COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A father and his daughter are reconnected after being apart for 40 years.
It's part Christmas miracle, helped out by the power of social media.
"She had a great smile, a great little giggle," Christopher Lupella said.
Christopher Lupella, remembering what his daughter, Jennifer Lupella, was like when he last saw her 40 years ago.
"I thought about her all the time," Christopher said. "I always calculate how old she'd be."
He counted down the days since he last hugged his little girl.
"I never, never expected to hear from his girl," Christopher said.
Jennifer was taken away by her mother.
"My mom didn't really want me looking for him, she just kind of wanted me to leave it alone," Jennifer said.
Christopher fought to have Jennifer with him, but she ended up in foster care.
"A young man in Illinois at the time, not married, no family, they put her in a foster home," Christopher said.
He hadn't heard from her until a message popped up on his Facebook a week ago.
"At first I was looking for his full name, but something told me to just check his short, hyphenated version of his name and that's how I found him," Jennifer said.
She sent a message to her dad asking how old he was and if he was from Chicago, and he replied back: "I'm you're father."
Jennifer said the moment she saw the message, she was flooded with pure shock.
"I finally found him?," Jennifer said.
Christopher said emotions immediately took over.
"The next thing that happened was tears were running out of my eyes," Christopher said.
It was a reconnection Jennifer had been searching for since she was 10.
"At points I wanted to give up hope," Jennifer said. "I really did."
"It's a very, very huge relief on my end," Christopher said. "I missed her, I missed her all those years."
Since the first message, communication between them has been non-stop.
"We've been texting each other and talking to each other to make up for the last 40 years," Christopher said.
Jennifer's hope has been restored.
"I'm never going to give up hope for him and I'm never going to give up on him," Jennifer said.
What still separates them is more than 1,000 miles. Christopher is in Colorado Springs, while Jennifer is in Illinois.
"I want to be able to hug him I want to be able to say, 'Hi dad!'," Jennifer said.
Christopher's Christmas wish is to give his little girl a long overdue hug. But lacks the means to get to Illinois.
"It's not money, not material things. I just want to see my daughter," Christopher said.
"I love you dad, and I hope to be able to see you soon," Jennifer added over Skype.
Not only did Christopher gain his daughter back, Jennifer has kids and grandkids of her own. Meaning Christopher has been promoted to grandpa and great grandpa.