Photo Credit: WOWT 6 News/Facebook
Seven-month-old Harper was born while her father, Army Specialist Cole Tesar, was deployed in Afghanistan. After months of anticipation from mom and dad, the two finally met for the first time on Sunday surrounded by friends and family. While his homecoming was heartwarming, it’s the “Call Me Maybe”-inspired sign propped up against Harper’s stroller that is getting most of the attention. The adorable photo was posted on the a local Omaha, Nebraska new station’s Facebook page on Monday, and has received more than 1.5 million likes in just one day.
Tesar was deployed in July of 2013 for his first tour in Afghanistan. He was ready for duty, but leaving home was especially tough considering that his wife Logan was pregnant with their first child. “I was there through most of the pregnancy, “said Tesar. “I had to leave one month before the baby was due…it was like stopping a race when you only have 50 yards left.”
The couple’s daughter, Harper, was born on August 10—thousands of miles from her excited father. Technology allowed Tesar to Facetime with his new bundle of joy, but he continued to count the days until he could be reunited with his family.
Cole came home on March 2, and was greeted by his wife, daughter and the now infamous sign that read, "Hey I just met you and this is crazy, but my name’s Harper and I’m your baby!”. After a little laugh, father and daughter were face to face for the first time. “You can’t explain it,” said Tesar. “I wasn’t there for her birth, so holding her for the first time was so emotional.”
Today the family is stationed in Louisiana and Cole and Harper are getting to know each other. He loves to make her laugh by playing Peek-a-boo, and can’t wait to watch her grow. “I’m really looking forward to being back with my wife and for a lot of firsts with Harper. I have a lot to make up for.”
“Call Me Maybe” singer Carly Rae Jepson also got in on the fun, posting the photo to her Facebook page yesterday with the caption, “My heart just melted seeing this! A soldier is welcomed home with this sign by his daughter. What an adorable girl!”
Looks like baby Harper just got a little more viral!