In January 2016, after over 50 years of searching, an 82-year-old woman from Florida finally reunited with the mother she never knew. At last, they have both found the missing piece of the puzzle in their lives!
“All this time, and now I’m finally going to see her again. I would say it’s going to be a beautiful day, when I get to see my daughter,” the then-96-year-old Lena Elizabeth Pierce told WBNG in 2016.
When her daughter Betty Morrell, then 82 years old, arrived at Greater Binghamton Airport on that special day, Jan. 15, 2016, to meet her long-lost mother, Pierce, it was a surreal experience for both of them. The mother and daughter embraced each other tightly with delight after their 82-year-long separation.
"It was like the beginning of my life… It's the best thing that's happened to me." The beautiful moment a mother who…
“There was a lot of times I worried about her and wondered where she was,” said Pierce. “She was growing up and I was growing old.”
Back in 1933, at the age of just 14, Pierce gave birth to Morrell—or Eva May, as she was called at birth—at a hospital in Utica. Her mother bathed her, and took care of her for six months before Pierce was forced to give up her beloved baby, because the state deemed the mother too young to care for the child.
Subsequently, Eva May was adopted by a family in Long Island, and her name was changed to Betty Morrell.
Morrell was informed by a neighbor’s kid that she was an adopted child, but this shocking news was denied by her adoptive parents when she questioned them about it. They said her real parents had passed away.
Doubtful and curious about her biological parents, Morrell began searching for that missing link, after her adopted parents passed away when she was in her twenties.
One day, her aunt disclosed to her an important clue.
“My aunt of mine one day slipped and said my name was Eva and you were born in Utica,” Morrell recalled.
A New York mother and daughter have been reunited after — wait for it — 82 years apart: http://bit.ly/1SveRji
Morrell then contacted every hospital in Utica’s birth records from Feb. 11, 1933, and found her birth certificate. However, her search was met with a roadblock, as her adoption case was closed and confidential.
“I hired private detectives, called adoption agencies and wrote letters to anyone that might have been able to help me,” Morrell told PEOPLE.
“I believe in fate though, and I think we were meant to meet, when we were meant to meet,” she added.
Just when Morrell had given up hope, her granddaughter, Kimberly Miccio, joined in the quest to find what would be her great-grandmother, and helped Morrell to register her records on Ancestry.com from the time she was 12 years old.
“She wasn’t very Internet savvy, so I thought that would be a good place to start,” Miccio, now 32, told TODAY.com.
The turning point came 20 years later in September 2015, when Miccio was referred to one of Pierce’s daughters, Millie Hawk, through ancestry.com, and was surprised to learn that Morrell’s biological mother was still alive.
Both Morrell and Pierce were emotional when they learned the long-awaited news.
Pierce broke down in tears upon hearing that Eva May had been found. “She was crying so much she couldn’t even go to play bingo,” recalled Hawk.
Later, Morrell phoned her half sister Hawk, and for the first time in 82 years spoke with her mother on the phone. She felt a connection instantly.
“Being a mother myself, I would wonder what happened to this child. I just wanted to tell them that I had two children and was happily married,” said Morrell.
Her persistence paid off. After searching for five decades, Morrell finally reunited with her mother. She has now found her real family, and having grown up as an only child, her dream of having sisters and brothers has now come true. Pierce, who had been married twice, had gone on to have seven more children after giving birth to Morrell.
“I had imaginary sisters, and I had imaginary brothers. And I had them all named, and I would talk to them at night,” said Morrell.
“I’m not alone anymore. I have my mother, and I have sisters and brothers. It’s surreal, but so wonderful to be together again after all this time,” she said.
After 82 years of wondering, Jan. 15, 2016, was like a new beginning for Morrell and Pierce. They found that missing puzzle in their lives.
“My life is complete at this point,” said a blissful Morrell.
“A long years have gone by. We will catch up,” Pierce told Morrell, holding her hands.
Sadly, nine months after the reunion on Oct. 22, 2016, Pierce passed away at the age of 97.
Rest in peace, Lena Elizabeth Pierce.
Watch the video:
MUST WATCH: This story of a mother and daughter touched me and I wanted to share it again. It was a reunion, 82 years in the making. Lena Pierce is 96 years old. When she was 14 years old she gave birth to Eva May. Six months later, her baby girl was gone because the state told her she wasn't old enough to have a baby. But look at the reunion Kristina Behr was there to see.
Posted by Tamsen Fadal on Tuesday, February 2, 2016