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4/26/2006 – News

Volume 123, Number 12             Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

Adopted children make life complete for couple
BY CARRIE OPDAHL The Herald-Press Harvey, ND
"This is definitely a blessing. There is really no other word for it," say Lynn and Robin Arnold, Esmond, of their recent entry into parenthood. Their adventure began two years ago with their son, Jacob Sergie, now 4, and more recently, in December with their second child, a daughter, Andrea Elena, 2. Both children were adopted from Khabarozsk, Russia.
The couple, married later in life, had always wanted children but because they could not have any on their own, they sought help from the Children’s Home Society & Family Services in Minnesota.
"We were paired with an agent and the long list of paperwork began.
They asked lots of questions which included a home study," said Robin.
Once approved, the couple chose a country and region. "We chose Russia because Lynn and I both have Russian backgrounds and the region seemed nice," said Robin. Khabarozsk is located in the far eastern corner of Russia.
They made a total of four trips to Russia, two for each child. The first trip was made to meet the children and the second to bring them home.
Jacob came home in December 2003 and Andrea in December 2005. The first time the couple arrived in Russia, it was to meet Jacob and they were very nervous.
"We didn’t know what to expect. It was all new. We had a professional interpreter named Vera help us. She was wonderful," said Robin. "Vera didn’t call this adoption, she called it rescuing. The entire experience was great."
It was so good that when it came time to adopt Andrea, they knew instantly they would go to the same orphanage Jacob was from.
"We will never forget the first time we met each of our children,"
said Robin. "It’s hard to explain the feelings you get when they bring this little person into the room. I just want to run over and hug them," said Robin.
Prior to the first trip, the parents were told they would need to bring a picture book of themselves and a blanket that they’ve slept with to the first visit. These items are then given to the child as a way for them to become familiar with their new parents between visits.
This preparation helped to make the second trip easier. "By the time we were able to take our children home, they knew who we were. It was such a relief because they were actually excited to go home with us," Robin said.
Jacob remembers flying on the plane from Russia. "Even though he was only two years old, he remembers things about the trip. He is always telling people how he came here on an airplane," said Robin.
In their case, at the beginning of the adoptions, the Arnolds were asked to provide a recent picture of themselves as well as baby pictures. From those pictures and from the information they put in the adoption papers, they were matched to the two adopted children.
"If you didn’t know our children were adopted, you would think they were our biological children. They share many similar characteristics with us," said Robin. Both children have blondish-brown hair and Jacob has brown eyes like his mother and Andrea has blue eyes like her father.
The transition has been interesting for all members of the family, especially for Lynn and Robin who went from childless to having two children in two years. It has been a great adventure, they said.
"Jacob is totally ‘Americanized’ now. He learned to speak English with no problems and Andrea is picking it up quite well. Because Andrea is still very young, we communicate a lot through body language," said Robin.
The children are adjusting to each other as well. "They get along very well. Jacob is so proud to be a big brother. He enjoys watching over Andrea," said Robin.
To preserve their Russian heritage, the Arnolds used the names the children were given at birth, Sergie and Elena, as middle names. They bought many souvenirs from Russia as keepsakes to give to their children when they are older.
"Our families have been great throughout this entire process, as well as the community," said Robin. "It is all amazing. And through it all we now have two wonderful children."
Their rewards come in the form of hugs, kisses, and the sound of little voices saying, "I love you, Momma. I love you, Papa."
"Our lives are complete. We have our family and we are grateful to have been given this opportunity. It truly is a miracle."

Lynn and Robin Arnold with their children, Jacob and Andrea.

Leeds DI teams
Leeds Destination Imagination participated in regional competition April 1 at the Northern Cass School. Teams and students participating included "How’d tHAT Happen?" Left to right are elementary level students Denna Allmaras, Taryn Bjerke, Kayla Matlock and Carlito Woods. Coaches were Dawn Geisen and Denvuer Allmaras.

Middle level students placed second in their division. They also received the DaVinci Award for their creative solution and set design. Left to right, front row, are Kayla Wangler, Thomas Urness, Jeni Swanson and Justin Wangler. In the rear are Chace Engstrom and Darren Young. Coaches were Tammy Urness and Linda Young.

The "Kidz Rule" elementary level team placed second in its division. Left to right, seated are Colton Wangler, Matthew Ellison and Paige Johnson. Standing are Michael Ellison and Chelsi Olson. Coaches were Lauree Wangler and Dreama Ellison.

Hoops For Heart raises more than $2,200 at Leeds
Students at the Leeds Elementary School took some real shots at heart disease and stroke April 5 by participating in Hoops For Heart.
Children ages 2 and older should get at least an hour of physical activity, like basketball, every day. The students raised more than $2,269 for the American Heart Association.
Donations raised for Hoops For Heart help fund research into heart disease and stroke and support the American Heart Association’s public and professional education programs. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in America and stroke is No. 3.
"This year’s event was a huge success," said Jeff Manley, Hoops For Heart coordinator. "We’re very proud of all the participants. We had a lot of fun for a good cause."
Hoops For Heart promotes physical fitness and heart health through practicing and demonstrating the skills of one of America’s most popular games. It is co-sponsored by the American Heart Association and the American Alliance For Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
Hoops for Heart
Hoops for Heart participants are pictured. Left to right are Brady Stoll, Dylan Torgerson, Clay Kitzmann, Julissa McGarvey, Aidan Ritterman, Alyssa Anderson and Katelyn Nelsen. Teacher Jeff Manley is in the rear.

Contest runners-up
Two runner-up awards were presented in the Maddock logo contest for slogans submitted by Drew Ellingson and Aaron Ellingson. The slogan submitted by Drew read "Maddock-Where you’re always part of the family." And Aaron’s entry read "Maddock – Small town with a big welcome." Drew and Aaron each received $5 provided by the Maddock Economic Development Corp.

Maddock class takes in study of ecology
The sixth grade class from the Maddock School and their teacher, Ms. Vanessa Peters, visited Sully’s Hill April 20 to attend "Ecology Education" along with several other schools.
Greg Brooks, a birds of prey rehabilitator, showed the students a great horned owl named Sully and a bald eagle named Destiny and told about each of their characteristics and how they survive.
The second presentation, given by Craig Stange, covered woodlands. He showed how to check the age of a tree and also the correct way to prune a tree or shrub. After this presentation, the students moved to another site, where Bob Lisante gave information about the components of soil.
Next, students moved indoors to listen to Benson County Agent Scott Knoke talk about crops in North Dakota and the kinds of products made from each commodity. Students also tried to match a bag of seed with the correct label, which was much more difficult than it looked.
Dave Frison spoke about water quality and watersheds. He showed the many things that can cause pollution in lakes and rivers, including natural waste from farm animals, chemicals and pollutants such as gasoline and oil.
Lunch of Pugsley’s sandwiches, potato chips and milk was provided by the people at Sully’s Hill.
A wildlife Jeopardy game was conducted by Mark Fisher. Students answered questions about fish, wildlife, critters, hunting and birds.
Nels Peterson spoke to the students about different kinds of grasses and the benefit of moving cows and livestock to different grazing places to improve the quality of the grass.
Matt Vanthuyne gave the final presentation about wetlands and ways to improve them. Students were able to use nets to explore Sweetwater Lake and even came up with a couple minnows and snails. Vanthuyne ended the presentation by showing skulls and hides from various wetland animals. They included a muskrat, raccoon, badger, skunk and otter.

Maddock sixth graders who attended the presentation at Sully’s Hill were, left to right, front row, Gabby Rehling, Megan Lauinger, Kayla Karlsbraaten, Drew Ellingson, Matthew Aabrekke and Michael Lunde. Middle row: Breana Buehler, Morgan Duren, Kristen Smith, Justyn Armentrout and Dylan Gigstad. Back row: Zach Johnson, Jenae Johnson, Trevor Knutson, Ms. Vanessa Peters, Matt Knudson, Karl Kenner, James Johnson and Kirby Kallenbach.

Groundbreaking at York
Groundbreaking for All American Biodiesel in York was held Friday, April 21 at 4 p.m. Left to right are Rick Anderson of the North Central Planning Council in Devils Lake, Greg Bauer of Bremer Bank in Devils Lake and owners Larisa and Lee Dirkzwager.

Rodney Parslow of Ritterman Trucking begins dirt work at the former York School for the new biodiesel production facility.

Elevator pays stock retirements
The Harlow Cooperative Elevator & Seed Co. of Harlow held its 78th annual meeting at the Mad-dock Community Center April 11.
President David Sears called the meeting to order and introduced board members: vice president Matt Gilbertson, secretary Keith Smith, and directors Ross Hill and Randy Silliman.
Blaine Christianson of Blaine L. Christianson & Associates read the audit. He told patrons the net worth had increased and they had a strong audit that was showing good trends for the future. The Harlow Cooperative & Seed Co. paid out $95,077 in patronage dividends at the annual meeting. This is money that is returned to the local economy.
The elevator had a grain handle of 4.3 million bushels. Christianson congratulated manager Myron Uttermark, the board of directors, the employees and the patrons on their successful year.
Kathy Knatterud of the ND Farmers Union field staff gave a report on state and local Farmers Union activities, including a recent trip to Washington, DC where they lobbied for disaster aid and to extend the 2002 Farm Bill.
Steve Fritel of Cenex Harvest States (CHS) gave a power point presentation on the history of CHS. He said CHS would be celebrating
75 years of existence this year by holding special events and promotions. He urged members to attend the CHS convention in Portland, Ore. Nov. 30-Dec. 1. He urged patrons to check the CHS Web site for further information.
Dave Sears told patrons during his board report that they could be proud for having been around for 78 years. He said their company has been doing well and that the beans, fertilizer and chemicals have all been profitable.
Manager Myron Uttermark introduced employees and recognized Lowell Haagenson for 34 years of service to the co-op. He said Lowell would be retiring later this season and would be greatly missed. Uttermark thanked the truckers for their dedication and said that they had between 45-50 semis running out of Maddock last fall. He told patrons they had paid off the debt on the terminal and would be making the final payment on the bean plant. He said they paid out $77,000 this past year in stock estate retirements for the years 2003-2005.
Uttermark told patrons they were planning some improvements to the bean plant and also to the fertilizer plant and that they planned to be aggressive selling fertilizer and chemical this year and that both would be available in Maddock and Harlow.
Long-time friend and former employer Don Staehnke paid Myron a surprise visit and told patrons they were fortunate to have Myron as their manager.
Election of officers was held with David Sears and Ross Hill both re-elected to three-year terms on the board.

Members of the board of directors of the Harlow Co-op Elevator & Seed Co. are pictured. Left to right are Matt Gilbertson of Maddock, Randy Silliman of York, Ross Hill of Maddock, David Sears of Minnewaukan, Keith Smith of Maddock and manager Myron Uttermark.

NESC urges schools to have common calendars, schedules
Area principals involved in the Northeast Education Services Cooperative (NESC) recently met in Devils Lake to discuss a variety of topics and issues facing its member schools, including most schools in Benson County.
The meeting was facilitated by Jennifer Anderson, ITV/TLC technology support specialist for the NESC, and Denise Wolf, executive director for NESC. Eighteen of the 20 NESC schools’ principals or their representatives attended the meeting, Anderson said.
Presenters included Kathy McCracken, director of Central Dakota Telecommunications Consortium & North Central Distance Learning Consortium and representatives from Lake Region State College instructional and continuing education office.
"It was a great showing of the school districts’ commitment to their students’ future educational opportunities," Anderson said.
The group discussed next year’s school calendars, which continues to move toward a more uniform calendar among NESC member schools.
Calendar and daily schedule uniformity eases the planning of interactive television (ITV) courses, another meeting item.
Anderson — whose position is fairly new to the NESC — has created an ITV handbook for NESC-member schools, which addresses ITV services, policies, training, scheduling and more. The material in that handbook was distributed and edited by member schools.
In her first year at NESC, Anderson also completed and presented the NESC curriculum review for all schools.
"I think the NESC is heading in the right direction by adopting an ITV handbook, a common calendar and common bell schedule. The principals’ meeting is the first step in developing an ITV class schedule that enhances the curriculum offerings for students in all the member schools," McCracken said.
Other topics covered were student-principal survey results that helped schools decide what classes to offer and deliver over the ITV.
"From the survey and course needs discussion, we are able to go from offering less than 10 classes this year over the ITV to almost 40 classes — 17 of those classes are dual-credit," Anderson said. For more information on the NESC, call (701) 662-7650.

Dakota Prairie Principal Janet Edland, second from left, talks about course offerings at her school as Kim Anderson of Maddock, Eric Krogan of Bisbee-Egeland and Gene Riedinger of Warwick listen. The conversation took place at the Northeast Educational Services Cooperative meeting held recently.


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