I would like to share my personal experience about adopting in Hawaii. I believe that my experiences and knowledge will help many parents who plan to adopt. The reason I would like to write about adoption is that the kids that I embraced are my niece and nephews. My story starts with a tragedy that happened on September 18, 1984. One of my sisters passed away in a traffic accident leaving three children and brother-in-law behind.
Two years later my wife and I decided to adopt my niece and nephews because my brother-in-law was having difficulties. One of my nephews was going blind on the left side. My other nephew was paralyzed on the right-side of his body and needed physical therapy. My brother-in-law couldn’t afford to take care of my nephews. My wife and I were doing very well at the time and was making about $80,000.00 a year. We also had great medical coverage from our jobs so we could afford to take care of my nephews. It wasn’t an easy decision for my brother-in-law, but he agreed that this was the best course of action for his children.
The process of adopting wasn’t difficult because we simply hired a lawyer. He took care of all the legalities, drew up the papers, my brother-in-law signed, and we just waited for the courts to award the kids to us. Six months later, my niece and nephews became my daughter and sons. During the process, the kids were transitioning to live with us. They gathered all their belongings and brought it over to the house in Pearl City. Each of them had their own room and had no problem settling down. A few days later, we were able to get medical coverage for my kids.
Therapy wasn’t easy for my son who was paralyzed on the right side of his body. He had to endure a lot of pain to get the right side to work, but after two years he was just like any other kid at school. My other son with his left eye going blind had to go through surgery. The surgery was a success and was able to see well with glasses. Today, my sons are doing well. One is married and lives in Las Vegas and the other lives on the big island of Hawaii. My daughter has done extremely well. Graduated from high school with honors, and met her husband soon after. I now have six beautiful grandkids, and they are such a blessing.
For most Hawaiians, the family is everything. We try to help one another, especially when it involves children. My story is not uncommon, and many Hawaiians adopt or Hanai children that are family. There is family who also adopts outside of the clan. The story I have shared is true, and hope that it will inspire other people to adopt.