Stacey Lee and Brenda Drake show the Facebook photo that reunited them after 21 years. Photo by Cavendish.
A 23-year-old woman recently reunited with her mother after her Facebook appeal went viral.
Stacey Lee was separated from her mother in 1993, when she was only 2 years old, after a family fallout, according to The Daily Mail. “I was born in Manchester [England] but when I was two I went to go and live with my dad, David, then two years later I moved to Runcorn to live with my granddad and two brothers,” Lee said. “As I approached my teenage years, I always thought about my mum.”
Lee spent eight years trying unsuccessfully to locate her mother, and had mostly given up hope when her boyfriend of five years, Martin Smith, suggested she try a social-media appeal. “Last week Martin and I were talking about my mum again and he encourages me to create a sandwich board and use it to look for her on Facebook,” she said. “I had seen similar posts on social media and I just thought ‘why not?’ I had nothing to lose.”
So Lee created a poster, and wrote: “Looking for my birth mother, Brenda Elizabeth Davies. (May have another name) Born in Leyland. Had me in Manchester General 21 October 1991. I also have two other brothers from my mum. If you have anything please contact me.”
The photo that Stacey Lee posted to Facebook to find her long-lost-mother. Photo by Cavendish.
The photo of Lee wearing the sign, which was posted on Feb 25., was shared more than 100,000 times, according to the Daily Mail. Within 24 hours, Lee was contacted by someone who claimed to be a first cousin, who told her that her mother’s new name was Brenda Drake. “When I clicked on my mum’s Facebook profile I couldn’t believe it – she looked just like me!” Lee told the Daily Mail.
Lee reached out to Drake via Facebook, and the two spoke on the phone that day. “I sent her a message and told her that I missed her and that I wanted to build a relationship with her,” Lee said. “She sent me her phone number and I called her. I was shaking as I dialed the number and I just sat staring at the phone for 15 minutes before I made the call.”
Her boyfriend who had started it all stood by. “It’s so nice seeing Stacey's face while she's on the phone to her mum,” Smith wrote on Facebook on February 26.
Neither Lee, Drake nor Smith have responded to Yahoo Parenting’s request for comment.
The next day, the two met for the first time in 21 years. Lee also met her half-sister, 19-year-old Shannon, and learned she had three other siblings: Shona, 15, Aaron, 9, and Sabrina, 8. Drake said she’d always hoped to be reunited with her three eldest children, and plans to meet Stacey’s brothers soon. “I tried looking for them but I always came to a dead end,” she said. “I always thought that they would come looking for me when they turned 16 but I never heard anything from them.”
The two women are planning to stay in close contact, and Lee’s Facebook page is full of pictures of her long-lost mom and newfound siblings. Explained Drake: “We’re all looking forward to the future.”