This is a story of love, loss and a mother knowing her son's heart.
And one Nebraska mother went above and beyond to reunite her son with a precious toy that the family thought was gone forever.
Liam was just a year old when his grandparents gave him a cute blue monkey with a white face and accents plus ungainly legs and arms. The cuddly toy was named Ah-ah.
The two were inseparable with Liam even taking the beloved toy on trips and his first day of preschool.
Ah-ah even joined the family on a camping trip to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. That's when the story takes a turn that all too many distraught children and frantic parents know.
The stuffed animal was lost in Colorado. And feverish efforts to retrace their steps and find him were unsuccessful. Telephone calls turned up nothing. Copious tears were shed.
The little blue monkey had disappeared.
"He was gone forever," Liam's father wrote in a video. "While the rest of us had given up, my wife never did."
She kept her eye out for the monkey. And one day in 2012, she was searching on eBay for a musical instrument for her daughter.
And something prompted her to type in "blue monkey."
A website in Florida that reunites children with lost toys was selling a blue monkey.
Liam's mother never thought it would be the actual Ah-ah, but the animal sure looked like a close relative. So she bought it, thinking it would offer a measure of comfort for the empty place in her son's heart.
Then the toy arrived. And Liam's parents couldn't believe their eyes. It was their Ah-ha moment because it was THE Ah-ah.
His hair was singed on his top from the dryer. His jagged torn tag matched just how Liam had clumsily cut off the tag as a preschooler.
He was home. Now it was just about putting Ah-ah in Liam's arms.
And the ensuing video would melt the heart of anyone. His excited and weepy mother tells the story to her son and presents Ah-ah to him.
He looks on in disbelief and then Liam clutches Ah-ah to his face, holding on for dear life. And he bursts into tears.
"You are kidding?" he exclaimed.
His mother was not.
"Look, it's him!" she says, showing the tell-tale signs. "We found him!"
And Liam then gives Ah-ah a big kiss and hug.
The story has since gone international. Liam's father, who chronicled the reunion, said his son is embarrassed by the attention.
"We'd like to turn all this positive attention into something good," he said. The family asks that you donate to MyCharityWater.org if you're as touched by the story as we are. Click here to donate.
And if you would like to search for a long-lost toy, here is the eBay website for Lost Loves Toy Chest where the Omaha family found Ah-ah.
Tell us about your favorite childhood toy, whether you lost that toy, and what you think of this story. Click here.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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