A reunion more than eight decades in the making brought back together a woman and daughter in the middle of an upstate New York airport.
Lena Pierce, 96, thought back to 1933 when she was 14 and gave birth to a little girl at a hospital in Utica, NY. Her name was Eva May, and six months later her baby girl was gone.
The state took the girl away from Pierce because she was deemed too young to care for a child.
"There was a lot of times I worried about her and wondered where she was," Pierce said.
Eva May grew up an only child on Long Island. Her adoptive parents named her Betty. Her mother died when Betty was 21, and her father died a few years later.
She said she has been on her own since.
"I had imaginary sisters, and I had imaginary brothers, and I had them all named and I would talk to them at night," Betty Morrell said.
Using clues to her past, Morrell began looking online through Ancestry.com.
A call placed to the Utica hospital where she was born led to her birth certificate and her mother's name.
After 50 years of searching, she had found her mother. They were surrounded by family during their emotional meeting at the airport in Binghamton.
"You know, it came through, and she was alive, and my god," Morrell said. "I had been talking to her on the phone, and it was like it's all gone! My life is complete at this point."
They spent the Saturday after their reunion surrounded by family and friends in Hallstead, PA, where Pierce now resides in an assisted-living home.
Both said after Morrell returns to Florida, the relationship would continue.
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