Being a teenage mom can be a scary experience, fraught with struggles and mixed emotions like fear, shame, and love. It’s 2016, and there is still a stigma attached to having a child as a young, unwed mom. Decades ago, when being a young mother was very, very taboo, sometimes the government would intervene.

When a child was having a child, the state would make decisions and judgements as to the parenting abilities of teenage moms. Depending on the circumstances, they would remove the baby from the care of his or her young mother. This is what happened to Lena Pierce in 1933, when she gave birth to a daughter at the age of 14.

Born at a hospital in Utica, NY, Eva May was cared for by her mom Lena for six months until the state of New York stepped in. They decided that Lena was too young, and therefore unfit to be a good mom. They took Eva May away and put her up for adoption. Lena would go on to have more children, but the sting of losing of Eva May still haunted her.

Picture of adoptive mother and daughter.Inside Edition
She never lost her love for her daughter, however, and often thought about her over the years. Meanwhile, Eva May, whose name was changed to Betty Morrell by her adoptive parents, was being raised in Long Island, NY. Betty grew up an only child in a loving home, but both parents passed when she was in her twenties.

Betty recounted how as a child, she pretended to have imaginary brothers and sisters who had names and played with her. After the deaths of her parents, she felt alone. She decided to launch a search for her birth mother after an aunt revealed that she was born in Utica as a baby named Eva. For fifty years she looked for her, and was finally able to track down hospital records including a birth certificate.

Betty also found a half-sister and learned that her mother, Lena, was still alive. After all this time, she finally found her! At age 96, Lena Pierce still clung to the memory of her daughter Eva, and the two women began communicating.

Mom and daughter embracing for first time.Inside Edition
At last, fifty years of searching and eighty-two years of separation brought mom and daughter together again. With a long embrace and kisses on the cheek, their reunion at a New York airport was filled with tears and a sense of wholeness. Betty met a few of her siblings, and was surrounded by other family members eager to share pictures and love with her.

Gone are the days where she would feel incomplete, because now she would know siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins and other family. It’s a beautiful thing to watch the happy end to Betty’s half-century search unfold, and for Lena to finally find out what became of her firstborn daughter. Words probably can’t describe what it meant to be reunited with a child that was taken so long ago. What do you think of this reunion story? Could you spend that many years searching? Share with us in the comments!

Source: Little Things