Gina DeMillo Wagner wasn't going to let anything get in the way of her son's birthday wish

By Lydia Price
Updated October 27, 2015 04:30 PM
Credit: Gina DeMillo Wagner

An ambitious mom made sure her 6-year-old son got the two things on his birthday wish list, even if she couldn’t buy them at a store.

Gina DeMillo Wagner, a writer and photographer, shares on her blog that her son Miles only had two toy requests for his special day: Legos and an American Boy Doll.

“A year ago, when my daughter turned 7, she received one of American Girl s popular “Truly Me” dolls, customized to look like her,” Wagner explains on her blog. “My son, naturally, wanted a doll that looks like him, too. Trouble is, there are no 18-inch ‘American Boy’ dolls available.”

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“At first, I tried to explain to him that they just don’t make American Boy dolls,” Wagner tells Redbook. “I thought he’d eventually lose interest and move on, but he kept asking…and asking.”

Not one to give up on her child’s dream gift, Wagner set out on a new project: “I decided to take matters into my own hands. I d give a girl doll a makeover to resemble a boy (but not just any boy .my boy),” she writes.

The determined mom found an 18-inch Madame Alexander doll on eBay that had Miles’ light blond hair and blue eyes. “If I looked past the hot pink lipstick and hair bow, I saw the spitting image of my son,” she says on her site.

Removing the doll’s makeup was no problem with a little acetone and some q-tips. The supermom also cut and styled the doll’s hair to match her son’s and gave it an eyelash trim.

For his clothes, Wagner turned to Etsy where she ordered a Spiderman outfit for her mini-Miles.

When she finally revealed the DIY project to her son, the surprised 6-year-old was overcome with gleeful giggles.

“I’m always telling my kids that you can waste a lot of energy complaining about the way things are, or you can put that energy toward solving problems and making things better,” Wagner tells Redbook. “This was one small, simple thing I could do for my son to solve a problem and fulfill his birthday wish. It was fun, relatively easy, and inexpensive.”

All told, Wagner writes that she invested less than $50 “to give my son the doll of his dreams.”

And now, Miles and his big sister can play with their look-alike dolls together at last.