TODAY

TODAY   |  August 13, 2013

Watch father, daughter’s emotional first meeting

Becca Kerl reconnected with her biological father Randy Hoeksema in June after not knowing anything about him for 3 decades. They have emailed and talked on the phone and the two of them meet for the first time in Studio 1A.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> when she was just 14 years old becca was told the man she thought was her father was actually her stepfather.

>> years later she found out her biological father 's name and sent a facebook message to someone she believed to be her dad.

>> two years passed. finally a reply from her father. they have been talking since june but are about to meet for the first time. we're happy you're with us. you weren't asking questions. you had to reason to. out of the blue your no, ma'mom tells you at 14. what was your reaction?

>> i was really surprised. a little bit shocked, of course. i asked a follow up question wanting to know more and, you know, who it was and she was a little bit guarded with the details. so i just left it alone. i didn't want to push.

>> a lot of kids who find out news like that, as the years go on, this have this desire to figure it out. as you were growing older is that something you said, i've got to find him eventually?

>> yeah. obviously in your teen years, to find out that kind of oh information when you're already like, who am i

>> you were a psychology major in college, sfliegt.

>> -- right?

>> yeah. that had to give you a pathway to understanding.

>> sure. i wanted to figure out the pieces of who i was.

>> you get married, have kids and start reaching out. facebook is a huge net.

>> amazing.

>> you put out a message. you never really heard back for a couple of years, did you?

>> i didn't. i sent the message in 2011 . i didn't hear anything obviously until this last june. what was great about it was when i sent the message and i didn't get the initial response, it didn't devastate me.

>> le well, we don't want to waste more time. how do you feel about the fact that you will meet him now?

>> you have had communication. this is the first face to face . you waited until --

>> come on, girl.

>> she's smart.

>> let's bring randy out. come on out.

>> meet your daughter.

>> i love you.

>> i love you, too.

>> we'll be right back.

>> oh oh, sit down, sit down.

>> oh, my gosh.

>> my god, randy. i love randy.

>> sometimes there are no words.

>> what are you feeling at this moment?

>> i waited a long time for that. and i guess i've got to thank god because it was all in his plan for us. it's just the last month and a half, almost two months have been awesome. it's been for me .

>> you were taking a break through facebook . you came back.

>> i got off because unfortunately i jump in with both feet when i do things. when i get bored with them a little bit, i quit.

>> self-knowledge is a healthy thing.

>> what's it like for you finally laying eyes on your dad?

>> we look alike. it's great. it's awesome. really awesome. it's weird. not going to lie.

>> now you're a grandfather to three beautiful children you haven't met either.

>> i can't wait to meet them.

>> you went on to have a family. you will plan to get together. don't miss another moment .

>> we are talking about it little by little .