PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s a story with a Hollywood happy ending thanks to a talk show host connected with the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Tualatin’s Lenard Loggins has spent the last 3 decades wondering if he would ever find his father, Lenard Terry.
When we first met with Loggins, he said was just 8 when he last saw his father after his parents separated. He has very few memories of the man he shares a name with.
After years of searching, Loggins’ wife Meme used social media to search for Terry. A Facebook connection led Lenard to a half-sister and learned his father was in Arkansas.
The next day, the father and son spoke on the phone for 4 hours.
“To hear his voice after 34 years, you know, you rush through a bunch of emotions,” Loggins said.”It’s real, but until we’re face-to-face it’s not complete.”
Loggins originally hoped to get enough money to fly his father from Arkansas to Oregon for Thanksgiving.
Loggins, his wife, 2 of his children and Terry were flown out to California to be on a taping of the show.
“(T.D. Jakes) asked me, ‘If your father was here, what would you say,'” Loggins told KOIN 6 News. Then, “He’s, like, ‘Look at this camera.'”
As he did, his father entered the studio.
“I wouldn’t have thought that this would have happened in a million years,” he said.
Both father and son said they’ll never forget being reunited on national TV.
“To put my arms around my son, who I hadn’t seen or touched or hugged since he was a little boy, it was no effort to hold him if you can understand what I’m saying,” Terry said via Skype. “I was holding my son for the first time in 30 some years, so that type of feeling you can’t put into words.”
Loggins said everything he had ever wished for came to life that day.
“It is literally a dream come true,” he said. “What do you say when you have a dream for years and years, but [it turns out] even bigger than what you ever hoped for?”
Before the show, Terry said he wasn’t sure whether Loggins would accept him back into his life. Even after decades apart, Terry said he never forgot his son.
“You don’t forget somebody you love,” he said.
In the wake of such an overwhelming experience, Terry and Loggins said they’re filled with love and gratitude. It will take some time to process everything, but both father and son agree they’re going to remain in each other’s lives one way or another.
“It’s not the show, it’s the end result that matters… I’m forever thankful for it,” Terry said. “It’s more than mind-boggling, it’s heart-boggling.”
Terry is back home in Arkansas for now, but the Loggins family is still hoping to raise enough money to fly him and newly-found siblings out for Thanksgiving. To make a donation, click here.