As obnoxious as social networks can be sometimes, it’s hard to deny that they often play a role in the greater good. To wit, one woman was able to reconnect with her long lost brother using Facebook by posting a photo of herself and encouraging shares.
It went viral, and she was able to find her brother in less than a week.
Julia Mauer hadn’t seen her brother since the two were kids over 12 years ago. The two grew up with parents who were drug users and were subjected to constant physical and verbal abuse, reports ABC.
Eventually, Child Protection Services intervened. Julia and her brother, Isaiah Luke, were separated.
Mauer decided to post a photo of herself to Facebook Tuesday night with a simple message: “Help me find my baby brother!”
By Wednesday morning, the post had been shared 2,000 times. By Wednesday night, she finally found him.
“He accepted my friend request on Facebook and I’ve been stalking him,” Mauer said of re-connecting with Isaiah. “He’s so handsome and he’s so tall.”
The thing she remembered most about him was his blue eyes. “I miss seeing those eyes,” she said.
They haven’t met in person yet, but amazingly, they’re not that far apart. Mauer lives in Lochbuie, Colorado while Isaiah lives in Aurora, just 30 miles away.
“I’ve never felt this happy, this sort of fulfillment, and closure of the past in my entire life,” Mauer, 34, said in tears. “It’s tears of joy. It’s also a new beginning. I have part of my family back, I have part of myself back.”
“It’s really possible, nothing is off forever,” she continued, “if you can’t go a day without thinking of somebody, it’s proof they should be in their life.”
She’s hoping to meet up with Isaiah, 19, soon. She also hopes that her story will inspire others in search of lost relatives to never give up.
“Facebook can be a way for a lot of people to find who they’re looking for,” she said.
Here’s Julia Mauer’s full Facebook post: