Woman meets brother given up for adoption nearly 80 years ago

Woman meets brother given up for adoption nearly 80 years ago
Betty Housseal, 87, never got to know her brother, who was put up for adoption at just 3 months old. She was always curious to meet him but unsure if he felt the same way. (Brianna Nelson/WPMT/CNN)

YORK, PA (WPMT/CNN) - A family reunion took decades to occur, but social media helped a Pennsylvania woman meet the brother she hadn’t seen in more than 70 years.

Betty Housseal, 87, never got to know her brother, who was put up for adoption at just 3 months old.

She was always curious to meet him but unsure if he felt the same way.

"I didn't know whether he knew all about the family or whether he would accept, you know?" Housseal said.

That all changed a few weeks ago, when her great granddaughter Brianna Nelson decided to dig a little deeper.

"I said, 'Oh, I'm going to look him up.' And she's goes, 'Oh, don't bother him,'" Nelson said. "I said, 'Well, I'll at least just find out, even if that means we find out even if he's still living.'"

Without anyone knowing, she went onto Facebook asking for help. Dozens of people responding with helpful clues, leading her to him.

"I figured even if they only have months, couple years, whatever, to finally get to be a big sister for a while, I knew that would be really rewarding for her," Nelson said.

She broke the news to her great grandmother.

"So I went, 'Oh my gosh, he wants to meet you,'" Nelson said. "And she just lost it."

Betty Housseal, 87, never got to know her brother, who was put up for adoption at just 3 months old. She was always curious to meet him but unsure if he felt the same way.
Betty Housseal, 87, never got to know her brother, who was put up for adoption at just 3 months old. She was always curious to meet him but unsure if he felt the same way. (Brianna Nelson/WPMT/CNN)

The day she'd been dreaming of for years was finally a reality at a diner Saturday. She shared a warm embrace with her long-lost brother and got to talk with him.

She says she feels like that missing puzzle piece is now in place.

"Now if I go, I know I am all right," Housseal said.

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