Surprised grandmother becomes Internet sensation

A Franklin woman would have been happy just to have her family together on Christmas, but what she got was a new family member.

On Dec. 20, Eva Goeb heard someone come in her home. When she went to see who it was, she burst into tears. Standing in her doorway was her son, Donny, who is in the Air Force and is stationed in Honolulu with his wife, Miranda. And in their arms was Melissa Faith, their daughter meeting her grandmother for the first time.

In October, Donny and Miranda Goeb began the adoption process. But they didn’t share updates with family to spare anyone’s hopes from being crushed, Eva Goeb said.

The next time Eva Goeb expected to see her son and daughter-in-law was in January while he was training in Ohio. But they surprised her five days before Christmas and recorded her reaction in a video that has more than 5 million views on YouTube and has been featured on national news shows.

“I knew immediately she was my granddaughter,” Eva Goeb said. “My husband and I instantly began crying. After the initial excitement, it took a couple hours for the rush of emotions to pass and for things to sink in.”

Donny and Miranda Goeb didn’t tell Eva Goeb that they would be coming home for the holidays. And the night before, Donny Goeb told her he and his wife were no longer in the adoption process, Eva Goeb said.

Now, she realizes that was a subtle hint.

The next day, Goeb had planned to go to church with her sisters and then to a movie. Instead, they spent the day at home, while other family members stopped in to see the baby, Eva Goeb said.

“We didn’t leave the house that day. I called my friends and family and told them to come see the baby. Being a parent, watching my children become parents, it’s one of the greatest joys of my life,” Goeb said. “I just watched them with the baby, and you can see it in their faces, the sheer joy. It just radiates off of them.”

The couple adopted the baby through someone Donny Goeb knew from the Air Force. The baby was born on Dec. 8, and for almost two weeks, the couple hid her from Eva Goeb. Miranda Goeb became a substitute teacher and a full-time mom, staying at home most days with the baby, whom they nicknamed Lily.

Eva Goeb said she and her husband had planned to make a trip to Hawaii on their 30th wedding anniversary, but the arrival of Lily likely will change those plans.

“Now we’re going to go much sooner,” she said.

Author photo
Corey Elliot is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2719.