What is Hanai? The Story of My Hanai Sister

In the past couple of posts, I’ve written about my hanai sister quite often. I’m sure a few of you are thinking, what does that mean? According to Wikipedia,” Hānai is a term used in the Hawaiian culture that refers to the informal adoption of one person by another, regardless of the age involved.[1] It can be used as an adjective, such as “hānai child”, or as a verb “to hānai” someone into the family.” Growing up in Hawaii, I use this term a lot to describe my best friend who is more than just my best friend, but not a blood relative. She is my sister in every way except that she’s not blood related. From the age of 12, my hanai sister has been with me for almost every major event — including PSAT Preparation, college visits, my wedding, and visiting us within hours of Hapa Baby’s birth.

She’s amazing and has always been there for me through everything. She is successful, accomplished, and is the lovely lady that creates all the hair clips and headbands at Blooming Vintage. She created this headband for Hapa Baby when for Christmas last year. To date, it is still the only headband that she will use.

Best Baby Headband Ever

Best Baby Headband Ever from Booming Vintage on Etsy

My hanai sister also made all the flower clips for my wedding. I knew the style I was going for, and she brought this to me as a surprise to add to the wedding. The white flower with a side french braid and black dresses were perfect for a daytime wedding while remaining elegant.

Maid of honors wearing flower clips from Blooming Vintage and Black Dresses from Target

Left to Right: Matron of Honor, Me, and Maid of Honor ( a.k.a. my hanai sister) wearing flower clips from Blooming Vintage and Black Dresses from Target.

I’m so happy and grateful to have had her in my life, and I look forward to many more years of amazing friendship (and sisterhood!)

Do you have any friends that you would consider hanai that you are grateful for? I’d love to hear about them!

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