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.

Scroll to bottom to see slideshow pictures.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Eden and Ren in GuangzhouMark's beautiful birthday cake. It tasted as good as it looked too. The numbers are backward LOL!
Sweet Kevin with the most adorable cheeks!

The blue legs are Ren's. Trying to get the kids to pose for traditional red couch pictures.

Ren posing with Eden and his best friend beautiful Su Su!

Red Couch picture.

Family Red couch picture.

We are home and we are happy!! I am sitting here typing this while my 2 littlest, Eden and Ren are happily playing Lego's! they have been building things and chattering happily for the last hour. Yes we have our very normal "he's not sharing!" spats and sibling rivalry stuff, but it is all normal stuff and then they are back to playing. They are pretty much inseparable!

Our trip back home was very uneventful. We left Beijing at 6:30 PM so the kids fell asleep at their normal bedtime and slept the rest of the way home! The jet lag has not been that hard this time (hallelujah!).

So how was our trip in China? It was hard but VERY worth it :-). It probably wouldn't of been so hard had we not gotten sick. Dr. Gong met us in Nanjing on gotcha day and was a lifesaver for us! He is a wonderful man who comes and sees the children when you get them. He also checked Mark and I out and brought back Rx meds for us that saved us and our trip! Kudos to Dr. Gong!!! Anyone meeting him will love him.

I must say that adopting a 3 and a half year old was quite a different experience than adopting a 23 month old (Eden). Of course every child is an individual and every experience will be different for everyone.

So in the spirit of keeping this blog real I have decided to share some of my feelings. I am normally a very private person, but I feel sharing my feelings with anyone who is about to embark on an adoption trip for an older child or toddler might help. I knew it was going to be hard, and it was. We had a easy "gotcha" moment but the first week was tough. Ren bonded first to Mark and wanted nothing to do with me. This is quite normal, but it still hurt after waiting over a year for him and not being able to hold and cuddle him like I wanted to do. Mark took over the parenting duties the first week and was AWESOME with Ren. He was so patient with him (but maybe not so much with the locals, he he he).

He had many melt downs and huge temper tantrums. In public I might add. In China staring and pointing are not rude. It is just a cultural difference. So being out in public with your screaming child while everyone is taking notice is a bit disconcerting. Especially when they are pointing or video taping you for their amusement (yes this happened). We learned very quickly to just stick close to the hotel and to ignore the staring, these people are not being malicious.

When we first met Ren and during most our trip he was bouncing off the walls, sometimes literally :-). We had thoughts of "what have we done??" during our first week and was sure he was hyperactive (just keeping it real people). I can say with certainty he is not hyperactive. One of our Directors of our adoption agency gave us very good advice. She helped me realize that during the adoption transition sometimes these children's brains become very overstimulated because of the changes in their lives. I would agree that this is exactly what Ren went through. Now that we are home he is a very different child. He is cuddly (with me too, YAY) and very relaxed. He has a very long attention span now. So for anyone adopting from China, your first 2 weeks may not give you a good picture of your child's personality! Hang in there and wait! 2 weeks is not enough time to see the real child. We are probably in a "honeymoon" period now and I'm sure we will be tested, but really now, he is a typical 3 year old :-D.

The first two weeks were a transition for Mark and I too. There were a lot of moments of stress and times we just had to use humor to get through things. So how do we feel now? Sometimes the most rewarding things in life are the hardest things to do. We are blessed with an adorable sweet little boy who we are in LOVE with!!! We will never forget our time in China. We traveled with AWESOME travel mates who were so supportive and wonderful! Love you all and miss you too if you are reading this!!!

Thank you God for Ren and for bringing us home safely!


*Kayla* said...

Welcome Back! I'm glad the plane ride went smoothly. I am praying for a smooth transition over the next few weeks. Thanks for keeping the blog for your trip. It brings back many memories of our travel in December.

Mommy said...

Welcome home! I have followed every post from one side of the planet and back. Thank you for your candidness. It is very appreciated by those who wait to pick up their babies. Since I happen to KNOW who my baby girl is now it means so much more. :-)


Flamingo Mama said...

oh elaine what a blessing it is to read this!! we too are floored by how different she is already!

i know what a hard time you guys had at times...and we did too! i was wondering at one point if i would lock myself in the morning everymorning and cry:)

i thought that ren was the most gorgeous little boy and even with all his craziness he stole my heart!

and thank ren somedays for the laughts...mark still cracks up at the "boo ya" story!!

Wuxi Mommy said...

Welcome Home, Elaine!! It was so good to be with you and your family for the trip!! What a blessing it was for us and our kiddos to be together!! We miss you guys so much and are anxious to see you soon. We showed SuSu a video of her playing with Ren last night, and she was so excited and bouncing up and down. I know it will be amazing to see them together again! I hope you're getting some sleep (ha ha!) and settling into your new routine.

One Blessed Mama said...

WELCOME HOME! Can't wait to meet up with you guys and catch up.

Djuna in Waldorf

Bill and Toni said...

Yay Yay YAYYYYYY!!!!

Welcome Home!!! Can't wait to meet Mr. Dashing and to give you all a great big hug!!!

Hoping your jetlag continues to be minor and that Ren's transition to family life continues to go so well. The director was right, his world was completely turned upside down, and I pray that "normalcy" will continue to bring him calm and peace... ok, as much calm as is possible for a 3 yo boy (haha!!).

Blessings to you all - and Congratulations,
Toni for the Bentons