LENA PIERCE (96) was only 13 years old when she gave birth to Eva May in a New York hospital on 11th February 1933. Pierce was a ward of the state, and her child was taken away from her at six months old. Eva May was adopted and lived in Long Island as Betty Morrell.
Unaware that she was adopted, when a neighbourhood child told her, she immediately confronted her adopted mother who confirmed that she was adopted but said that her birth mother had died.
It wasn’t until after the death of her adopted mother that Morrell received hints about the missing links to her past. She found out that the name given to her at birth was Eva May and that she was born in Utica hospital. This drove Morrell to unravel the secrets of her mother.
She tirelessly searched all the birth records of Utica hospitals until she received confirmation of her birth as Eva May. However, she began to face obstacles when searching adoption agencies as she had been subject to a closed adoption.
Accepting defeat, Morrell put her mission aside and concentrated on bringing up her family in Long Island. Morrell often discussed how desperate she was to find her mother. One of her grandchildren, Kimberley Miccio, then became interested in helping.
The breakthrough came when Miccio was able to trace one of Pierce’s daughters through Ancestry.com. Hoping to find siiblings of her grandmother, Miccio was surprised to discover that her great-grandmother was still alive.
Then the emotional reunion took place. The relationship between mother and daughter remains steadfast and although, due to her age, Pierce may need to be reminded during her conversations, for 82 years, she always remembered “my Eva May”.