Woman, 82, Finds 96-Year-Old Birth Mother After 50 Years Of Searching

An woman, 82, found her 96-year-old birth mother after an exhaustive search that spanned 50 years.

WJTV 12 reports that Betty Morrell was put up for adoption as a baby in Utica, New York. Morrell’s granddaughter spent the last two decades searching for her biological mother until she succeeded. According to the report, Morrell also formed a close friendship with a sister she never knew she had during the search for her mom.

The 82-year-old woman explains that after her adoptive parents died, that’s when she began looking for her birth mother. Morrell, from Spring Hill, Florida, said that since she’s part of a closed adoption, it was even harder to get information.

Morrell was born Eva May to Lena Pierce. Since Pierce was a 13-year-old ward of the state, social welfare officials took the baby away from her. Eva May was adopted by a family on Long Island and grew up as Betty Morrell. She had no brothers or sisters.

“I grew up a very happy child,” Morrell said. “I was so content in the family I was adopted by.”

The 82-year-old woman shares that she began looking for her birth mother when she was in her 30s. As far as Morrell knew, her mother died during childbirth but eventually discovered that she was still alive.

Morrell’s granddaughter, Kimberly Miccio, began helping with the search when she was 12.

“My grandmother had been looking for a long time,” said Miccio, now 32. “She had never tried through the Internet, so we started going through different sites.”

After 20 long years of searching, a big break came last September when Miccio got in touch with a distant relative of Morrell’s through Ancestry.com. That person connected her with Millie Hawk of Windsor, New York — one of Pierce’s other daughters.

“Kim and I got on the phone and called her,” Morrell said. “I had found my baby sister, who’s 65. We just clicked. It was like we had known each other all our lives.”

Morrell learned from Hawk that she had four sisters and two brothers, and that their mother was still alive. She was living in an assisted living apartment complex in Hallstead, Pennsylvania, which is about 20 miles from Hawk’s residence.

“I rushed to my mother’s house to tell her,” Hawk said. “She just sat down in a chair and cried. She said, ‘My Eva May, they found her?’ It was just so emotional.”

The 82-year-old woman had finally found her 96-year-old birth mother. There was an emotional reunion at the airport when Morrell and her granddaughter met up with Hawk and Pierce.

Hawk described the feeling as giving her goosebumps. She said their mother reached out for Morrell.

“Mother reached for her; Betty said. ‘Mom.’ They hugged and cried,” Hawk said.

Lena Pierce said there “were a few tears and shaking” and that it was a “joy to finally meet up” with her long lost daughter.

“It’s kind of hard when you have a child that you get separated from. I never wanted to give her up,” Pierce said.

Betty Morrell still talks to Pierce, but more so to Hawk by phone and Facebook. The two sisters are planning to see each other in Florida this spring. Due to Pierce’s memory, Morrell has to remind Pierce that she’s her daughter, Eva May.

Morrell encourages other people who’ve been adopted to contact her by Facebook to share their own experiences of searches they’ve conducted in trying to find their birth moms.

“I say absolutely don’t give up. There’s always something that will link it,” she said. “It’s a lot of work. It took me 50 years.”

[Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot]