Protecting the Keiki of Hawai’i
by: Eva Andrade
Something wonderful, and heartbreaking, happened to me last week. My soon-to-be-ex son-in-law asked me to take guardianship of my 12 year old grandson. You see, while he is navigating a divorce from my daughter, the stress of the situation was beginning to take its toll on my grandson.
It was obvious that my grandson needed a stable home environment and both my daughter and son-in-law asked that I be that stabilizing force. The request, however, actually came from my grandson. He told his parents that he wanted to live in Hawai’i with his nana. He was born here, so he wanted to come “home.”
While I am ecstatic to have my grandson with me, I am heartbroken that another marriage is disintegrating. Another statistic. Another life transferred from one place to another, searching for a “forever” family.
While many families are adjusting to the back-to-school lifestyle, I am reminded of the crucial role that parents (and guardians) have in the lives of their keiki. My own words come back to me in full force – parents are the first and foremost role in their children’s lives. Not the school. Not their friends.
Hawai’i is known for its aloha spirit and sense of ohana. We are a community and we care for each and every keiki. Each one is a part of our islands so we must nurture them and help them attain the greatness that our Heavenly Father has in mind for them. I know, it is no small task.
This newsletter is specifically designed to put some resources into the hands of parents (guardians, grandparents, aunts, uncles, hanai family) who may need a gentle reminder to connect with the keiki in our lives. I am adjusting to having daily conversations with my grandson about his fears, anger, joy and even childhood memories.
If you don’t have any keiki in your life, say a prayer for the ones you know. Maybe you are feeling like God may be calling you to open your home as a foster or adoptive parent. If so, take that first step.
Want to foster a child laguishing in the state system? Contact Catholic Charities Foster Family Program
If we don’t speak up and defend these little ones that have been given to us by God, then who will?