“It’s been 13,075 days since you last saw me. I didn’t want to make you wait one more.”
This is the sweet note 50-year-old Stacey Faix was handed at a half-marathon event in Pittsburgh. As Stacey warmed up with her teammates, someone walked up to her with an envelope. Nearby another person filmed the whole thing.
At first, Stacey looks confused and slightly terrified, as you would in this situation. A weird letter, a camera crew. What is happening?
But as she reads the letter to herself, it all clicks and she knows exactly who wrote it and what it means.
Stacey turns around and lets out a scream as she meets her son for the very first time. You see, Stacey put her son up for adoption 35 years ago, when she was just 15. Stephan Strawn, Faix’s son, embraces his birth mother and, well, we’ll let you watch it unfold below.
But spoiler alert – it’s very very sweet! Might wanna have tissues on hand.
‘They didn’t want me to hold him’
Choosing to put your baby up for adoption is never an easy decision but for many brave young mums, it’s the right one. Stacey made this heartbreaking decision 35 years ago when she knew she was neither mentally or financially ready to take care of a baby.
At 15, she gave birth to her son and put him up for adoption, knowing it was best for him. She didn’t even have a chance to give him a cuddle.
[The hospital staff] didn’t want me to hold him, they didn’t recommend it,” Stacey told ABC affiliate WTAE.
She never expected to see him again.
A son’s search
Fast forward 30-odd years. Stephan is now a grown man living in Ohio. He is a veteran and well aware he’s adopted but has no information on the details of his birth parents. He’s tried for years and years to find his biological mum but was met with dead ends. All he knew was he was born in Pennsylvania.
However, in November 2017, the state of Pennsylvania passed a law that allowed adopted children to have access to information about their biological parents.
Stephan immediately got the documents in his hands and learned his biological mother’s name. He then started his search for her. Of course, he headed to Facebook.
Once he found a woman with the same name, he sent her a message saying,
“Hey, I have a really weird question. Did you put a baby boy up for adoption in 1982?”
Stacey replied back, confirming that yes, she had.
He then wrote, “I think you may be my biological mum.”
Stacey and Stephan continued to message one another but they had yet to meet.
‘I finally got to hold him’
However, it turned out both mother and son had a love of running and had entered into the Pittsburgh half marathon. Not only that, but they had both registered as team members of the organisation Red, White and Blue which supports veterans like Stephan.
With the help of a few of his teammates, Stephan was able to surprise his mum with their very first encounter in 35 years.
And what a reunion. The clapping and cheering from the crowd and the sobbing from Stacey as she hugs her son for the very first time. #Allthefeels
I finally got to hold him.”
Not only did they meet, but Stephan also met his five biological sisters, also at the event. And our favourite part?
Mother and son then ran the race together. They crossed the finish line at the same time.
Stacey admits she did a fair bit of crying that day and is so grateful to finally have her son back in her life.
We must have hugged about 10 different times. For the parents that had to give up their children for whatever reason, don’t lose hope.”