Note: my self-imposed rule for this blog is that all photos posted must be taken by myself using manual / semi-manual settings. I’m making an exception, though, for this big event. All photos that appear here were taken on automatic.
Last Sunday, we finally had little Ren baptized. (We originally meant to do it last year but deferred it to this year for a number of reasons.)
We asked our close friends Kelley and Paul to be Ren’s godparents. Kelley is my childhood friend of 30 years and she is practically a sister to me. She’s been through everything with me (even my second date with Paul!) and it felt only natural for her to be my son’s godmother. I also know she’s a responsible person perfect for the job! After all, it was Kelley that my dad always put in charge (instead of me, his own daughter!) at the lake when my girlfriends and I would all camp. Kelley’s Paul (it does get confusing with our two Pauls) has become a very close friend to us as well during the years they’ve been together. With his kind and playful personality, he gets along so well with kids and we can’t imagine a more perfect godfather for our little boy.
When we adopted Ren in China, we had a little suit custom made for him for his baptism. His little jacket and dress shirts no longer fit, but he was able to at least wear the suit pants on his special day. I lucked out by finding a little tie with cars on it to go with a white shirt to complete his ensemble. He looked so cute in his outfit but he was obviously self-conscious about being so dressed up. I had wanted to take some beautiful photos of him in his outfit but I abandoned the idea because he was so shy.
My brother Stu and his girlfriend Christina kindly took group photos for us before church. Usually Ren’s quite smiley in pictures but he was pretty serious in all of these. We think he was nervous about the upcoming baptism. He didn’t want to let go of me for long so I wasn’t able to get any good photos of Ren alone with his godparents.
Our little family:
Kelley and Paul, the godparents, are in the center of the following photo. My mom is on the far right beside me. We had Paul’s parents meet us at church but now I wish I had invited them to our house first so that we would have them in these group photos for Ren’s memory book.
Paul held Ren during the actual baptism. Paul told me later that he thought he’d better hold him instead of me in case Ren put up a big fight. He’s a strong little dude! But Ren submitted quietly to the sprinkle of water.
I’m not sure if you will be able to see it in the photo above but Paul is holding a white blanket under Ren. My grandma Pauline gave that blanket to my mom more than 40 years ago. Mom brought all seven of her children home from the hospital in that blanket and had it at all of our baptisms. In keeping with that tradition – but with a twist – we had it with us when we received our children in China and now at both of their baptisms as well.
The baptism candle:
At our church when the basket is passed around for money, children are invited to go up to the front of the church to put coins in a vase. My kids decided to go for the first time that day. Claire confidently strutted up there and tossed her coins in. Like a good big sister, she watched for Ren and saw that he was lagging behind, looking unsure. While other kids came and went, she tried her best to steer him towards the vase. At last, after all the other children had made their deposits, Ren made his way to the vase …
And then he paused. For a long time. At last, money still firmly in hand, he turned around:
He looked so upset about having to part with the money! I don’t know if it was that or if he was suddenly shy but he just stood there for what seemed like an eternity. Claire tried to help but he just kept standing there. Finally, while I ran up there to get Ren, Claire took the money from him, and dropped it in the vase.
I felt kind of bad for Ren to have been so nervous but omigosh, it was so funny because of his chagrined look and because of how Claire was trying to direct him around.
After church, we gathered (this time with Joanne and Wally) for another family photo:
We had a little celebration at our house afterwards. I had ordered a Dairy Queen cake in advance. I am always a little worried the message will get screwed up somehow but I’ve had good luck with all the cakes I’ve ordered before. I guess my luck had to run out sometime …
The cake was supposed to say, “Welcome to the Faith, Ren”. We joked that by missing the “the”, it looked like the cake was a message about an arranged marriage to a girl named Faith.
Paul tended the barbecue and most of the men joined him out there to visit and eat. Ren wanted to be out there too, part of the “men’s club”. It looks like he was keeping order with this little hockey stick:Kelley and Paul are excellent shoppers and always find fun things to buy for the kids. We spent some time that day flying a little airplane that they bought. Ren went out with the boys earlier in the day but stayed behind to play with toys when we went out in the afternoon with my camera:
Other fun that day included a Kung Fu demonstration by the kids. They wore their new suits for the demo (Ren had just received his suit that day from his Baba and Dido) and then proceeded to attack a dragon (a.ka. Paul):
I think they got that dragon good. Sorry Paul!!
Thank you, Kelley and Paul, for agreeing to be Ren’s godparents. He’s a lucky boy to have you in his life and we are honoured to have you as a part of the family in this way. Thank you also to my mom and Paul’s parents for making the trip from Saskatchewan to be here for Ren’s big day. And finally, thank you to Stu and Christina for photographing the event and for Rod and Marianne for sharing in our celebration. I know Ren felt very special to have you all there!