It'd been 35 years since Stephen's Strawn's biological mother had held him in her arms before placing him for adoption.
After finding his biological mother on Facebook in April, Strawn decided to surprise her on Sunday, when they met just prior to the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.
“I got really choked up and teared up,” Strawn told InsideEdition.com. “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."
Strawn had trouble finding his mother, Stacey Faix, who gave birth to him at age 15, for years because his adoption case file was lost in a flood.
Recently, however, Strawn’s wife discovered that the law in Pennsylvania, where he lives, had changed and adoptees are now able to request their original birth certificates with the names of their biological parents written on them.
He knew immediately he wanted to see if he could find his. He sent his information to an agency and received his birth certificate in the mail a month later, on April 16.
"It was a big sigh of relief," Strawn said of realizing his biological mom’s name was on it. Through some searching, he was able to find her on Facebook messenger and contacted Faix the next day.
“I sent her a message and said, ‘Hey, I have a really weird question,'" Strawn said. "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.'"
Right away Strawn's mom, who lives in Ohio, let him know she’d been searching for him too. Strawn, an Air Force veteran, found out that his mom was a member of Team Red, White and Blue (RWB), on organization that supports veterans, and was set to run a Marathon this month.
Coincidentally, Strawn was also a part of the same organization’s Pittsburgh chapter, so he wanted to take the opportunity to surprise his mom.
This past Sunday, as the race was about to get started, Strawn had his biological sister hand Faix a card that read: “It’s been 13,075 days since you last saw me. I didn’t want you wait one more day."
As Faix read the card, Strawn crept up behind her. Faix was shocked.
“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.”
They then ran the marathon together.
“The race was great,” Strawn said. “We finished in 2 hours in 50 mins but it was never about speed.”
It was about catching up on lost time.