Fire Captain Meets Birth Mother For First Time Since He Was Born

John Riley, a fire captain from Southern California, didn’t know that he was adopted until his wife found the secret in the pages of an old family album. Then it took him a full decade to find his birth mother, Amber.

Their reunion was recorded by ABC7 Eyewitness News, and their first embrace was captured on camera. The joy they were feeling at their reunion was evident on both their faces. When asked what was in her heart as they embraced, Amber told reporters, “It’s full of this incredibleness. It’s been a long time. It’s been a long, long time. We’ve looked for a long, long time and it’s finally here. It’s amazing. It’s AMAZING. Look at these beautiful girls,” she added, gesturing at Riley’s two daughters.

The words Riley used to describe the reunion were “overwhelming” and “awesome.”

“You’ve grown up to be an amazing man,” said Amber to her long-lost son. “I’m so proud of you. A fire captain! God, that’s amazing.”

Get the whole story on ABC7 Eyewitness News. 

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Rachel Skousen

Rachel has a long-held passion for adoption that was sealed through her work as the content manager at She currently works as a content specialist at, finding and sharing amazing adoption content from across the web. She is a mom of three and loves reading and napping in her spare time.

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