“Ohhh! They found her!”: Little girl reacts with glee to returned Barbie doll


Photo courtesy Brittany Adams

Brittany Adams posted this photo to the Facebook group WTF? Carbondale after her daughter lost her Barbie on a trial at Giant City State Park. Sunday.

Three-year old Rowan Adams and her mother, Brittany Adams, were out on a hike Sunday on Trillium Trail in Giant City State Park when Rowan’s Barbie doll fell out of her backpack. 

Rowan had just got the doll for her birthday, and with it being a few years old, her mother couldn’t find a replacement. It was seemingly lost forever. 

“[Rowan] wanted us to go back, but she was way too tired to hike through the trail again to find it,” Brittany said.


Brittany said her daughter refused to get out of the car once she realized the doll  was gone. So, Brittany turned to social media, seeking help in a Facebook group called “WTF? Carbondale.” She posted a photo of Rowan with her Barbie hanging out of her backpack and the community responded enthusiastically.

“It is now my duty to find this Barbie! This is one of my favorite trails!” Nina Symone, a group member, commented. 

Another member of the group, Carol Aronsen, said she hoped Barbie was found and that she could tell Rowan about her adventure. 

Yet another group member, Lauren Reynolds, made sure the search expanded.

Reynolds said that she had shared the post in a couple of SI hiking groups and hoped that Barbie would be found soon. 

Brittany said she was nervous about posting online at first because it was just a Barbie, but told her daughter she would ask to see if anyone could find it. She couldn’t go back on that promise. Brittany said she was amazed at the outcome and was not expecting such a response.

“Overall I’m just so grateful for everyone who looked for her, and shared it with others to keep an eye out,” Brittany said. “I really was amazed, and also proud of all the people in this area.” A hiker, Catherine Porter,  eventually found Rowan’s doll along the trail and posted a photo of it, still intact.


Catherine Porter found Rowan’s lost Barbie Wednesday and posted to WTF? Carbondale saying the doll was “missing her little girlfriend.” (Photo courtesy Catherine Porter)

“Barbie is back to civilization,” Porter wrote. “She misses her little girlfriend.” 

Porter had seen Adam’s post and quickly joined in the search to locate the beloved doll. 

Once Barbie was home, Adams posted an update to the group, saying “My kiddo is so happy I can’t even describe it.”

The group immediately cheered. 

“YAY! That is so awesome!” said Dawn Roberts, an administrator of the group.

Joanna Simpson-Abel, a group member said the entire storyline brightened her day, and was grateful for all the follow ups to the saga.

“Thanks for being a bright spot in dim times. I sure appreciate it!” Simpson-Abel said.

Len Rogers, another group member, said this is one of the top stories of why he loves Carbondale. 

“This post right here shows why I love Carbondale and Southern Illinois,” Judy Simpson, another member of the group, said. 

 Brittany said Rowan is working on drawing a thank you card for Porter.

Rowan and that doll have been on multiple trail hikes together and the family is planning a major outing soon.

“If it continues being one of her favorites, it’ll go with us on our eventual thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in a few years,” Adams said.

Staff writer Joel Kottman can be reached at [email protected] on Twitter @JoelKottman and on Snapchat @joelkottman To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.