My tie to Barack Obama

27 04 2011

President Barack Obama’s announcement this morning inspired me to post this portrait I made of some members of my hanai family in Washington, DC. We visited the capital with Ivalee, our mom, who was in town to accept the prestigious Jefferson Award for public service, on behalf of the award winners of Hawaii.

Cherie, David Lee, Ivalee, Ruth, Terry, Sarah, Karl, Julie & Kathy in front of the White House in June 2008

I was best friends with Ivalee’s daughter Margaret (not pictured) in high school, and when my parents divorced, Ivalee and her husband Dave said I could stay with them. The couple had six children, and I remember her saying then, what’s one more? Theirs was the home where all the kids congregated, and she was always welcoming.

Not in the photo is “Doc” Sinclair, who passed over a few years earlier, and my hanai brother Brian who was busy tending to his physician duties in Hawaii, in the footsteps of his father. And me, who made the photo.

Later Ivalee told me she made it a point to import kids for her family to play with—much easier. Her husband was not home much—too busy at work.

This morning Margaret’s husband Jon sent me a message that the White House released Barack Obama’s birth certificate. Jon said he examined the birth certificate posted online closely and saw that David A Sinclair was the attending physician. How about that?

How about that indeed. I recognize the signature! Our dad, David A Sinclair, MD, ob/gyn, delivered Barack Obama. In Hawaii.

Copyright 2011 Rebekah Luke



4 responses

10 06 2011
Rebekah's Studio

Thank you. The name was Dickson-Bell.

10 06 2011

Congratulations, what was the name of your father practice in Hawaii??

27 04 2011
Rebekah's Studio

Oh, sorry, thanks for the question. “Hanai” means “foster child, adopted child” in the Hawaiian language, but not necessarily legally. Second definition: “To raise, feed, nourish, sustain; provider” (from New Pocket Hawaiian Dictionary by Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert). In Hawaii, if a couple can’t take care of a child, they give the child to another to rear. It’s a common practice. A child is everyone’s child.

27 04 2011

What does “hanai” mean, please?

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