A video of two children unveiling their military dad’s homecoming surprise is warming hearts across the Internet.
“I couldn’t hold back the tears,” mom, Ruth Stevens of Plymouth, United Kingdom told ABC News. “I was so emotional. We get on without him and we’ve done it for years. We try to get used to it. He’s ecstatic [to be home] and my little girl is glued to him. She follows him everywhere.”
Stevens said her husband Scott, a Navy petty officer of mechanical engineering, had been rescuing Syrian migrants off the coast of Libya for 3 months before returning home on Sunday
“Before this, he was gone for 4 months and came home for 5 weeks, so he’s been gone quite a lot,” Stevens said. “We told the children he was coming home a week later [than he did], so they didn’t expect him home at all.”
Stevens said her kids Alfie, 8, and Lily, 5, had been wishing for their ‘Elf on the Shelf’ to “bring their daddy home for Christmas.”
When Scott arrived, Stevens said she wrapped him up like a big present and told the children to open the surprise gift from their Elf, Buddy.
After seeing their dad was the gift, the three hugged and kissed and Stevens filmed the tearful reunion.
“I think because [people] have seen so much bad in the world recently, seeing some happy children with their dad and seeing somebody coming home, it puts things in perspective of what they actually do for their country,” Stevens said. “They miss their families and I think it brings a bit of happiness for Christmas.