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Dad Desperately Searches for Daughter for 2 Years, Finds Her in a Homeless Shelter

A Secret Life of Mom Highlight Story: Sometimes there are tales that are just too good, too beautiful, or too unbelievable to keep locked away. That’s why we scour the archives and bring some of them back to enjoy again. They may make you smile or shed a tear, but they’re always meant to add a little positivity to your day. Enjoy! 

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A determined father searched for his daughter for two years after his ex-girlfriend took her and disappeared. Finally, Bryan Thouvenel of Oregon found five-year-old Harmony and his ex in a Washington state homeless shelter. Thouvenel now has full custody of Harmony and the two are inseparable. And in 2016, they were able to make up for lost memories in a trip to Hawaii, thanks to the nonprofit, Time To Put Kids First. This organization promotes parent-child bonding. 

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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.” [1]

Searching for Harmony

Bryan Thouvenel and Harmony Rain Thouvenel. Image Credit: Bryan Thouvenel | Facebook

Thouvenel met his ex at a karaoke bar in 2010, where he sang her The Beatles’ “The Long and Winding Road”. They dated for two years, during which Harmony Rain was born. (Her middle name was also inspired by a Beatles song.) After they broke up, she took Harmony to Washington state without telling Thouvenel. He had no idea where they went and searched aimlessly for years. In 2014, he wrote a song for Harmony, expressing how much he missed her.

But in 2015, he filed for and won custody of Harmony in Oregon. Three months later, during dinner with his mother, Thouvenel received a phone call from a friend who spotted Harmony at the Salvation Army in Spokane, Washington. Thouvenel and his mom, Cindy Lorenz, immediately drove from Oregon.

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.

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Bryan Thouvenel and Harmony Rain Thouvenel. Image Credit: Bryan Thouvenel | Facebook

In Spokane, Thouvenel filed for custody in that state and won it. Then they brought Harmony and her mother to the courthouse where the judge put the little girl under her father’s care. After the ruling, a police officer told him to wait outside the courtroom. “I sat there and the next thing you know I’ve got my daughter coming out, walking by herself. She’s kind of looking around, and I said her name once. She kind of looked at me funny and I said ‘Harmony, it’s daddy.’ Her eyes just kind of lit up.” 

Then he showed her old pictures of them together to spark her memory and she hugged him. “Those memories, for me, they’re painted on my heart,” Thouvenel said. “To find out they weren’t painted on hers—it was devastating.”

Read: 13-Year-Old is Forced to Give Up Her Baby Daughter, Reunites with Her 82 Years Later

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Reunited with Harmony

When he called his eldest daughter to tell her the good news, she didn’t believe her little sister was coming home, telling him to stop joking. “It made it all worth it, you know?” he said. “It was two years I fought through hell just to be a part of my daughter’s life and she was back in my life.” [2]

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After his experiences, Thouvenel became involved in organizations to help other fathers like him, like The Pacific Northwest Father’s Rights Movement, which is how he found the nonprofit Time To Put Kids First.

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At first, Harmony needed constant reassurance that Thouvenel wouldn’t leave her, but her father wasn’t going anywhere. Harmony stays in touch with her mother via video calls and supervised visits.

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“I’m just really hoping that mom and I can connect and put our differences aside for the sake of our daughter,” Thouvenel said. “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.”

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Bryan Thouvenel and Harmony Rain Thouvenel. Image Credit: Bryan Thouvenel | Facebook

Princess, if you only knew

His ex had criticized him after the custody battle but he stayed focused on what’s important: Harmony.

Nobody in this story is perfect, including the mother,” he wrote on Facebook. “Said mother had her opportunity to make these claims in court but ignored all proceedings. I will continue to take the high road on this and focus on the rebuilding with my daughter.”

He also described how he would sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star at the night sky during the years he was separated from his daughter. ‘It became my medicine for a broken heart and aching for a child missing from my life. Every single night I would do this as it was the only thing that made me feel close to my Princess Harmony. I had hoped that maybe she was staring at the same stars. 

I remember Princess Harmony’s first night back home after nearly two years. Before bed Harmony grabbed me by the hand and took me to the front porch. She propped herself up on the rails of the balcony. She looked up at all the bright shining stars in the sky. Suddenly to my heart’s tears she began to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. This has been what we do before I tuck her in for bed every night since she has been back home. I can’t help but to smile each and every time we do this and think to myself……. ‘Princess, if you only knew.’” [3]

Keep Reading: ‘I Can’t Believe I Actually Found You!’: Birth Mom Reunites with Son after 33 Years of Separation

Sources

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  1. “Dad Finds His Little Girl Living In A Homeless Shelter After Searching For 2 Years.Huffpost. Elyse Wanshel. April 15, 2016
  2. “’Harmony it’s daddy’: Father finds missing daughter after searching for two years.Yahoo News. Melissa Hills. April 15, 2016
  3. “’Harmony, it’s daddy’: Father reunites with daughter, 5, after finding her at homeless shelter two years after his ex disappeared with the little girl.Daily Mail. Hannah Parry. April 14, 2016
Sarah Biren
Freelance Writer
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender.
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