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Son recreates Elf film in first meeting with dad

BBC News logo BBC News 05/12/2020
a man and a woman smiling for the camera: Doug Henning met his biological father Raul for the first time in his life in November © @finnandboonthego on Instagram Doug Henning met his biological father Raul for the first time in his life in November

A adopted man left his biological father puzzled after dressing up as a character from the beloved Christmas film Elf for their first ever meeting.

Doug Henning embraced his father Raul for the first time in his life at Boston's Logan Airport last week.

For the meeting, Mr Henning wore a similar costume to that of Buddy, the elf played by actor Will Ferrell.

Mr Henning, 43, sang the same awkward song that Buddy sings in the film when he meets his biological father.

"I'm here, with my dad. And we never met, and he wants me to sing him a song!" Mr Henning sang excitedly, as he jumped up and down in the green-and-yellow outfit.

Mr Henning jumped up and down and sang a song featured in the Elf movie © @finnandboonthego on Instagram Mr Henning jumped up and down and sang a song featured in the Elf movie

Mr Henning, a camera operator from Eliot, Maine said his father "probably thought I was a lunatic" when he came out of the airport.

"It was a really good way to break the ice," Mr Henning told Boston.com.

However, the website added, Mr Henning's father had not seen the film - and hence appeared a bit confused in a video of their meeting.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CIBelQinl4T/

Released in 2003, Elf is about a man, Buddy, who is raised by an elf in the North Pole, where he works in Santa Claus's workshop.

When Buddy discovers that he is a human, not an elf, he travels to New York to search for his biological father.

Buddy struggles to adjust to the trappings of New York life, but ultimately, he reconnects with his father - just like Mr Henning.

Mr Henning said he was raised by an "amazing" set of adopted parents but wanted to know more about his heritage.

He searched for answers on Ancestry.com a few years ago and eventually managed to get in touch with two of his biological sisters and then his biological father with the help of a cousin.

Raul had not known about his son, and the two families began video chatting in March, before they arranged to meet in November over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Mr Henning said he sought out information about his biological family a few years ago © @finnandboonthego on Instagram Mr Henning said he sought out information about his biological family a few years ago

Mr Henning said he was inspired to dress up as Buddy after watching the movie before the meeting. He has since watched the movie with his father, who moved to the US from Colombia in the 1970s.

The video of the meeting was filmed by one of Mr Henning's daughters, 11-year-old Finley Henning. Mr Henning's wife then put it online, where it was widely shared on social media.

"Having another grandfather is amazing. I totally love him," Finley told the BBC. "I had no idea my video would go viral, it's kind of crazy and cool."

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