After years of searching, Stephen Strawn finally got to meet his mother at the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.
Keep a tissue box ready because things are about to get really emotional. After years of trying to find his biological mother, an Ohio man in his 30s surprised a woman named Stacey Faix, at the Pittsburgh Half Marathon a few years ago. Faix of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, gave birth to Strawn when she was just 15 years old and made the difficult decision to put him up for adoption. Strawn grew up to become a veteran. Stephen Strawn had spent years in search of his mother and finally got to meet her for the first time in 35 years.
How did this happen? As fate would have it, his biological mother was a member of Pittsburgh’s Team Red, White, and Blue (RWB) chapter, which supports veterans. While Strawn was growing up he wanted to get in touch with her but his birth records were lost in a flood, and for years he had no luck. Thanks to a new law in 2017, adoptees were able to request their birth certificates with their original birth parents. Finally, a ray of hope—Strawn managed to locate Faix. But instead of reaching out to her directly to set up some sort of meeting, Strawn had a better idea. A surprise! Strawn decided to meet his mom at the Pittsburgh half marathon event. Faix was running the marathon one Sunday with Team RWB. Since Strawn is a member of the Ohio chapter himself, it only felt right to get in touch with the Pittsburgh chapter's president to set up a surprise reunion. On the big day, Faix was handed a card where Strawn had included a line that said: “It’s been 13,075 days since you last saw me. I didn’t want you to wait one more day." When she looked up, turned around, she finally came face-to-face with her son, Strawn. And the emotional moment, captured on video, will make your heart melt.
Strawn got some help from his biological sisters to set up the reunion and the whole family ended up "ugly crying." When Faix was 15 she said was not allowed to hold her baby boy. “They didn’t want me to hold him, they didn’t recommend it," Faix told ABC affiliate WTAE. “So I finally got to hold him.” In the video, she can be heard tearfully telling her son, "I never got to hold you." After the moving reunion and a long tight embrace, the mother and son went on to run the race together, and have promised to keep in touch with each other. “It’s something you see in the movies,” Strawn said. “Everything was perfect.” “For the parents, who had to give up their children for whatever reason, don’t lose hope,” Faix added.
Speaking of how Strawn initiated the first contact, it all happened when his birth certificate arrived in the mail. Once he found out his biological mom's name he looked her up on Facebook. “I sent her a message and said, ‘Hey, I have a really weird question,'" Strawn told Inside Edition. "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.'" And the rest was history. “We must have hugged about 10 different times 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.” What an incredible story!