‘I just cried holding her’: A Hawaii couple shares their adoption journey

A couple in Hawaii are sharing their adoption story after beginning their journey in 2017. (Source: KHNL/KGMB)
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 10:07 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2022 at 10:37 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It’s National Adoption month and more than 100,000 children in the US are waiting to be adopted.

Chris and Manny Orupabo’s adoption journey began in 2017.

”I found out that I was unable to have babies naturally. We’ve fostered, we’ve tried IVF and we’ve hanai’d,” said Chris Orupabo.

”You sit back and you wonder are we the only ones? When is it going to be our turn?” said Manny Orupabo.

Last year, the couple found help at “A Family Tree”. A year later, they adopted a baby girl born in Texas.

Chris and Manny Orupabo's adoption journey began in 2017.
Chris and Manny Orupabo's adoption journey began in 2017.(Courtesy: Amanda Nance)

”I just cried holding her because it’s just something that it’s a blessing that we’ve been waiting and praying for, for so long,” said Orupabo.

Other families traveled overseas. Noelani Lommasson and Brenna Holmes-Mumford were both adopted from China.

”It was sometimes illegal if they had more than one. So, I don’t feel like I was abandoned. I don’t feel like I wasn’t loved or wanted. It was just what my birth family had to do at the time,” said Holmes-Mumford.

”Being in a Caucasian family, I wasn’t ever really seen differently, either. You know, I was loved equally just like my older brothers,” said Lommasson.

A Family Tree, the only adoption agency based in Hawaii says 20 families this year have completed adoptions. 40 are still waiting to be matched.

”There are 400,000 children in the United States currently in the foster care system, and of those 400,000, there are over 100,000 that are legally free to be adopted and just waiting to be placed into permanent homes,” said Shaylah Nichols.

”It’s tedious, there’s a lot of paperwork.. and yes, it is expensive. The reward in the end is all far worth it,” said the Orupabos.

The Orupabo’s adoption cost $65,000. They also say they are lucky because others have had to wait many years before starting a family.

Listen to the rest of the conversation on our ‘Muthaship’ podcast wherever you get your podcasts.