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Facebook helps woman find birth mother

Social Media Helps Des Moines Woman Locate Biological Mother


A picture and social media have helped a Des Moines woman find her birth mother, KCCI reports.

It took about three days for Hannah Stouffer to get the name she was looking for. "It's actually happening," Stouffer said. It was the moment Stouffer had waited years for.

"I felt like I was going to throw up, like I wanted to scream," Stouffer said. "It was within three days, 50,000 people." Thousands of people saw the picture and couldn't help but spread the word.

"Within an hour, I had over 1,000 retweets. I have over hundreds of shares on Facebook," Stouffer said. "The next day, it was on KCCI."

It was a simple photo with a huge plea.

"My name is Hannah. I was born April 12, 1995, at Des Moines Hospital, Iowa. My birth mom was 15 years old ... I was adopted through a closed adoption and am trying to find my birth mom. I just want to meet her," Stouffer posted.

"I won't go every day wondering what I look like. I won't go every day wondering where I got my nose from, my eyes from," Stouffer said.

A woman who saw the post three days later thought she knew Stouffer's birth mother.

"I didn't believe it at first, and then she was asking different questions, and then she ... asked her who delivered me, and she told me the name of the doctor," Stouffer said.

There was something else.

"I asked her if she left me anything, and she said, 'Yes, a blanket and an outfit,' and I knew no one else would have known that," Stouffer said.

Stouffer has already talked to her birth mother on the phone, and they've exchanged text messages. Now, 19 years later, she'll once again get to feel her mother's arms around her.

"I want to see her. I want to thank her, hug her, talk to her, her her voice," Stouffer said.

Stouffer will reunite with her mother over the weekend. Her mother also lives in Des Moines.

Stouffer said she doesn't yet know her mother's address, but she's excited to meet her.


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Linda April 20 2014 at 10:49 PM

I'm stunned by some of these heartless comments! Some see this as a mother "dumping" her own daughter as if she was a piece of trash. "Move on, she didn't want you" is a very cruel thing to say without knowing the circumstances! Maybe the bio-mom succumbed to family pressure to give up the baby. Maybe she was not mentally/emotionally/physically fit enough to raise a child. She was 15 and pregnant! What were the odds that she could provide for a baby's needs while she was still just a child herself? She would have to give up her education. Lack of education and poverty go hand in hand. Maybe she realized this and wanted to give her child something better than what she could provide. What a selfless decision to go through 9 months of pregnancy and the pain of labor to bring a baby into the world for someone else to love. Hannah became someone's gift, someone's treasure because the girl that gave birth to her chose to let her go. As long as Hannah realizes that her adoptive parents are her REAL parents and appreciates them for raising her well, why shouldn't she be allowed to know the circustances of her birth? Most people want to know where they come from, what their heritage is, and even what kind of genetic health risks they may be predisposed to. If the girl (now woman) who gave birth to Hannah is willing to meet Hannah and give her the answers that she seeks, then who are we to question? I only hope Hannah treads carefully and doesn't hurt the parents that raised her by calling the bio-mother "Mom". That beautiful word should only be reserved for the woman that raised her with love.

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2 replies
Jayme Linda April 20 2014 at 10:52 PM

You are right. People are way too quick to judge.

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PAM BURKE Linda April 21 2014 at 12:55 AM

WHAT A WONDERFUL REPLY ... THOUGH I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE THAT MORE THAN ONE PERSON CAN BE A MOTHER. CALL ONE "MAMA", CALL ONE "MOTHER", CALL ONE "MOM", JUST LOVE THEM ALL.

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blossom46787 April 20 2014 at 2:14 PM

I say that It shall be a good reunion ..NO mom would leave items with child if she really did not want to keep the child..she left a trail for her..I could picture a 15 year either crying because she was forced to give her up or a very WISE 15 yr old making the best choice for the child:)

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1 reply
Vocem Meam blossom46787 April 20 2014 at 2:19 PM

You call that a trail? More like wanting to leave something with her baby because it was hard to part and she felt guilty to let go. It was her way of showing she cared. Providing a blanket is a show of wanting to take care of the needs and comfort of her baby.

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Midge April 20 2014 at 1:49 PM

lovely story, I'sure the adopted family went along with the search, and I wish them all well

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patsunikbutik April 20 2014 at 1:24 PM

If everything works out as it should, this family will stay together from now on, with both mothers sharing Hannah's love, visits over holidays & good times throughout the years to come.

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marybponder April 20 2014 at 1:22 PM

A lot of these people has so much to say about Hannah searching for her biological mom, you do not know whether her adoptive parent's helped encourage her to look for her biological mom. I think she would have talked to her parent's before she made a big move like that , she has more respect towards her parents than that.Some off you need to keep your big mouths shut, bcuz you don't know & I don't know what the 15yr,old [bio] mom had to go throug & maybe someone else made that decision for her , she was too young to make that decision on her own. So think twice before you start casting stones, My heart goes out to Hannah & her parents. God Bless you all & have a very, very Happy Easter.

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1 reply
mistyrose69misty marybponder April 20 2014 at 1:48 PM

Mary, you are so correct in all that you said. Let me add one more thing. As parents, children are not our property. Instead they are a gift from God above. He loans them to us to watch over and to mentor as they grow. The gift God gives us through children is the opportunity to share with them what we know and believe to be true, and to teach them to live by our example. We do this throughout their young lives until they are old enough to go out on their own. The real reward come when we see our knowledge, experiences, and beliefs shine out through them as they become adults and parent themselves. It is without a doubt that I believe this young woman's adoptive parents are very proud of her right now. They have taught her to love and respect a person she has never me, her birth mother.

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kwhodges April 20 2014 at 2:54 PM

A wonderful ending to a story that people probably didn't think would have a happy ending. The birth mother was an incredibly strong and loving young woman to give her little girl life not once, but twice. I wish Hannah and her birth mom all the best for a great new relationship, and send my heartfelt appreciation to the adoptive parents who raised such a great young lady.

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meg April 20 2014 at 1:08 PM

So Glad you found your mom. Hope it is happy reunion. And you can be in each others life until death passes before one of you.

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danyelle69marks April 20 2014 at 1:05 PM

story with a happy ending.

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Irish April 20 2014 at 12:58 PM

How wonderful! I wish them both 'JOY'. It was a great idea to go onto Facebook. I'll bet there are many other people in the same situation. I wish everyone could re-unite with their birth mothers and their babies that they had to 'give up' because of age or family pride. It's the best Easter gift anyone could receive. Happy Easter

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Pat April 20 2014 at 12:34 PM

I'm a reunited first mother, too. I found my only child in 1999 when he was 30. It's such an amazing experience. Savor every moment.

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