For anyone who worries the Internet is pulling people apart and making the world less connected, here is a story to make you think twice.
It’s the tale of a boy reunited with his beloved stuffed animal, with a 21st century twist.
Liam, from Omaha, Nebraska, was given a blue stuffed monkey by his grandparents for his first birthday. In 2009, Liam took his beloved stuffed toy, nicknamed “Ah-ah,” on a family camping trip to Rocky Mountain National Park.
Ah-ah never made it home. The family searched for it to no avail and gave up hope — everyone, that is, except Liam’s mom.
Earlier this year, three years after Ah-ah disappeared, she was while searching eBay for a viola for Liam’s sister, Emma. On a lark, she mom typed the words “blue monkey.”
A heartwarming video made by Liam’s dad, first reported by Hypervocal, shows the amazing story that followed.
Liam’s mom, who is not identified in the video or news story, found a blue monkey from an eBay seller in Florida that looked enough like Ah-ah that she thought her son would love it just as much.
When the stuffed animal arrived at the family’s home, the mom could not believe her eyes. Its hair was fringed, just as Ah-ah’s was after a mistake in the dryer. The animal’s tag was missing in the same place where Liam had cut off Ah-ah’s tag, and its feet even contained bits of mulch from where Liam had dragged it on the ground during the family’s camping trip.
It was Ah-ah.
“You’re kidding,” Liam says when his mom hands him the stuffed animal in the video. “I can’t [believe it] at all. I forgot what he looked like.”
Liam hugs Ah-ah in tears as his mom tells the story of her online purchase.
“How much was he?” he asks.
“It doesn’t matter,” says his mom.
“Well you shouldn’t have had to pay,” responds Liam.
The stuffed animal reunion was courtesy of another mom whose daughter once lost her own constant companion — in that case, a blanket — and so began an eBay store to find and return lost toys to their original owners.
“I’m just happy that they found it,” Tammy Staveley, the owner of the Lost Loves Toy Chest, told the New York Daily News after they told her about the reunion she had unknowingly orchestrated.
“I’m so glad that I could help,” she said. “I’ve been in that position and I know that that item is basically priceless, you can’t sleep, the kid’s crying.”