“Ohana means family, and family means nobody is left behind”

And that means that the kid was going with me to Hawaii just three weeks into this new family.

I had to explain to him that this wasn’t going to be a usual thing, that the trip had been planned for a while, and that we were very lucky to be going in the first place. We actually had to get court approval, and an agreement by his biological mother, since they had all the rights at this point.

I was very excited for my new Ohana to meet my old Ohana… even though we’re not related by blood. We were off to see many wonderful friends, and their many, many kids. True Aloha awaited.

That being said, I’m not a huge fan of water (kind of hard to avoid it being an island and all that). I still hold on to the childhood trauma of nearly drowning and made a lifelong commitment to staying on the sidelines while others marveled at the undersea world.

Yet there we were, standing on the beach near a series of wading pools, with masks and snorkels in hand… and an eager plea to rush in.

I had to do this… for him… and for me.

I clung to the rocks as best I could as he clung unto my neck with all his might.

Breathe… breathe…

It was still awkward at best, but awesome as well.

So much life! So close to shore! So close to my feet!

I’m sure it was only ten minutes, but it felt like hours.

And as we got out, friends flashed the shaka sign.

Because they knew just how big of a deal this was.


I’m going to England in April 2023 to show my art in a gallery. I want to show this kid the world. Please help make this dream come true. Every little bit helps.

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