Wednesday, September 16, 2015

LROhana Magic

Dear Life,

What makes a FAMILY?
The traditional definition of family are parents who love, care for and provide for their children. 
This definition is important and essential.
But there is another version of family that I want to talk about today.
There is a family built from community.  
A community that came about because one young man was injured doing what he loved the most. 
Jesse Billauer was 17 years old and headed towards becoming a pro surfer when he hit a sand bar surfing.
He became paralyzed instantly and his life changed.
He decided that becoming a paraplegic wasn't going to stop him from continuing to enjoy life and that was how 
For the last four years, Kumaka has been blessed to participate in "They Will Surf Again" events in Huntington Beach and La Jolla California 
as well as tear it up at the Venice skate park at the "They Will Skate Again" events.  
Kumaka has learned so much from participating in these events.
He has become more independent, more willing to try things, knowing that he is ABLE to.

At the "They Will Skate Again" Event in Venice, California 2015 after landing his first rail attempt 

But he also has a very special relationship with Jesse and Sam and all of the volunteers that have helped him over the years.  

Jesse Billauer and Kumaka at "They Will Skate Again" 2015

This year his daddy couldn't come to the La Jolla event.
That was the first time his daddy couldn't be out surfing with him.
He literally cried for two days.
He didn't want to go.
He didn't want to surf.
I had to promise him that I wouldn't make him surf without his daddy.
The day came and all of Kumaka's friends were so excited to surf.
But he wasn't.  He was sad.

Sam Billauer, Jesse's beautiful and amazing wife talked to Kumaka a few times trying to change his mind.  (By the way....she is putting out fires all day to keep the whole day running the fact that she spent time on Kumaka to try to get him to surf shows how much she loves these kids)

Sam Billauer and Kumaka at "They Will Surf Again" La Jolla, California 2015

Later on, Cory, Kumaka's fearless Red Team captain, the man who has surfed with Kumaka every single time he's surfed took a few minutes to talk to him.  
He got him in the water to swim and then all of a sudden Kumaka was ready to surf. 

 Photo Cred: John Jefferson

Party Wave in La Jolla, California

Photo Cred: John Jefferson
Kumaka had the best time surfing with two of his friends.
Cory's son even surfed with Kumaka towards the end of the session.
After Kumaka was done, he told me how happy he was he surfed and wanted to go out again.  

Photo Cred: John Jefferson

The incredible Cory and Kumaka after surfing.

That is Life Rolls On Magic

These amazing people take their whole day out to help create magic.

This year, Kumaka's sister Sofi surfed for the first time. 
In Huntington Beach, our hometown, our sweet Bulgarian princess SURFED.
It was an amazing and beautiful experience.
When we watched that magical moment, we remembered where she came from.  
We remembered her first three years of life.

Three years in a crib. 
Never leaving it.
Looking at white walls.
No mommy or daddy to take care of her or love her.
No family.
She was 
from that past as she was held up by Cory.

He sat her in front of him on the surfboard because she can't lay on her stomach happily.
The minute he took off on a wave, she squealed with delight and her smile lit up the ocean.  

Photo Cred: Jerry Jaramillo

I'm sure God was looking down on that miracle moment and 
She caught four waves that day.

Our little Bulgarian princess is now a mermaid. 

Photo Cred: Anthony Manliguez

From the orphanage in Bulgaria to the OCEAN in California.

That is Life Rolls On Magic.

That is LROhana 

{Ohana means Family in Hawaiian}

From the Jensen Ohana to the Billauer Family and all of the LRO volunteers and sponsors....thank you for an amazing year and thank you for making MAGIC.
Photo Cred: Anthony Manliguez

and a Bulgarian Princess


  1. "From the orphanage in Bulgaria to the OCEAN in California.
    That is Life Rolls On Magic".
    That did it for me!! So many tears! LOVE this post! Love LRO and LOVE your family!

  2. Love you my Sarah!!! <3 You know the magic!!!!

  3. WOW! what a post! LOVED going through it! So so inspiring! Made me think- Yes. Life is beautiful! We just have to take the chances and go for it! Sharing this much inspiring post on my FB page! Way to go!!!


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