SPRING HILL (FOX 13) - Spring Hill's Betty Morrell grew up with loving adoptive parents on Long Island in the 1930s. Then in her 20s, after her adoptive parents passed away and she began a search that would last some 50 years.
"I had a very, very happy childhood, with a mother. My name to her was precious," Morrell said.
After the mother she'd always known was gone, she began looking for her birth mother, Lena Pierce.
Betty, who Pierce originally named Eva May, was born when Pierce was 13 years old.
Morrell's search would turn up dead end, after dead end. It wasn't until September, 2015 when she and her granddaughter caught a break.
They'd found her mom, now 96, was living in Pennsylvania.
There was more.
"My granddaughter texted me a picture and I said 'who's this?' She said 'it's your mother and sister.' All my life I wanted a sister and brother," Morrell said.
Turns outs she has four sisters and two brothers.
In January, Morrell met some of her new family in New York, along with her mom. It was their first meeting in 82 years.
"She just broke down and cried and I was just smiling. It was just a happy thing," Morrell said.
"It was amazing, and the people we met - all of her family members were so warm and welcoming - it felt like we belonged there in the first place," said her granddaughter, Kimberly Miccio.
"It was a great experience because finally, I felt complete," Morrell explained.
Betty Morrell said she stays in contact with her mom and sisters. They speak on a nightly basis. The family plans to meet-up in Florida in the spring.