Stacey Faix had to give up her son for adoption because she had him when she was just 15, but over three decades later, he found his mother.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on July 23, 2021. It has since been updated.
When Stacey Faix was just 15 years old, she was forced into making a very hard decision. Faix was a teenage mother, and she had to give up her baby boy for adoption, without even being able to hold him once. “They didn’t want me to hold him, they didn’t recommend it," Faix recalled, per WTAE. She never forgot the way she felt then, but she moved on, knowing that there would be a void in the shape of her son for the rest of her life. The boy, meanwhile, went from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to a family in Ohio. They named him Stephen Strawn. Now 35 years old, he grew up and went to the military. He even got married, but he always knew he was adopted, and never once did he give up looking for his biological mother, but in vain.
“I’ve looked for years,” Strawn told ABC News. “It’s been dead ends.” His birth records were lost in a flood which made it even harder to locate his mom. But you know what they say, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Finally, in November 2017, a new law came into effect that allowed adoptees to request their birth certificates come with the original birth parents on them. This helped Strawn finally locate his biological mother on April 16, 2018. The next morning he contacted her.
Strawn was surprised to find out that his mother was a member of Pittsburgh’s chapter of Team Red, White, and Blue (RWB), which supports veterans. Mothers really are connected to their kids irrespective of where they are, isn't it? And just like Faix, Strawn also loved running marathons, proving that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. As a veteran himself, Strawn, who is part of the Ohio chapter, got in touch with the Pittsburgh chapter’s president to arrange the reunion after learning that there was a marathon and that Faix would be running in it.
His biological sisters also pitched in to set up the surprise reunion. “All the support is incredible,” he said. He decided to hide until it was time to meet his mom after 35 years. A video of the reunion uploaded on YouTube shows how Faix was given a letter by someone. Puzzled, she opens it, only to realize it was from her son, who even included a line about how it had been 13,075 days since she had last seen him.
The contents of the letter left the woman bewildered and she started looking all around to find her son, and when she does, she lets out a shriek of joy. The reunion was emotional, and Faix said she got to hold her son after 35 years. “So I finally got to hold him.” There was not a single eye there, and in Stephen's words, everyone did an "ugly cry."
After the teary reunion, the mother and son ran the half marathon together. Later, they went to have a cookout where they continued to “ugly cry” and caught up with each other. “For the parents, who had to give up their children for whatever reason, don’t lose hope,” Faix said. Strawn and his wife are now a part of the family, and they decided to stay in touch with each other, despite the distance. “It’s something you see in the movies,” Strawn said. “Everything was perfect.” When their heartwarming story went viral Strawn shared in a Facebook post: "Makes me feel so good from the outpour of support and kind words from everyone! It’s a great feeling knowing there is such a large support group surrounding us and people can see the good in our hearts!"
Cover image (representative): Getty Images | Photo by Cavan Images