(CNN) — Some adopted children spend years looking for their birth parents.
It took Betty Morrell decades — five, to be exact. But she was recently reunited with the woman who gave birth to her 82 years ago, according to CNN affiliate WBNG.
The mother and daughter met for the first time in more than eight decades last month in the lobby of the Greater Binghamton Airport in Binghamton, New York.
“It seems like it’s unbelievable,” Morrell’s birth mother, Lena Pierce, told WBNG.
Pierce was forced to give up her 6-month-old in 1933 after state officials concluded she was too young to raise the child, according to another of Pierce’s daughters, Millie Hawk.
She was 14 at the time.
She went on to marry twice and have seven children, but the baby she gave up as a young teenager was never far from mind, she told WBNG.
“There was a lot of times I worried about her and wondered where she was,” Pierce said.
Morrell, whose adoptive parents died when she was in her 20s, was raised an only child in Long Island, New York.
“I had imaginary sisters, and I had imaginary brothers,” Morrell said. “And I had them all named, and I would talk to them at night.”
Morrell found Pierce after an aunt revealed her birth name — Eva — and birthplace — Utica, New York.
A birth certificate from the hospital and research on a genealogical website led her to one of Pierce’s daughters and finally their January reunion.
“I’m not alone anymore,” Morrell told WBNG. “I have my mother, and I have sisters and brothers. It’s surreal but so wonderful to be together again after all this time.”