A Beautiful Reunion

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Aloha my friends! Im finally home after experiencing one of the most beautiful and memorable milestone in my life. 

Before I share photos of my amazing trip I must first  THANK YOU for ALL for your incredible and supportive words of love and encouragement. I really appreciate the outpour of support and from several of you ladies that shared your personal experience of finding a long lost relative or loved one.

Please note….I am posting a lot of photos! I took over 600, so I've tried my best to weed thru them all and share only my best photos with you all.

From the time I first stepped off the plane it was a roller coaster of excitement and nervousness of experiencing a whole new world to me.

My beautiful half sister Kuulei and our father Keith greeted me at the airport. There were BIG BIG hugs and some very happy tears that were shared. This day finally arrived and I was seeing my father for the first time and meeting my siblings. 

WOW!!!!!!!


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I was quite exhausted after the 12 hour trip. However, we decided to grab a quick bite to eat before I checked into my hotel.

They took me to one of the local favorites. Usually a line forms out the door. The local food is so good!


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They are known for their Ramen noodles with fish, pork, and veggies. The bowl was so huge I couldn't finish it, but it was so delicious and full of the yummiest flavors. 


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When I got checked in to my condo I had a very sweet surprise waiting for me.


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My sister Kuulei who is FULL of  aloha spirit  surprised me with foods in my kitchenette that I love to eat for breakfast and snacks.

Sweet little note she left.


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After a much needed good nights rest, my first day started out with me pulling back the curtains and seeing a huge rainbow in the sky. WOW!!! It had to be a good sign!!!

My Dad went out that morning and picked beautiful plumeria flowers for me.


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Here's a little bit of info on my father.

He was born in raised in CA. He has spent the majority of his life in Kauai.

He is a champion longboard surfer and for many many years was a local known bartender and living his life and dream of surfing. His life is INCREDIBLY laid back and he's a total free spirit. I too have  a bit of the "free spirit" in me as well. Now I know where I get it. 😉


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One of his several pride and joy surfboards.


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The first morning of my trip I got to meet my other half sister Kaiu and her son Jaden for the first time.

So joyous!


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Of course Auntie Jenn brought gifts for her nieces and nephew.


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We spent the day site seeing and taking in the gorgeous natural beauty of Kauai. 


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Stunning waterfalls!

(click on photo to enlarge)

See the beautiful rainbow.


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There are so many scenic views all over the island. From the rivers to the highest mountains. I was awe struck a the natural beauty. Both my sisters kept rattling names of movies that were filmed on the island. One of the biggest one's was Jurassic Park.


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Kaiu and Jaden


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Fruits and vegetables grow all over the island.

My sister Kuulei has an avocado tree in her backyard. 

We checked to see if they were ripe. 


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No such luck. 
 
 


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Later that evening my sister Kuulei hosted a BBQ at her home.


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I got to meet my half brother Kika and step brother Shawn. Both guys are hysterical and super cut up's. 

We had a great evening laughing, talking, and getting to know each other. I felt like I fit in with my family immediately.

It's crazzy how our everyday worlds are so completely different night and day. I really enjoyed learning about the Hawaiian culture and lifestyle.

My sisters and Kika were all born in Hawaii so they are full of knowledge of their ancestry and history.


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Another yummy dish I must share with you is Poke. It's another favorite dish among locals. It's rare ahi tuna mixed with pepper, sesame, dried seaweed,onions.

It's not much to look at, but it's taste SO GOOD! I was hooked!


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One evening we attend a luau dinner and show.


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My sister Kuulei works some evenings, so she hooked us up with excellent seats.


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Kaiu and our niece Kamalei


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We had a fabulous evening. The show was unreal and the food was the best! I especially enjoyed the Mai Tai's!
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One of my absolute FAVORITE days was when my sisters and I took a catamaran sunset snorkel boat cruise to the Na Pali coast.

The Na Pali coast is 15 miles of rugged coastline. The mountain cliffs are breathtaking.

(click on image to enlarge)


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There are waterfalls inside the mountains.


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The three of us had a BLAST!!! It was truly the BEST BONDING time ever!!! 


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We got to snorkel. So much fun! The water is crystal clear.

It was our LUCKY day!!!!!

While snorkeling we saw THREE giant sea turtles swimming.

We were squeeling with delight while wearing our mask and snorkel gear. hee! hee!

Not to sound super corny but we took it as a sign that we saw three sea turtles and there is three of us.:)Kinda cool!


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Yes…..Im the dork…the only one wearing a life preserver. LOL!!!!

We had no clue who was swimming behind us. hee! hee!


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Lots of fishy's surrounding us.


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Shortly after snorkeling we cruised around the island and had the incredible opportunity of seeing spinning porpoises riding along side the boat and jumping out of the water.

What a treat!


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The rest of the late afternoon we had a yummy buffet dinner, drank cocktails, and watched the sunset.


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Stunning!!!!


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What a spectacular view for a memorable day!
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Hawaii has the best and freshest sushi. One evening we went to the local favorite Kintaro.



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Kaiu and Makaia.


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Me and my precious niece Kamalei.


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On Sunday we went to the North Shore and spent the day in Hanalei where our father lives.


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It's very tropical and lush in Hanalei. Natural outdoor beauty everywhere.


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My sister Kuulei asked me if I had ever heard of the song "Puff the Magic Dragon". Well of course….I think we all know the true meaning of the song. hee! hee!

Well, she explained to me that the song was written after this shaped piece of land in Hanalei.


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This is his head and pointed snout. The brown spots are his eyes and you can see the point at the top of his head. 
 
  
 
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This is his back. You can see the bumps that go up his back.

Pretty cool huh?

 
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We spent the day hanging out at my Dad's local spot called "Blackpot". This is ONLY for locals. NO tourist as my Dad explains to me. This spot has been around for ages. When my siblings were younger they would spend their weekends camping at this site. Blackpot is a very special place for my family and my father spends most his days there with is friends BBQ and hanging out.


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They play horseshoes in this little spot.


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Dad firing up the grill. 


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I got to meet an incredibly special lady.

Her name is Barbara Poor. Her husband Randy use to go to high school with my father and Randy and Barbara are like an aunt and uncle to my siblings. All super close.

Barbara was who I first spoke with on the phone before I talked to my father. Barbara is the lovely person who called my Dad to tell him the amazing news that I had called.

Barbara is so kind, funny, and full of amazing energy. We got to hang out, talk, and get to know more about each other. What a sweetheart she is!!!


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We chilled by the beach, ate yummy BBQ, watched the children play in the water, and took in another amazing sunset.

Chris (Kuulei's better half) and their daughter Makaia.


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Gorgeous Hanalei sunset


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Family photos on the beach.  
 


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Ok, Im going to share a photo and story with you that's pretty funny. My Dad (believe it or not) does not own a computer. So I feel pretty confident he WONT see this post. 😉 If he did…no biggie…he has a great sense of humor.

Our Dad is much like the hottie Matthew McConaughey. He doesn't wear deodorant and prefer's au naturale.

Regardless if you took a shower, it's only a matter of time you are going to sweat and have a mild unpleasant scent about you. (can you tell Im trying to be kind and gentle about this. hee! hee!)

So being his daughters we wanted to help him out a bit and drop him a BIG *HINT* that he needs to wear deodorant.

This was taken late a night and Kuulei and I are sneaking the deodorant into his van. Hoping he will discover it. hee! hee! He did say something the next day not knowing who put it in there. He actually thought it was our other sister Kaiu who did it. hee! hee!


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The week slowly came to an end. After an incredible week with my new family I was ready to get home and see my family. I was really starting to miss my children and husband.  I filled my suitcases loaded with toys and souvenirs for family and friends.

I couldn't resist purchasing these adorable Hawaiian pin up postcards.

So fun!


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My last evening we had another family dinner at the fabulous Hukilau Lanai restaurant.

What a perfect way to end a vacation.


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My brother Kika and his girlfriend Leana.


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I love these beautiful girls! Spending all this time with them was so surreal. I can't believe I am their BIG sister. Amazing!!!

They sadly lost their Mom two years ago. She was their rock.

  I hope my sisters know they can always count on me to be there when they need to talk about things big or small, and life in general.



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This trip was so memorable in more ways than one. Not only did I reunite with my birthfather, I formed a fast relationship with my siblings and it all feels so incredibly natural to me.

I got to visit the gorgeous island of Kauai for the first time, and I look forward to it becoming a second home to me.  Im also excited for my next trip and bringing my husband and children to meet the family.


I appreciate you stopping by and allowing me share my story with you all. Thank you again for your love, support and encouragement!

Mahalo!

XOXO,

 
 

 


 




 

  
 



 



  


 

  
   
 
 


 
 




 
 
 
 

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Ohhh Jenn ~ I have tears streaming down my face and chills reading your post ~ What a joy !!
It really is what life is all about ! It is wonderful to hear that you all bonded so well like you had always known each other ~
Thank you so much for letting us share a piece of your life with you ~
hugs
Lori

Jenn….I read this post with tears in my eyes. I often take for granted the love and support of my sister, well never again!! Thank you so much for sharing such a special event with us. It looks like you have been a part of each others lives forever. All my love.
xxoo Valarie

Jenn, so happy to hear about your incredible reunion and to see all the love and joy and everyone’s eyes in the photos! xo,Jen

What an amazing post…thank you so much for sharing this with us, Jenn. I’m so happy for you! And your pictures are utterly gorgeous!!!!

oh jenn!!! thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story…i am so so happy for you and how wonderful this is for all of you…a perfect happily ever after ending! ann

Jenn,
This account of your trip is so heart-warming. Congrats on a happy ending to your search for your father…you not only found him but also a whole new family. That is so cool.
Thanks for sharing your story.

Awww…thanks T!!! I really appreciate your sweet comment!! Its pretty cool and surreal! 😉 XOXO,Jenn

I am so happy for you and your entire family. It is such a blessing that you found each other.
Lova ya,
Lisa
http://www.dolliesdaughter.typepad.com

sonia audelo

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am very happy for you. I am so touched by your reunion. It is always a blessing to find loved ones.

hey sweets,
aaaww this was fantastic.
i’m so so happy you got to meet and bond with your family.
i know how much this meant to you.
you are a special treat and im sure they just loved you.
see ya soon
xoioxox,
jessi

Jennifer Grenko

Hey Jenn, Thanks for sharing all of this with us. You deserve all the happiness and love you can find! So glad you found your other family! xoxo… Jennifer

I’m so happy for you Jenn. What an exciting trip this must have been, one that will be in your memory forever. Gosh, the photos are gorgeous!! Breathtaking actually.
You have a lovely extended family Jenn, one I’m so glad you got to finally meet. I bet your heart will stay full until you can go back again.
xoxo
Roxie

Gerry Kruse

Oh My! I rejoice with you! I absolutely LOVED your pictures! It told of your special time together so well!. It was so beautiful! Both the scenery and the pictures of your family getting to know one another. Loved the bonding day with your sisters. You are so blessed to have found your family and to be able to have it be such a GOOD experience. I imagine their were so many different feelings going on between all of you as you spent your time together. I look forward to hearing more …..I feel as though I have just read a very good book, and now am waiting for the next one to come out in this series! :))) May God bless you as you come home to your other family and spend time and make more memories with them!

Jenn,
I felt as though I was with you on your wonderful adventure. This was an awesome post. How wonderful to meet your Dad and your new extended family. In Hawaii no less. I bet you have so many more stories to tell and pictures to show.
I hope you had the best time ever and you get to visit them again soon. Now you need to get ready for CC. Wow, you are one busy lady.
Get ready set go! Good Luck in MN.
xo Cath

I can’t wait to hear more about your amazing adventure! You fit right in with your beautiful new family! I know you must miss them all! The story of your father and the deodorant is hilarious!!lol
See you soon sweetie!
lots of hugs,
Sherry

Wow, what an amazing trip! Thanks so much for sharing it with us:) So glad you were able to connect with your family. What a blessing!!
Kari

Jenn~What a glorious reunion! This is a wonderful start to many more cherished memories for you all.
You can definitely see the family resemblance.
The generous treats left in your suite by your sis Kuulei reminds me of something you would do too.
The photos captured the breathtaking beauty with the surrounding joy.
Thank you again for sharing your precious family.
Sweet wishes,
Sara

Jenn
I was so excited to see this post! I have been waiting to hear everything! First off, you and your sister Kuulei definitely look alike! You dad looks like such a fun guy and your island photos spectacular. Hon, I bet when you came home and laid down in your bed the first night you probably thought you just had experienced the most fabulous dream! I know your heart is overwhelming with love and emotions you long thought would never be there. I couldn’t be more happier for you! Thank hubby from all of us for babysitting and sending you to meet the family, he’s such a good man to do so! Love to you, Lori

Katie Barker

Jenn,
I have checked back so many times to see how your holiday in Hawaii went…so very brave of you and so incredibly rewarding. You opened your arms to a fabulous chance of extra happiness and by the looks of it – it was well worth that brave step. So incredibly happy for you. I actually think your Dad and half siblings are incredibly lucky to have you in their lives. You are so open, warm and giving. Its a win win situation all round. And as for that lovely husband of yours….looking after the kids all week??? My goodness….you have a wonderful one there. Hold on tight to him. Big hugs
Katie
poshtottydesignz

oh gosh Jenn, I have tears stinking my eyes. What a gorgeous, beautiful post. I am so, so happy for you, and that everything didn’t just go well – it went fantastically!
It was bold and brave to go and meet your family, I’m so glad you did it.
Thank you for sharing such an amazing time with us, and for all the beautiful photos. It’s really grey and rainy in England right now, but I feel as if I’ve just been on holiday! :o) xx

I am so happy for you Jenn that this trip turned out to be as beautiful {in every way} that you had hoped. Your new family is so fortunate to have you in their lives, and I know you feel the same way.
Your heart must be so full right now.
Happiness to you always,
Suzanne

Sadie, You are such a sweetheart of a friend. I could just hug you!!! Your lovely comment really made my day! ((HUGS!!!)) XO,Jenn

What a truly awesome post. I am so happy for you and your ‘new’ family. Your photos are amazing. What wonderful memories. Thanks so much for sharing. I know many of us were waiting to hear and see all about your week.

hi jennifer! i was just thinking about you last night after reading the most recent where women create issue. jo packham mentioned “southern jennifer” and i had a hunch it was you and then i looked down and saw the photo of you with her.
i am so happy i stopped by today to catch up and to read about your incredible and heart touching story. this is truely sweet and the work of our Lord!
you have an amazing family! there is no doubt in my mind that you will be enjoying many more sweet island times together as one big and happy family!
love,
becky

This is the first comment I have ever left on your site, although, I have watched it for many months. Just needed to say thank you for telling your story. What a touching, beautiful journey you shared with all of us! This has inspired me in so many ways….I know my father had another family long before I was born…I was always told it ended badly and his former wife who did not want to be in contact. When he passed away years ago, I thought it was time to get in touch, but I didn’t have the courage. Now I think it might be time. Thank you again for inspiring me, not just for this, but for all the wonderful, creative ideas we get to share with you all the time!

Becky, thank you so much for your lovely lovely comment. :) Youve made me smile!!! XOXO,Jenn

Hey sweetie♥
What a beautiful filled with LOVE and gorgeous family pictures! Enjoyed so much reading this fabulous post and i am extremely HAPPY for you!!! I can see that you have your daddy’s big BEAUTIFUL EYES just like your siblings too:)
How lovely and precious reunion♥
Lots of love sending to you all the way from Singapore!
x♥x♥
Zoe

Hi Jenn… what a beautiful post and incredible story of love… your family all look wonderful and I can see that you became instant best friends as well as sisters and brothers to each other… I am sooo happy for you that you found your daddy… it truly looks like paradise!…xoxo Julie Marie

Jenn-Kauai is so beautiful! Ya know, I just couldn’t remember the noodle place I ate at when I was there and you have a photo of it! Now, I can actually tell people I know visiting there the actual name of it. :)
Beautiful photos and what a wonderful post about your family reunion. Cherished memories for sure! :)
HUGS!
-pamela

Jenn, what an amazing experience this must have been for you. I can only imagine how fulfilled you feel and that your heart is overflowing with the love from your entire family!!
Hugs, sweet friend.

Andrea

Jenn,
I am so happy for you! Thank you for posting the
pictures of your reunion. Hawaii looks so beautiful.

((((((((((((Jenn)))))))))))))))))))
I am so incredibly HAPPY for you and your family.
I am honored to have witnessed in this way your reunion with your precious father. Wow. What a blessing and what a true joy. Life is beautiful. And you are so deserving.
Love,
Kim

Awwww…thank you Kim!!! Your lovely comment has made my morning a happy one!!! :) XOXO

jenn, i am just now catching up on blogs,and I came to yours first to see how your trip went! I cannot tell you how incredibly happy I am for you getting to meet your father sisters and extended family. I know how much it must mean to you that you were welcomed with open arms. I luv you sweetie, and I am so glad you can now finish this chapter and go on to many happy days to come with both of your families!!!! I know they must be so happy to have you in their lives too!
xoxo, Tiffany

Jenn,
wow that is such an amazing journey you have been on! What a wonderful ending and now a beginning of a whole new chapter for you. Hawaii is unlike any other place on earth and Kauai so much more untouched than Oahu where I grew up. Well my sweet Jenn your dad’s prized surfboard is shaped by Mr. Mark Angell who my parent were friends with back in the 60’s and 70’s here in Santa Cruz, CA. In the early 80’s we moved to the North Shore of Oahu where Mr. Angell was also living and shaping surfboards then too and we would visit when I was a little girl… So funny to be connected in such different stretches of life! My husband lived on the North Shore of Kauai and was a bar tender at a place called “club jetty” in the early 90’s before hurricane Iniki blew it down. Well I knew I liked you Jenn but this just confirms it! ha ha who knew. I am so happy for you it is a pleasure to read of your family being reunited after all this time.

WOW Jen!!!! What a small small world!!! Crazzy how we have this awesome connection! I will have to tell my Dad. He had Mark custom make his surf board. :) Super cool!!! Thanks for stopping by looking forward to seeing your Christmas creations. They fly off the shelves!!!! :) XOXO,Jenn

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