An overjoyed woman was reunited with her biological son after giving him up for adoption a staggering 44 years ago.
In 1973, when 21-year-old Diana Laney, from Tennessee, US, gave up her third child for adoption, she thought she’d never see her precious baby boy again.
Abandoned by her husband and already fighting to provide for her two older children, Diana, now 63, decided to put her youngest son, Casey, up for adoption to give him the best life possible.
Desperate to be reunited with her son again, Diana asked her daughter Mimi, who wasn’t aware her brother existed until she was 23, to start looking for him.
After a tireless 17-year search, Mimi finally tracked down her brother after she found his adoptive sister, Marya, on Facebook.
"I was never given a reason for why my mum didn't tell me about Casey. I found out from my ex-sister-in-law and held a grudge for a very long time,” Mimi says.
"I was never really that close with my other siblings, so after I'd found out I had another brother, I just thought that he [Casey] was the one I was meant to be close with – so my goal became to find him.
"Finally, I had a breakthrough a few months ago when someone on Facebook assisted my search with the use of a database, from where I received his name.”
She discovered her brother, Casey Wineland, was adopted by a family who lived more than 800km away and eagerly asked him to meet them for Thanksgiving.
"My mum was so nervous, I had to basically cook the entire meal because she couldn't even hold anything,” Mimi says.
When the big day finally arrived, Casey walked into Diana’s kitchen and the two finally locked into a long overdue embrace. Casey, who was shaking with emotion, also had the chance to meet the rest of his family.
"Diana keeps telling me how thankful she is for what I've done for her, she never imagined how wonderful it would all be.
"Casey even asked her if he could call her mum – she was so excited she cried,” an overjoyed Mimi says.
Finding out that he was adopted at age seven, Casey, a bar manager, tragically lost his adoptive mother to cancer when he was just 18 years old, which sent him into a downward spiral.
The devastated teen turned to alcohol and drugs to deal with his loss but managed to get his life back on track and has now been sober for three years.
"If I met them four years ago, I would've been so ashamed,” Casey says.
"But in the three years since I managed to get clean and sober, I've married a beautiful woman and met my biological family – my heart is full.”
Casey revealed he was overjoyed when reunited with his mother and now hopes to see her regularly. “I was so happy. All the nervousness just went away when I got to hug my mother,” he says.
"While hugging Mimi, I whispered in her ear, 'Good job,’ because without her none of this would've happened.
"I hope to see my biological family as much as possible, my wife and I have invited them to come visit us in Kansas."
Sources: Magazine Features