Adult son dresses as Buddy the elf to break ice for first meeting with biological dad
Will Ferrel would be proud. He even sings the song and everything.
D.G. Sciortino

The COVID pandemic separated a lot of people from their families. But one man ended up being reunited with his dad.

The father never knew he had a son.

His son decided to make that reunion quite interesting by dressing up as Buddy the Elf and recreating the scene from “Elf” where Buddy meets his biological dad for the first time.

It started with Ancestry.

The reunion came about when Doug Henning of Eliot, Maine used to learn about his heritage.

He ended up finding a cousin that connected him with one of his two biological sisters who put him in contact with his dad.

His dad, Raul, didn’t even know that he had a son. Henning ended up speaking with him on the phone the very next day.

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A post shared by Doug Henning (@dfresh2)

After that Henning, who is married and has two children of his own, had eights months of hundreds of Zoom calls with his father and sisters.

For Father’s Day, Henning sent his dad an “It’s a boy!” card as a joke.

Henning’s dad and his sisters were finally able to visit his son in Boston for Thanksgiving.

He wanted to keep it funny.

Wanting to keep the humor going, Henning decided to dress up as Buddy the Elf after seeing the movie “Elf” a few days before his reunion with his dad.

“It’s the season and who better to greet your long lost dad as than Buddy the Elf? Because you know who else? What better way to cut the ice?” Henning said in an Instagram video.


Raul was walking toward Henning, dressed as Buddy the elf, who was holding up a sign that said “DAD.”

Henning went full-throttle with it.

Henning then recreated the scene where Buddy sings to his dad when they meet for the first time.

Even the part where he jumps up and down and says “I love you, I love you, I love you.”


It was a lot.

Especially for a first-time reunion. But in a really good way.

“When he came out of the airport, he probably thought I was a lunatic,” Henning said. “It was a really good way to break the ice.”

Raul had never actually seen the movie, though his daughters did, so he probably didn’t realize what was going on. Either way, he didn’t care.


Time for a long-overdue hug.

All he wanted to do was wrap his arms around his long-lost song and that’s exactly what he did.

“Oh my son, my boy,” he said becoming emotional while embracing his son.

The two held each other tight for a while.


“It’s been such an amazing journey for these two men, one who never knew of the other, and one who never knew how many things his biological father would teach him about himself,” Doug’s wife wrote on Instagram. “We are so incredibly lucky and grateful that this has happened to our two families.”


The family ended up sitting down together to watch the movie.

Raul was sad that he didn’t learn about his son but was glad that Henning was raised by two loving parents.

Check out their hilarious first meeting in the video below!

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By D.G. Sciortino
D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at