It's a meeting that was 60 years in the making.
When US Marine veteran Dennis Fay walked into the airport, he knew that was taking a step back in time. Within moments, he was face-to-face with Michael Reed, a son he fathered 60 years earlier.
A son he never knew he had...
When Dennis Fay was 17 years old, he lied.
Like many young men in 1954, Dennis wanted to do his part during the Korean War. The only problem was, he was too young to enlist. So, he lied about his age and joined the Marines at 17-years-old.
After 13 months of combat and a few years of service, Fay returned to South Carolina. He tells the Deseret News that at the time he would cruise the streets of Long Beach in his 1950 customized Chevy Club Coupe, hanging out at drive-ins and picking up girls.
Referring to Reed's mother, he says: "She happened to be one of the carhops," Fay said. "If you dated a carhop back in those days, you were pretty macho because they had their pick of men, and I dated her."
According to Fay, their relationship was brief and he had no idea she was pregnant. After quitting her job at the drive-in, she moved away and gave up their baby - Michael Reed.
Michael Reed's parents told him that he was adopted when he was 10 years old. He started looking for his biological father when he was 12-years old and he had been searching ever since.
Before his parents passed away 25 years ago, they gave him the adoption papers to help him on his search. In the meantime, he met his wife Susan, raised two children and served 11 years in the Navy.
Reed took a DNA test, which led him to Dennis Fay's cousin. After some consideration, Reed made the decision to reach out to his dad. "I really prayed about it," Reed said. "I didn't want to hurt his feelings or interject myself or really do any harm at all to the Fay family."
Family At Last
Dennis Fay settled down with his wife Patsy about a year after he parted ways with Reed's mother. The couple were married for 56 years and raised nine children - one of whom is a son also named Michael.
Fay and some of his children met Reed at the airport with banners and balloons, but they weren't expecting the to be moved to tears. Reed especially was touched by the sight - he was raised as an only child and his dreams of being part of a big family have finally come true!
"The father quest is all over myth and legend and stories from 'Star Wars' to ancient mythology, and my quest is over," he said. "As an only child, I always wanted a brother or sister. Now I have nine," Reed said.
"This is probably the most important day of my life, to meet him," said Dennis Fay. "I'm proud of him. There's not many people that would go through what he went through to find me."
Although they've got a lot of catching up to do, they couldn't be a more loving or accepting family!
[h/t Deseret News]