MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (HawaiiNewsNow) - Last Friday, a Hawaii woman flew across the country to spend Thanksgiving with her father for the first time – an incredible reunion that was a lifetime in the making.
With a bouquet of flowers in his hand, 80-year-old Raymond Roberts anxiously waited at an airport in South Carolina to see the daughter he left behind in Taiwan more than 60 years ago while serving in the Navy.
"I just couldn't wait. I ran up to her and we hugged. Seemed like forever. I was really nervous because it's been 60 years, you know," said Roberts. "She was only four months old last time I'd seen her."
Sandy Lung – who eventually moved to Hawaii with her mother in 1960 at the age of two – says there was an instant bond after reuniting with her dad.
"We just hit it off. It's like I had never been away from them. We just made a connection right away and there is no doubt that we are family," said Lung.
Lung says she started asking questions about her biological father around the age of 10. Without knowing his full name, she says she ran into many dead ends.
Last year, she decided to take a DNA test. The results connected her with a cousin who knew her father.
Roberts says he was shocked to get that phone call because he never thought he would see his daughter again.
"Oh my goodness, I didn't know what to say. I just about fell off the chair," Roberts said.
Lung says along with her Dad, she gained a whole new family.
"I have a brother in Hawaii, a half brother. Now I have three half brothers here (in South Carolina). I don't have any nieces or nephews in Hawaii, so it feels good to have nieces and nephews and grand nieces and grand nephews," Lung said.
The pair says they have spent the last few days catching up, sharing stories, and simply enjoying each others company.
"We have so much to be thankful for. Thanksgiving means a lot more to us now than it ever has," said Lung.