About 35 years ago, a Pittsburgh woman gave up her son for adoption only to have him surprise her decades later.
Stephen Strawn, 35, of Ohio, surprised his mother, Stacey Faix, at the Pittsburgh Half Marathon, adding that it wasn’t the first time he attempted to find her, ABC News reported.
“I’ve looked for years,” Strawn told ABC. “It’s been dead ends.”
Faix was only 15 when she gave birth to Strawn, Inside Edition noted.
A son surprises his biological mom at the Pittsburgh Half Marathon in an emotional moment. https://ietv.co/2IpB9DX
“I got really choked up and teared up,” Strawn the outlet. “As we were holding and hugging, she said, ‘I never got to hold you’ and that kind of just broke my heart. It was a prearranged adoption and it was not recommended for her to hold me.”
According to the reports, he had trouble finding her over the years after his adoption case file was lost in a flood.
But after a new law was passed in Pennsylvania, people who were adopted can request their original birth certificates with the names of their biological parents.
When he heard about the law change, Strawn immediately attempted to find her. It “was a big sigh of relief” when he saw the names of his biological parents on the document, he said.
“I sent her a message and said, ‘Hey, I have a really weird question,'” Strawn said of what he asked Faix. “I said, ‘Did you put a baby boy up for adoption in 1982?’ She said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘I think you may be my biological mom.'”
Faix, of Ohio, told him that she had been also searching for him but to no avail.
He found that Faix was a member of Team Red, White and Blue (RWB), which is a group that helps veterans. Meanwhile, Strawn is an Air Force veteran, Inside Edition noted.
“It’s been 13,075 days since you last saw me,” it read. “I didn’t want to make you wait one more.”
Strawn had his biological sister hand her a card that said, “It’s been 13,075 days since you last saw me. I didn’t want you wait one more day.”
As she read the card, he snuck behind her and surprised her at a marathon, according to a now-viral video.
“We must have hugged about 10 different times,” Strawn said. “We get done hugging, look at each other and then hug again. It just felt really surreal that it was finally happening because it happened so fast.”
According to the Adoption Network, some 428,000 children are in foster care across the United States, and about 135,000 are adopted each year.
Meanwhile, about 100 million Americans have “adoption in their immediate family,” it says.
“More than 60 percent of children in foster care spend two to five years in the system before being adopted. Almost 20 percent spend five or more years in foster care before being adopted. Some never get adopted,” it elaborated.
The network added that about 2 percent of Americans adopt, but more than a third have considered it.
“There are no national statistics on how many people are waiting to adopt, but experts estimate it is somewhere between one and two million couples. Every year there are about 1.3 million abortions. Only 4 percent of women with unwanted pregnancies place their children through adoption,” it says.
Actress Sandra Bullock spoke out about adoption. She’s adopted two children.
“[There are] Hundreds of thousands of children that are ready to be your child. You’re a forever parent the minute you accept the love of that child,” she said. “And it’s amazing to me how we can take away people’s happiness by telling them that, ‘This is the box you have to stay in.’ There is no box.