The Growing Family: The Rensch Family
● By Hood Magazine
Imagine going from having no children to having three in less than six months. For Lance and Joan Rensch, this was their reality in 1989.
“Joan and I were temporary guardians of my niece and nephew Alexcia and Dylan when they
were 7 and 3 years old,” said Lance. “My sister was a single mom struggling with addiction issues. She eventually lost her life, so we took over guardianship. At the time, Joan was also pregnant with our daughter Ariel.”
Needless to say they had to learn quickly how to be parents
and while it wasn’t always easy, they have no doubts they did the right thing.
“We felt compelled to do something. I don’t think there’s been a time when we ever looked back with any regrets about it,” said Lance. “There were times when we looked back on those years and we were not as equipped as parents to do the job, but we learned.”
As they learned, they grew as a family, adding daughters, Lana and Breanna. Part of the learning process was to always be open to Alexcia and Dylan when it came to questions about their biological mother.
The kids grew up in a stable Christian home and are now able to look back on the great life they were given. “We just wanted to tell the kids your mom was sick,” said Lance. “But our friend who was a funeral director said to be open and honest and let them ask questions. This way as they got older they knew we were honest and we never hid anything from them.”
“When I think of my sister, I think of these great kids and how well they are doing and what they’re doing with their life,” said Lance. “It makes me smile.”
Joan and Lance now have a grandson from Alexcia who is married and lives in Seattle. Dylan is active in his church, leads the youth band and manages a local hotel. Ariel is also married and works as a physician’s assistant in Minneapolis, Lana lives in Colorado and the youngest, Breanna is 12. She’s enjoying school, taking drum lessons and keeping the family busy with activities.