A Tennessee family is on cloud nine after experiencing “every parent’s absolute worst nightmare.”
Amanda Leigh Ennis of Nashville dropped off her 3-year-old son, Noah Clare, at his father’s house for the weekend, unaware that he was planning to kidnap the toddler and flee the state. Amanda feared she’d never see her sweet boy again after receiving a distressing call from a family member.
The worried mother was informed by a relative that Amanda’s ex-boyfriend, Jake Clare, had vanished with Noah and his cousin, Amber, 16 years old. Amber had left a note indicating that they were “going on an adventure,” but the family had no idea where they were going.
“I was trembling. I was ill. I was furious. I was perplexed. I was terrified. “Does he really intend to do this?” Amanda stated. “Perhaps he doesn’t have service?” Perhaps his phone died? All of those questions were answered with lies, which I was well aware of. “Will I ever see my baby again?”
Noah was placed on an Amber Alert, and his family spent the next 13 days worried sick as authorities searched far and wide. Jake and the kids appeared to have vanished without a trace, but a complete stranger hundreds of miles away spotted them near a state park.
Julia Bonin of Orange County, California, was on her way to drop her son off at school when she saw Noah, Amber, and Jake walking near Doheny State Park in Dana Point. She’d seen the Amber Alert online, and she felt a strong gut instinct that this was the missing boy from the news. After dropping off her son, she circled back to where she’d seen them and called the police.
“My heart was pounding. I had a strong feeling that it was, but [I] was questioning my instincts. I was starting to shake,” Julia remembered.
Thankfully, that mom instinct was spot on! When authorities caught up to the group, they found Noah and Amber and took Jake into custody. He’s now facing serious charges back home in Tennessee.
Amanda jumped on a plane and flew to California as soon as she heard they’d found her son. She was able to meet Julia and express her gratitude for following her instincts and bringing her son home.
“It was that Angel.” Amanda described herself as “our hero” on Facebook. “God led her to Noah, and she is the most beautiful, sweet, and loving person who will be a part of our lives for the rest of our lives.” She was able to locate Noah thanks to all of YOU! “Social media is fantastic.”
When Amanda and Noah were reunited in California, their nightmare came to an end. In a video, we see the little boy run into his mother’s arms, crying tears of joy and relief. Amanda described having Noah back in her arms as the second-best day of her life, after the day he was born.
Julia’s actions remind us how important it is to speak up if we see something amiss. She wasn’t positive that the child she saw was Noah, but she listened to that little voice that told her something wasn’t right. She’s truly the hero Noah needed at that moment!
Watch Amanda and Noah’s beautiful reunion in the video below, and don’t forget to share this powerful story.