“I was kind of like finding a needle in a haystack."
Bryan Thouvenel of Oregon and his little girl, Harmony, were inseparable. Then a heartbreaking situation caused them to be away from each other for a very long time.
They were separated for two years when his ex-girlfriend took their daughter and disappeared out of state. But thanks to a tip from a friend, Thouvenel finally found the little girl and his estranged ex in a Washington state homeless shelter, the News-Review reports.
In 2016, after two years of searching, the father finally has custody of Harmony, and thanks to the nonprofit Time To Put Kids First, an organization that supports parent-child bonding, the two were able to make up for the lost time during a trip to the Hawaiian island of Kaua.
"For two years she didn’t have any memories with me so they decided it would be a nice idea to send us over to Hawaii for a retreat," Thouvenel said. "It would be this huge memory that she would actually remember. Regardless of whatever happens in the future, she will always have this one memory with dad."
Thouvenel and Harmony's mom met at a karaoke bar in 2010. After dating for about two years, during which time Harmony was born, the couple broke up and Thouvenel’s ex took the child and headed to Washington state. Thouvenel didn't know their exact whereabouts and while he searched far and wide for them, he got nowhere.
Bryan Thouvenel of Oregon and his 5-year-old daughter, Harmony, are inseparable. But that wasn’t always the case.... https://t.co/fLMDWgDRbZ— Political Ears (@PoliticalEars) April 19, 2016
In 2014, he even wrote a song for his long-lost daughter who he deeply missed. “I was kind of like finding a needle in a haystack,” he told KREM 2.
However, there was a small ray of hope for the desperate father in 2015. Though he still hadn't found her, he filed for and was awarded custody of Harmony in Oregon in March of that year.
Three months since then, while he was having dinner with his mom, Cindy Lorenz, he got a call from a friend who told him they had seen Harmony at a Salvation Army site in Spokane, Washington.
As soon as he heard the news, he jumped into a car with his mom and the two of them drove 10 hours straight from Oregon to Spokane. Once there, Thouvenel got a court order for custody of Harmony and that judge also ruled in his favor.
He was finally reunited with his precious daughter and that was all that he had wanted. "It was very, very, very emotional," he said of their reunion. Despite their differences, Harmony would call and speak to her mother over video calls.
“I’m just really hoping that mom and I can connect and put our differences aside for the sake of our daughter,” Thouvenel said at the time. “I don’t want to focus on any of the negative aspects of the story at all. The one thing that matters in this whole story is a little girl. This is her life.”
One can only imagine the pain the father must have gone through when his daughter went missing. Here's hoping they are spending all their time together, making a lot of memories.
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Westend61