30 to get the 17-month-old girl, whom they named Hannah. They originally had planned to return home this Saturday.But only days after the adoption process was completed, Dennis Sheldon suddenly died. The family was told that he apparently suffered heart failure, said Darlene Hill, Sandi Sheldon's mother.

Because the family's status had changed and Sandi Sheldon had become a single mother, the U.S. consulate in China told her that she could not leave that country with the toddler until new family-status paperwork had been filed. The process normally takes weeks.U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers and his staff learned of the situation on Thursday, when they were inundated with e-mails and more than 500 telephone calls from an online adoption community that knew what was happening.

The authors of several adoption Web logs that were following the situation posted telephone numbers for the offices of Rogers, other elected officials and various government agencies, encouraging readers to ask them for help.Rogers, a Brighton Republican, called the consulate late that evening -- first thing in the morning in China -- and worked out a resolution that involved fast-tracking the filing of the proper paperwork."Through the congressman's call to them and that ensuing discussion, they were able to move the process along," said Warner, his spokeswoman.Rogers' office was notified around 4 a.m. Friday that Sheldon, who had been staying in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, was cleared to return home with her daughter, Warner said.

Dennis and Sandi Sheldon were married for 19 years and Hannah is their first child, said Hill, who lives in Lansing with her husband, Herbert, and is now the grandmother of 13 children. Sandi, 42, works part time at a Wal-Mart store and Dennis, 46, was a custodian for Lansing Public Schools. Hill said family members, while still grieving their loss, were excited to learn that Hannah will accompany her new mother home."We got that news about 12:30 last night," Hill said Friday. "It's the best telephone call we've had in two weeks."

The Sheldons applied to adopt a child from China through Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Bethany Christian Services, one of the nation's largest adoption agencies. The process usually takes two to two-and-a-half years, said John Van Valkenburg, a Bethany spokesman. He called the pending homecoming a "bittersweet time" for the Sheldon family."We are very ecstatic that both mother and daughter are able to return home and join the rest of the family," Van Valkenburg said. "At the same time, our hearts and prayers go out to them for the loss of a father, husband and son."Dennis Sheldon's body was cremated in China and his ashes were returning home with his widow, Hill said. A memorial service for him will take place Nov. 30 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Lansing.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Sad News from China

From WILX News in Michigan:

    This picture, taken just days ago, shows an overjoyed Sandi and Dennis Sheldon, who have just adopted Hannah, a 17-month old special needs child in China.

    This picture will now be one of the few memories the family will ever have together.

    Dennis Sheldon died in China this week from diabetic shock, just days after being united with his new daughter.

    "These are one of those emotional things that just tear your heart out. It's hard enough losing a husband, now you have a baby who won't know their father," says Congressman Mike Rogers.

    If that weren't tragic enough, now the U.S. government is saying the family's status has changed, and they won't let Sandi bring the baby back home to Lansing until brand new paperwork has been filed.

    (Full story and video here.)
Dawn knows Sandi Sheldon through an online group of couples who are adopting from China, so this story hit close to home. Please remember this family in your prayers.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Ron Paul Video Primer

The 2008 presidential election is a year away, but the first primaries are coming up in a couple of months. So, with that in mind, I thought I'd introduce you to the only candidate who has consistently honored his oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States":

For more information, check out his campaign web site at Or, better yet, simply read the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

20 Months Since LID (3-13-06)

I got nothing to say, folks!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

CCAA Update

The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before August 31, 2006.

The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before December 8, 2005.

Based on this current pace of one week of paperwork processed per month, with no speed-ups or slow-downs, I estimate (I think I did my math right), that we may receive our referral in September of 2008. That will be 30 months since log-in...far different than our original 6-8 month time-frame. Don't count on this, though, as we have clearly seen that there are no guarantees in this process!
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