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‘I Can’t Believe I Actually Found You!’: Birth Mom Reunites with Son after 33 Years of Separation

A decision to give a child up for adoption is never simple. Shelley Pitts understood in the end that it was best for her unborn child when she became pregnant at the age of just 14. Even so, ever since the day she gave her kid away, she had quietly observed his birthday. The two were finally reunited more than three decades later.


After 33 years, a mother and son were reunited.

Shelley Pitts became pregnant when she was 14 years old. However, because she was so young, she believed that she might be able to will the pregnancy away by just ignoring the fact that she hadn’t had a period. She reasoned, “I’m too young to have a baby.”

“I had no idea that I was pregnant. The initial symptoms, which I now recognize all too well, were totally unfamiliar to me. Although my body was changing, I tried to ignore the reality of it, she said.


“I conducted my life as if nothing had changed. During my first trimester, I participated in a trip to California with my mother, drill team practices before and after school, and softball. I assumed the changes in my life weren’t permanent. I tried to forget about getting pregnant, but I knew it would happen eventually.

After three months, she finally told Sidney, her lover. He was a great source of comfort to her; they had been together for almost two years. They discussed the gender of their unborn child as well as possible names for them. Although they were thrilled, the couple was still afraid to tell their parents.

A Black youngster is standing in a school hallway with lockers behind him.

Shelley made every effort to hide it for as long as she could. She would always try to hide her stomach with objects, such as her pom-poms at drill practice or sitting with a cushion on her lap at home. She wore baggy clothing. They let their closest friends know about it, but ultimately everyone at school had pretty well worked it out.


Once they discovered it, the teachers remained silent. Being an interracial relationship, with Shelley being white and Sidney being black, teen pregnancy was quite controversial at the time. Interracial couples weren’t always welcomed in Texas in the 1980s.

The two finally had the nerve to tell their parents. Adoption, they all decided, was the only choice. Even though they were upset and disappointed, they felt that it was the correct thing to do. They then started the adoption process after discovering an agency that would take mixed children.

Shelley was given a place to stay during her pregnancy thanks to the adoption agency they utilized. She was able to attend her doctor’s visits more easily, continue attending school full-time, and receive counseling while she was in the facility. Compared to her mother attempting to handle everything, it was lot simpler. It was a warm but nonetheless lonely experience, according to Shelley.

The thought of leaving Sidney behind was agonizing. Since I was used to seeing him almost daily, our only communication was through letters and brief phone calls. At the end of March, I was due. 4 months have passed since then. The days dragged because I was 4 hours away from home. On a few weekends, my mother came to visit, but my daily focus shifted to the mail. We read and reread letters and cards from my mother, grandma, and Sidney,” she recounted.


She learned the kid would be a male while she was residing there. This was also heartbreaking since Sidney intended to bestow his name on the unborn child. When she ultimately gave birth, an agency employee held her hand and she was essentially by herself. Although her mother was her route, she was unable to arrive in time. Sidney’s parents refused to let him go because they believed it would be better for him not to be there.

Shelley chose to see and cuddle the baby before he was taken away despite people telling her she shouldn’t. She insisted that she had to hold her kid at least once after going through the entire labor and delivery process. Shelley examined him and the characteristics that made him her or Sidney. She later handed him over to the caseworker.

An adoptive, mixed-race child in pajamas and a Santa hat


Although he was ideal, he wasn’t intended to be mine. When the nurse came to take him away from me, I prayed that he would have a better life with his adoptive parents since I had promised him that. When they kidnapped him, I didn’t cry. I can still remember feeling embarrassed, like I didn’t deserve to cry. I was abandoning my child. No one could possibly feel sorry for me, right?

The Search

Since that time, Shelley has quietly observed her son’s birthday each year. Sadly, Sidney passed away in 1992. Whether or not Sidney was the man she married was not explicitly stated by Shelley.

All she knew about her son was that he spent four months in foster care and went by the name Eric. Then he was adopted by a white family. The mother worked for the schools, while the father was in the military.


Shelley made the decision to create a profile on an adoption Facebook page 33 years later. After that, the website paired you with someone who meets the parameters you entered. She had no matches, which was unfortunate. When his birthday was approaching, she logged back in. She found that there was an 81% match.

She found a male match who was born on her son’s birthdate, March 29, 1988, in Dallas, Texas. Adopted at four months old; undetermined ethnicity; brown eyes and hair. She waited after sending a message to the profile. Although she hadn’t heard anything, she noticed that a house in Virginia had a listed address.

On the profile, there was a name: Daniel Smith. She made the decision to perform a Facebook name and location search. It displayed a picture of a tall, lean, black man with a fair complexion in profile. He was accompanied by three kids in the photograph. The birthday wasn’t given. She just knew it was him after looking at his images because he had his father’s lips. She then discovered a birthday greeting dated March 29th, the year before. She was certain that this had to be him.


A father of three adopted children of mixed race

“As I quickly sent him a private message, my heart was in my throat, and I started to cry joyous tears. I’m your birth mom, it said, wishing you a happy birthday. I’m at a loss for words and will just say it out loud. I hope you will reply. It was 11:23 p.m. and I couldn’t believe I really found you. I hoped for an appropriate response.

She sent a message to the person who appeared to be his girlfriend after waiting two days for a response. She replied to Shelley’s message by accepting the friend invitation and promising to inform Daniel.

“I waited, and on March 31st, at 3:10 pm, I finally heard from Daniel. ‘Hi. I’m not sure where to begin. I’d love to speak with you. My heart broke open. My son wished to speak with me!


They first scheduled a phone call, during which they ended up talking for about three hours straight. He confessed to her that he had always known he would eventually find her—he had even told his classmates about it in class.

Daniel finally drove to Texas a month later to meet Shelley and his biological sisters. There was a lot of emotion when they eventually got to meet. They exchanged long, passionate hugs.

The following six days were spent providing him with as much affection as we could. Daniel was warmly welcomed by my girls, their husbands, and their kids in every way. Daniel absorbed everything. We shared our joyous tears and talked about how much Sidney’s presence was felt at certain times.

I sent him notes from the years we were together as well as letters his father had sent to me while I was staying at the adoption agency. Before he was even born, Sidney loved me and Daniel, and I wanted him to know that. In order for him to return to Virginia with a bit of his father, I wanted to offer him that. That much was the least he deserved.

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