Volume 123, Number
Foster parenting results in adoption for Almonds
BY ANDREA JOHNSON Minot Daily News
Joseph Almond received a special birthday present this year — a new family.
Joseph’s adoption by Jim and Sherrell Almond became final on his seventh birthday in October. Last month, the new family went before a judge to have the adoption officially recognized.
When they came home, Joseph picked up the ringing telephone and announced his new name: "Joseph Almond speaking," said his older sister, Alyssa.
Joseph shared his adoption news with his classmates at Longfellow Elementary during sharing time. His classmates weren’t sure what being adopted means. Joseph now knows that it means he will never have to leave his family again.
The Almonds had been Joseph’s foster parents since he was two months old. When a biological relative from out of state came forward and wanted to adopt Joseph and several of his biological siblings, the Almonds had to let him go, but they said it was difficult.
When that adoption fell through, Joseph came back to live with the Almonds. This time, they knew they wanted to adopt him."It was just too hard to let him go again," said Sherrell Almond.
The couple started adoption proceedings last December and it took about 10 months to complete all the paperwork. Joseph was adopted through the state’s Adults Adopting Special Kids Program, through Catholic Family Services. His tribe also had to approve the adoption because he is an American Indian child. The Almonds completed a cultural plan specifying how they will keep Joseph in touch with his Chippewa heritage. The Almonds said Joseph’s tribe, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, was easy to work with. Under the Indian Child Welfare Act, a child’s relatives or other members of his tribe are given preference to adopt a child, but it is also possible for non-Indians to adopt.
The Almonds said that they will also keep Joseph in touch with his biological siblings, some of whom are the Almonds’ former foster children. Two brothers and a sister called Joseph on his birthday and a couple of his brothers will come to visit him over the Christmas break.
The Almonds have been foster parents for about 18 years. They said the need for foster families and adoptive parents for foster children is still great. Jim Almond said he often sees reports of adoptions of children from foreign countries, but there are many children in this country’s foster-care system who are in need of homes.
The Almonds currently have two foster children and have had up to four foster children at a time. They said they generally care for school-aged children and teenagers. Since both work outside the home, they don’t think they have enough time to devote to an infant.
The couple is also thinking of cutting back on the number of foster children they care for. They’ve noticed that foster children seem to be in the system longer than they used to be and also appear to be coming from tougher situations.
Joseph is the first foster child they’ve adopted. Sherrell Almond said they developed an especially strong bond with him because they cared for him since he was a baby. The Almonds also have three biological children, son Jeremy and daughters Alyssa, a freshman at Minot State University; and Britney, an eighth-grader.
"It’s interesting," said Alyssa of growing up with foster brothers and sisters. "You learn a lot."
Right now neither Alyssa nor Britney think they will become foster parents themselves. But Jim Almond said it might be too soon for them to know what they will do as adults.
Joseph was one of seven children adopted by Minot area families whose adoptions were officially recognized on Nov. 17. November was Adoption Month.
Joseph Almond, 7, with his new adoptive parents, Sherrell and Jim Almond of Minot, and sisters Britney and Alyssa. Sherrell Almond is a native of Esmond and a 1981 graduate of Esmond High School. She is the daughter of Victor Wolf of Esmond and the late MaryElaine (Dorscher) Wolf.
Minnewaukan Cemetery receives$40,000 bequest from Plummer
The Minnewaukan Cemetery Association’s endowment is $40,000 richer as a result of a bequest from the estate of Garvin Plummer, lifelong Minnewaukan resident, who died at the age of 84 on May 31, 2006. The check was received last week from Gordon Dickinson, personal representative of the estate. Dickinson, who lives in Oak Harbor, Wash., is a native of Minnewaukan and the stepson of Plummer.
The Minnewaukan Cemetery was one of the pet projects of Plummer, who devoted much of his life to Minnewaukan Community endeavors. He was sexton and secretary-treasurer of the Minnewaukan Cemetery for 49 years until retiring in 2005. He planted many of the trees at the cemetery and installed water and electricity there. He even installed street signs. Many of the improvements were done at his expense and the expense of his wife, Pearl Huffman Dickinson Plummer, whom he married Aug. 31, 1978. She spent many hours at the cemetery tending flowers and doing other chores. They are both buried in their beloved cemetery.
A few months before his death Plummer also give monetary gifts of $1,000 each to the Minnewaukan Community Club, the Minnewaukan Museum and the Gunnerud-Dietrich American Legion Post 86 of Minnewaukan.
Garvin Plummer was born Aug. 31, 1921 in Minnewaukan to Clarence F. and Laura (Nelson) Plummer. He graduated from Minnewaukan High School in 1940. Later he attended the Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis, Minn., learning the electrician trade. He served in the US Navy from Sept. 3, 1942 until Dec. 30, 1945 in the Pacific Theater during WWII and was recalled for service during the Korean Conflict, serving in 1950 and 1951. He was a master electrician and was janitor of the Benson County Social Services office in Minnewaukan for several years. Pearl Plummer died Aug. 11, 2005.
Plummer’s family was prominent in Minnewaukan from the beginning of the town and were among the first settlers in 1884. His family operated a hardware store, lumber yard, grocery store and sold farm implements, among other business ventures. The businesses were sold in the late 1940’s. C.F. Plummer and his brother, Bertie, also owned extensive farmland in the Minnewaukan area. All the farmland was sold before Garvin’s death.
Garvin was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church and a 60-year member of the Gunnerud-Dietrich American Legion. He was a member of the Minnewaukan Fire Department and served 13 years as chief. He was the guiding force behind the establishment of the Minnewaukan Historical Society and was instrumental in obtaining the stone church as its museum. He was the museum’s curator until shortly before his death. He was the principal founder of the Minnewaukan Ambulance Service. He was a member of the Minnewaukan Commercial Club and served as its secretary-treasurer for several years. He enjoyed making plaques, which were given to those honored by the organizations he served. He was an accomplished chef who catered many meals for community gatherings. In recognition of his volunteer activities the community of Minnewaukan honored him at an appreciation supper in September of 1976.
Upkeep costs at the Minnewaukan Cemetery are in excess of $5,000 per year. The cemetery’s endowment does not yet cover this amount and as a result, donations are still necessary.
Roger Huffman is president of the Minnewaukan Cemetery Assn. Other officers are Curtis Yri, vice president and sexton; Richard Peterson, secretary-treasurer; and board members Ed Schmid, Gordon "Bumpy" Schmid, Lyle Huffman and Bob Helland.
The Minnewaukan Cemetery, which was cared for many years by Garvin Plummer, received a $40,000 bequest from his estate last week. The money will be used to increase the cemetery’s endowment. Plummer was sexton and secretary-treasurer of the cemetery for 49 years.
Paul Bingham of rural Minnewaukan exhibited the reserve champion pen of three Hereford bulls at the North Star Classic livestock show at the ND Winter Show building in Valley City December 1. He and his sister, Olivea, are pictured with the winning animals.
The Shani Shak Salon & Spa recently opened in Maddock. Owner Shannon Lauinger, left, and Nikki Arnold offer a wide range of family hair care and spa services.
Shannon has always enjoyed cutting hair and has been styling family and friends’ hair since high school. When her children, Kayla, Megan, Dylan and Courtney, reached school age Shannon and her husband, David knew the time was right. The Esmond native enrolled at the Headquarters Academy of Hair Design in Minot. After 1800 hours of classes, ranging from chemistry to salon management, she passed her state boards and purchased the building that once housed Top Priority Hair and Nail Salon.
Nikki booth rents from Shannon. She has been a stylist for 12 years, a former salon owner and friends with Shannon "forever." Nikki is from Dickinson and is married to Craig Arnold of Esmond. She has two children, Connor and Skylar. She, too, is doing something she enjoys and is excited about starting this adventure with Shannon.