The doll is a special memento of the 3-year-old’s dad, who is away from his family training with the National Guard.

By Libby Ryan
July 18, 2019
lost daddy doll
Courtesy Jessica Osborne

An Ohio mom turned to Facebook when her daughter’s Daddy Doll went missing, detailing where the special doll could be and asking for its return.

Jessica Osborne shared that her toddler daughter lost her Daddy Doll—a military doll with a photo of Osborne’s husband, and the little girl’s father, in his National Guard uniform for when the dad is away from home.

“Please...if you see this doll...I would be grateful for its return,” Osborne wrote on Facebook. “She is devastated. We use it often when he trains and she isn't able to see or speak to him.”

The mom said the doll was misplaced during a pizza and ice cream outing in Lebanon, Ohio (LaRosa’s and Dairy Queen, for those who might be nearby and can keep an eye out). At the time of writing, the Facebook post had spread into surrounding communities with more than 5,000 shares on Facebook.

“I’ve noticed that it helps ease their mind when they can at least pick up the doll, hug it, and see a picture of their father inside,” Osborne told Fox19. “It brings a little more comfort to them and bedtime is just a little bit easier.”

The trademarked Daddy Dolls were started by two moms married to Marines who saw how much their kids missed their dads while they were deployed abroad.

“The absence of daddy was beginning to take its toll on our own children as well as those of dear friends,” founders Tricia and Nikki share on the Daddy Dolls website. “We wanted to find some way to make the separation easier for our sons and daughters while keeping their fathers close to their hearts and in their prayers.”

Although the company is called Daddy Dolls, the website says, “We’re not just daddy dolls. We’re mommy, grandma, grandpa, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, friend dolls.” So to honor any loved one in the armed forces or in another career that requires travel abroad, the dolls aren’t specified by gender. The Daddy Dolls have full-body photos printed on a plush pillow in various sizes.

The sweet idea has a variety of iterations. There’s also Huggs To Go’s version where you can choose a type of military fatigue for a yarn-haired doll that has a spot for a photo of a loved one on the face and the option of recording a voice message.

Military parents reached out to Osborne in the comments of her posts, offering to send her their spare daddy dolls. “I know it's not the same, but I have a brand-new daddy doll if you want it. I…am more than willing to bring it to you,” one woman offered on Facebook. “I can even bring it today. I was an Army wife for 4 years so I know how important these dolls are!”

But Osborne wrote back confirming she has another copy of the photo that could be put in a new doll, but this one has sentimental value and she’s “just not ready to replace it just yet.”

And with all the sweet hugs and cuddles that particular Daddy Doll has received from Osborne’s daughter, we totally understand why she’d still be holding out for its return to the family. Osborne told that the response has been larger than she expected.

"I originally posted to a local group on Facebook because I figured social media would be the best way for the community to see it and possibly find it. I was not expecting so many people to come together in an effort to find this doll for my child," she said. "I can't thank each and every one of you enough for the amount of support and love. It's not often you see a community come together, but rather fall apart so it humbles me to see something good come out of this story."