Veteran surprises his biological mother at the Pittsburgh Half Marathon after searching for her for years

Stephen Strawn looked for his biological mother for years with no luck.

A Pittsburgh mother had something special waiting for her at the starting line of the Pittsburgh Half Marathon -- her biological son.

Stephen Strawn, 35, of Ohio surprised his biological mother, Stacey Faix, at the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. However, this is not the first time Strawn tried to find his biological mother.

“I’ve looked for years,” Strawn told ABC. “It’s been dead ends.”

His birth records were lost in a flood, and for years he had no luck finding her. But a new law that went into effect in November 2017 allowing adoptees to request their birth certificate with the original birth parents on it finally allowed him to get the pieces of the puzzle together.

He located his biological mother on April 16 and the following morning he made contact, he said.

Strawn, who's a veteran, saw Faix was a member of Pittsburgh’s chapter of Team Red, White and Blue (RWB), which supports veterans. She was running the marathon Sunday with Team RWB. Since he's a member of the Ohio chapter, he got in touch with the Pittsburgh chapter’s president to help accomplish his surprise.

“All the support is incredible,” he said.

They helped him time everything, get media there, and more.

Strawn had to do a little bit of hiding to not be seen, which included him hiding inside a portable bathroom until his wife gave him the all-clear.

He wrote Faix a card, which included a line about how it had been 13,075 days since she had last seen him.

When Faix looked up, Strawn was standing there.

Faix had Strawn at 15 years old and had to give him up for adoption.

“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.”

Strawn also met his biological sisters, who helped him set up the surprise. He said everyone did the “ugly cry.”

Faix and Strawn ran the half marathon together. Later, they went to have a cookout where they continued to “ugly cry” and talked with each other.

“For the parents, who had to give up their children for whatever reason, don’t lose hope,” Faix said.

Now, one of his biological sisters just graduated college. Strawn and his wife will head back to Pittsburgh to celebrate the occasion. He said they plan on having his new family over in Ohio for a summer cookout as well.

“It’s something you see in the movies,” Strawn said. “Everything was perfect.”

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