Desperate Woman Adopts Boy Who Turns Out to Be Her Son She Lost 10 Years Ago — Story of the Day

Ten years after her young son was stolen from a park, a woman adopts an abandoned boy who reminds her of him, only to be faced with a terrible realization.

It only took seconds for Gail Sommers’ life to fall apart, she later realized. Gail had turned away to take a pack of juice out of her backpack for her son, and in those fateful seconds, someone stole him.

Gail screamed, ran around the park, calling for Brian, but he was gone. The other mothers had joined the search and so had the police, but Brian was gone, vanished without a trace. But despite it all, Gail never gave up hope.

Gail believed her little boy was alive, and that she would find him somehow, but her husband thought that she had become obsessed with an impossibility. Their once loving marriage fell apart and they divorced.

For the next ten years, Gail continued the search. She worked with associations that tracked down missing children, hired detectives, and haunted the police officers who had been in charge of her son’s case.

The years went by, and there was still no sign of Brian. One day, she was at a shelter for abandoned children when one of the therapists said to her, “Why don’t you give your love to a child who needs it until you find Brian?”

Gail thought about that a lot, and she started to look at the children with fresh eyes. There was one boy in particular who attracted her. His name was Tommy and he was 12, but small for his age and very quiet. He didn’t play with the other children, he just huddled in the corner and drew pictures.

Gail walked up to him and asked gently, “Could I look at your beautiful picture?” 

The boy nodded and handed it to Gail. The picture showed a woman with a lovely glowing smile and outstretched hands. “Who’s this?” asked Gail.

“That’s my happy mommy,” said Tommy. “Once my mom was happy, but then one day she became very angry. I like to remember her happy face.”

“I’m sorry, Tommy,” said Gail gently. “Where is your mom now?”

Tommy shrugged and turned his face away to hide his tears. “She sent me away. She drank a lot, you know.” On impulse, Gail put her arms around Tommy, and to her surprise, he hugged her back, and she felt his tears against her cheek.

Later the therapist told her it was the first time he’d seen Tommy connect with anyone. That night, Gail didn’t sleep, and the next day she started the process to become a foster mother.

The day that Tommy finally came home to Gail was the happiest in both their lonely lives. It wasn’t easy at first, because Tommy had a lot of fears and had been badly mistreated, but Gail’s loving patience got him through it.

Tommy became a more outgoing, happy boy, even though Gail noticed that he devolved to baby talk when he talked about his ‘happy mommy’ days.

One day Tommy was drawing and Gail heard him humming. She’d never heard Tommy sing or hum before, so she stopped and listened. Gail was stunned! She knew that song! It was a lullaby that her mother had made up for her, and which she’d sung to Brian.

How could Tommy possibly know this lullaby? “Tommy, honey,” she asked as casually as she could. “What’s that pretty song you’re singing?”

Tommy looked up at her and smiled. “That’s the song ‘happy mommy’ always sang to me. It makes me smile.” Gail stared at Tommy. He had dark hair and dark eyes just like Brian, but so did thousands of other boys.

“I’m imagining things…” Gail thought to herself, but she went out and got herself a DNA kit, and swabbed Tommy’s cheek. “Hun, I just want to see if that nasty flu germ is gone!” she said with a smile.

Then she waited for the comparison test, and when it arrived, it brought Gail to her knees. Tommy was her son! Tommy was Brian! Some twist of fate had brought her boy back to her after years of suffering.

That night, Gail asked Tommy if he remembered where ‘angry mommy’ lived. Tommy did, and even though he was reluctant, Gail convinced him to lead her there. 

Gail stood in front of that door with Tommy by the hand and felt her anger grow. She knocked on the door, and before long a woman in a dirty robe opened it. “What do you want?” the woman asked, then she saw Tommy.

“What is this?” the woman cried, backing away, “How did…”

“You took my son, you monster!” cried Gail. “You took my beautiful happy little bit and you abused him, and then you threw him away! Now I want you to tell him the truth!”

The woman was sobbing. “It’s true, Tommy. My son died in a car accident because I was drunk, and I had to have him back, so I took you. This woman is your real mother.”

Tommy turned to Gail. “You are ‘happy mommy’?” he asked.

“Yes,” said Gail. “Yes, Tommy, today I’m a very happy mommy!” Then she called the police and had the woman arrested for kidnapping and child endangerment.

The woman was convicted, and condemned to ten years in prison. Tommy spoke up for her and asked that she be treated for her alcohol addiction. Gail was stunned by her son’s compassion and maturity.

Thanks to Tommy and Gail’s continued support, the woman who had brought them both such misery entered rehab in prison and recovered. When she was released, she joined Gail in her work with abandoned children.

Gail still called Brian Tommy, since it was the name he’d been used to for the last ten years, but she knew her boy was back in her arms, safe and sound. 

What can we learn from this story?

  • Never give up hope, because sometimes miracles happen. Gail spent ten years looking for her son, and fate brought him back into her life.
  • Sometimes a happy memory can sustain us in the darkest hours. Tommy never forgot the song that his ‘happy mommy’ sang and it ended up leading him home. 

Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them. 

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a man who lies about his fertility problems for years until his son shows up.

This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to

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