KEYSVILLE, Ga. (WJBF) — Earlier this week WJBF News introduced you to Paulette James, 65, who was about to meet her father for the first time after 65 years of searching. This week she met her father, Paul Noll, 85, for the first time after he made the 2,700 mile trip to Georgia from his retirement facility in Oregon.
“When he came in I just grabbed him,” said James. “I was bawling. I was crying”
“The last three days we’ve had several times to just enjoy sitting down and talking to each other,” said Noll.
After 65 years apart, Paul and Paulette have now spent a little more than 65 hours together.
“I’m just happy. Happy he’s here. I hope he feels at home. Do you?” Paulette asked.
“Yes!” Paul replied.
It’s an adjustment for both, to be sure.
“When he says something wrong I do this,” James said as she playfully tapped Noll on the top of his head. “And when I say something he doesn’t like he (taps me on the wrist).”
They already act like father and daughter. Noll’s Father’s Day present was a t-shirt reading ‘Number One Dad’ across the front.
“It’s been good,” Paulette said of their first few days together. “I have to try to remember to talk in (his good) ear. And I watch him when he’s walking because I don’t want him to fall.”
After living in the U.S., Korea, Japan and China and traveling the world over, Paul says this is his final home. He arrived after the moving vans, to live the rest of his life with the daughter he never really knew he had.
“Why did this happen? Lord thank you for, I don’t know why it happens,” said Noll. “Then 65 years later I found out why, that God had prepared a place for me to go when I get to the age where I need some help.”
And, in the end, Paul says that’s the message in their story for all of us.
“God has a purpose, you don’t always know it,” Noll said. “Sometimes it’s revealed, sometimes it’s not. But faith in God that the right thing is the right thing in God’s eyes. That’s how she’s a miracle to me.”
To learn more about Paul Noll’s amazing life, including 15 years living in China during which he helped start a university that now has more than 25,000 students, click here.
To see the full home video of their first meeting, click below: