We are the Kealoha Family

We are the Kealohaʻs Front Right -Hōpoe (14), Front Left – Kaʻiliwai (12), Middle – Lei (donʻt ask hahaha), Middle Right – Keith (older than Lei), Middle Left – Kaleohano (17), Back Right – Pohai (14) & Back Left – Maka (13) and this is our family.

It was an ordinary hot day in the summer when we got a knock on our door and instantly turned from a family of five to a family of seven in less than 30 minutes. Becoming a resource caregiving family was something that we never planned to become or knew anything about. What we learned was that these two beautiful tiny girls standing in our garage needed a home, love, a family and we had all of those things to give.

Our journey began as we welcomed Pohai and Maka into our family the summer of 2014. The girls suffered from PTSD and Pohai came with type 2 diabetes none of which was a factor or disclosed when we opened our home and hearts to them. As a family unit when challenges like these present itself you look to your village and rally to get them the best help you can as you would for your own.

I’d be lying if I said it wasnʻt a difficult journey but with lots of therapy, trials, errors and being very transparent every step of the way those precious little girls who stood in our garage at 5 and 6 years old are now teenagers driving me and my husband crazy along with the rest of our hui. Pohai still suffers from PTSD and manages her diabetes, Maka is in softball enjoying being in the 7th grade you would never know she had suffered from PTSD. We have been able to care for many other keiki throughout the years, some for days and
others for months.

Author’s Biography

Leinaala Kealoha born and raised on Maui currently in her 3rd semester at the University of Hawai’i, Maui Campus pursuing a degree in Hawaiian Studies. Leinaala brings with her 20 years of experience within the hospitality industry.

Leinaala is part of the Mu’o a’e scholarship program at the University of Hawai’i and currently serving as an intern with the non-profit Ho’oikaika Partnership. She hopes to learn more about each individual partner. Her role at this time is to serve and assist in the administration aspect in preparation for September’s upcoming conference.