Oregon man Bryan Thouvenel had been apart from his ex-girlfriend and daughter for two years when he got a call explaining that they were in a homeless shelter.
Thouvenel, 41, was tipped off by his friend and later found his daughter and ex-girlfriend at a Salvation Army shelter in Spokane, Washington, the Associated Press reports. After the reunion, Thouvenel and his 5-year-old daughter are heading to Hawaii for a vacation, thanks to the nonprofit Time to Put Kids First.
"It’s about building memories," Thouvenel said, according to the AP.
Thouvenel, a once-aspiring songwriter, met the mother of his child in 2010 at a karaoke bar, where he sang The Beatles’ "The Long Winding Road" to her. Although they fell in love, the relationship soon turned sour and Thouvenel’s ex took his daughter north to Washington.
Thouvenel searched for the two with few results. However, he filed for custody at the Douglas County Courthouse and was eventually awarded custody in March 2015.
While talking with his mother at a restaurant one day, Thouvenel received a call from a friend who had reportedly seen Thouvenel’s daughter at a Salvation Army in Spokane. Thouvenel and his mother immediately jumped into the car.
"She’s not in the best of health in the world, you know, but she drove for 10 hours straight until we got up there to the courthouse,” Thouvenel said of his mother.
After getting a court order from a local Spokane court, Thouvenel and his mother brought Harmony, his daughter, and his ex to a courthouse where a judge put Harmony in Thouvenel’s custody.
Thouvenel said Harmony walked out of the courtroom where he was waiting and looked at him. When he said, "It’s daddy," her eyes lit up immediately. Thouvenel used pictures on his phone to help refresh her memory, and he fought back tears as Harmony hugged him.
Thouvenel said he is planning to create new memories with his daughter.