The Road To Ren

Our adoption journey to our son Ren William.

Musings by Elaine and other Blitherings. This blog was origonally intended to document our China adoption journey to our son Ren. Now we are home and this blog is about our family. I would love to have you sign my guest book.

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Friday, February 22, 2008


Ren. What a great sounding name. Ren. Simple. Elegant. It stuck in my head. I questioned it some more. I had never heard of this name before. Where had this name come from? It seemed to be floating in my forehead where I couldn't ignore it. It was a tattoo in my mind . What an odd name. This was 2 years ago, 2005, I wasn't planning on anymore children, but if I had one I knew this would be their new name. I was mistaken about the new part.

Fast forward 2 years later and Mark and I started talking about a sibling for our daughter Eden. She at 4 years old was being raised as an only child. Her big brothers and sister were already out of the house away at colleges and starting their own lives. She was the princess in the household. Eden has been one of my greatest joys and challenges to this day. I have never looked back or regretted anything. Thoughts of going back to China and adopting another child started to dominate our conversations. She would have someone to grow up with, share life with, someone to challenge her kingdom and add some balance. So we did the only thing we knew to do, we prayed, and prayed some more.

We had moved to Maryland in August of 2007 one of the worst times for real estate in a long time. Our house had not sold and we needed it to sell in order to have a down payment to buy a house in the DC area. We ended up renting a nice house instead. In November of 2007 God blessed us and our house finally sold for a nice profit. Adoption which was once a hope could now become a reality.

How do you choose a child? God had now opened a narrow window in time. We could now proceed with this adoption. The wait to adopt another healthy little girl was now close to 3 years. This did not seem practical for us being 40-er-something parents. More prayer. We decided to go a different route. I started researching and looking at waiting child lists. The thought of choosing one child over another was something I could not wrap my mind around. I told God "I do not want to have to choose a child. You chose all my other children for me and they are all perfect for me, could you not choose this one"? The closest we could get to actually choosing was deciding on a boy between 2 and 3 years of age. This seemed practical to us because we had adopted Eden as a toddler, we understood the challenges and it would be nice to have someone close to her in age.

I felt driven. Its the only way I can explain it without sounding like a crazy person. If I wanted to sound crazy, which I don't, I would tell you I felt like I was going down river rapids in a canoe without paddles and I wasn't controlling the boat. Hmmmm. So there I was....looking at waiting child files on the Internet. I had only intended to look just to research and find out about the process. The next thing I knew I was looking at him. Not a picture, but a name. Xi He Ren. "Adorable little boy who is ready for his family now ... they call him Ren Ren". He is 2 and a half years old. My heart stopped. I reread his name, Xi is his last name (pronounced she). His first name is He Ren, He is a common name given in china, and "he goes by the name Ren Ren". Ren means benevolence. I needed time to absorb this.

I always knew God was merciful and loving. I sat on this information for a week. More prayer(aka MP). We decided to call the agency Ren was listed with and ask about him. They said another family already had his file and had a week to decide to adopt him or not. "Well God" I said "if he's really meant to be ours then that family won't accept him because he's meant for us not them". And that was that. The agency told me if they got his file back they would pass it on to us next. Two weeks passed.

If nothing else we found a wonderful agency by seeing Ren on their list. They are called Homeland Adoption Services in NY. They were starting a new expedited pilot program called Xingfu. They are working exclusively with 2 orphanages in Jiangsu Province to place waiting children. This was the perfect solution for us because we would not have to wait the 2-4 years it was taking to wait for a child. This meant that it could take 6 to 8 months now instead. Now we could adopt a child close in age to Eden and still be adopting a toddler and this was important to us. To request a toddler and wait another 3 to 4 yrs would put Eden at 7 or 9 yrs old!

God is good. I called the agency one day to ask a question. I had determined that I was not going to ask about Ren. If God closed that door I was not going to kick it open. I asked my question and got the information I needed and then the voice on the other end of the phone says "Oh by the way, I believe Xi He Ren's file is coming back to us and if it does do you want us to send it to you"? I can't really describe the feeling I got next. Elation would be a good word. Needless to say about a week later we got Ren's file. (MP). We sent in our letter of intent to China the next week asking for permission to adopt Ren and are waiting to hear back whether they approve us or not. So there you have it, our road to Ren.

Ren. I love that name. Simple. Elegant. Its still tattooed in my mind. I love the sound it makes when it is said. Some people will say I found Ren because I saw his name and sought him out. I know different, I know God had a journey for me and I needed to know where to go. It's not a new name, but a name given to a little baby boy born in 2005 and God whispered it in my ear.