FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Oprah Winfrey's talk shows ends Wednesday on 21Alive, and if you've watched regularly, you know that Fort Wayne has had its fair share of attention paid by the iconic host.
Oprah's touched the lives of so many including Fort Wayne attorney Larry Shine and his family.
Larry lots his wife Kate in 1991 to melanoma. At the time, they had a 2 and a half year old son.
As a single father, Larry went on to have another child through a surrogate. Also as a single father, he adopted seven other children from Paraguay and Guatemala, parenting nine children in all with the help of who he calls a dear assistant and caregiver.
His children are now ages 5 to 22.
Oprah's staff learned about them from a local newspaper article and tapped Larry for the "Unique Fathers" episode in 2009 after filming them at home.
Larry said, "Her staff makes you feel very comfortable. There wasn't one person I didn't feel I'd known for a long time, including Oprah. And, the other thing of course is that they were so professional. I have to tell you in the hotel room the morning of, there was World War III, and I thought, what the heck did I get myself into? I think Oprah's first words to me were, Wow
Larry told me he had specific goals involving the show and saw it as a fantastic opportunity.
Larry said, "I wanted the kids to have the excitement and unique experience of being on the show. I wanted the kids to have the opportunity to feel good about themselves, to feel proud of where they came from, being part of the configuration of our family. But thirdly, I wanted them to know that we did this, and life goes back to normal. We got home from Chicago about 9 o'clock that Friday night, and Saturday morning, I was in the checkout line at Kroger's asking the checkout lady about her new shih tzu puppy! It was a moment, it was fun, it was great, it was a wonderful experience we'll always treasure, but life goes on
And life does go on. Larry says his youngest is now in kindergarten.
Tuesday night, some local women who sat in Oprah's audience twice. The first time wasn't so fun, but the last time definitely made up for it.
Wednesday night, the evening of her final show, we'll remember how Oprah touched our community through the "Big Give" project with Fort Wayne Trails.
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