Local Family Stuck In China After Adopting Baby Girl

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

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.

That process can be long and complicated, so Congressman Rogers has gotten involved.

"Our real work starts Thursday night at about 7:30, first thing in the morning in China," says Rogers. "We'll try to get them home as quickly and as dignified as possible."

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the congressman is doing all he can to make sure the family gets back in time for that holiday.

"You can imagine the challenge," Rogers says. "She's [Sandi] going through the grieving process, losing her husband, at the same time as she's adopting a new baby."

Friends say the only thing keeping Sandi going is the hope she'll bring her new daughter home.

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