‘I just cried holding her’: Couple welcomes baby girl after 5-year adoption journey

A couple in Hawaii are sharing their adoption story after beginning their journey in 2017. (Source: KHNL/KGMB)
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 5:48 PM CST

HONOLULU (KHNL/KGMB/Gray News) - Chris and Manny Orupabo’s adoption journey began in 2017.

“When I found out that I was unable to have babies naturally. We fostered, we’ve tried IVF [in vitro fertilization],” Chris Orupabo said.

KHNL/KGMB reports November is National Adoption Month, and more than 100,000 children in the U.S. are waiting to be adopted.

“You sit back and wonder. When is it going to be our turn?” Manny Orupabo said.

Last year, the couple said they found adoption help through the agency A Family Tree, and this year they ended up adopting a baby girl from Texas.

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

A Family Tree, the only adoption agency based in Hawaii, said 20 families this year have completed adoptions.

Other families have had to travel overseas to adopt a child.

Brenna Holmes-Mumford was previously adopted from China.

“It was sometimes illegal if they [families] had more than one child. I don’t feel like I was abandoned. It was just what my birth family had to do at the time,” Holmes-Mumford said.

Noelani Lommasson was also adopted from China and said she has felt loved throughout the process.

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

According to A Family Tree, 40 families are currently waiting to be matched with thousands of kids waiting nationwide.

‘Over 100,000 children are waiting to be placed into permanent homes,” said Shaylah Nichols, with A Family Tree.

The Orupabo’s said the adoption process cost them $65,000 but feel lucky as others have had to wait multiple years before starting a family.

“There’s a lot of paperwork; it is expensive, but the reward is far worth it,” Manny Orupabo said.