After decades apart, a woman and her mother have been reunited -- in part, due to the Internet.
U.K. native Stacey Lee hadn't seen her mother, Brenda Drake, since she was sent to live with her father and two brothers when she was 2 years old, according to a press release from Cavendish Press. For years, the now-23-year-old tried to find Drake but had no luck. At her boyfriend's suggestion, Lee took a picture holding a poster she had made with her mother's information on it, and shared it on Facebook, in hopes that the online community could help her.
The photo that went viral.
The board read:
"Looking for my birth mother Brenda Elizabeth Davies. (May have another name) Born in Leyland. Had me in Manchester General 21st Oct. 1991. I also have 2 other brothers from my mum. If you have anything please contact me."
The 23-year-old's post quickly caught the attention of people across Facebook, and was shared more than 100,000 times. Within a day, Kerianne Davies, a woman who claimed to be Lee's cousin contacted her, and put her in touch with Drake.
Lee and her mother made plans, and in late February, the pair saw each other for the first time in about 21 years.
Stacey Lee with her birth mother, Brenda Drake.
"I went to meet her in a pub and when I saw her, I just hugged her and we both cried," Lee said of the reunion, according to the release. "We were in shock. It was very emotional. We look a lot like each other and I am quite shy and quiet like her."
Lee started looking for her birth mother as a teenager, but feared her mother had died or moved abroad. After hearing about several reunions that were orchestrated with the help of social media, Lee decided to give her boyfriend's poster idea a chance. The mother-daughter pair were able to finally catch up on various aspects of their lives. Lee learned that Drake had changed her name from "Davies" after getting married. She also discovered she has four younger siblings.
The pair said they are overjoyed at their reunion, and Drake said that their newfound relationship has only just begun.
"I regret losing contact with my three eldest children ... I tried looking for them but I always came to a dead end," she said. "When I received the Facebook message from Stacey I couldn’t believe it ... We're all looking forward to the future and I am going to be reunited with my two [other sons] too."