ALBANY, N.Y. — After 50 years of searching, and with a lot of help from her granddaughter, Betty Morrell has finally met her 96-year-old birth mother.

She also has forged a close friendship with a sister she never knew she had.

Morrell, of Spring Hill, Florida, flew to Binghamton, New York, last month to meet Lena Pierce, who as a 13-year-old mother was forced to relinquish her baby girl for adoption in 1933.

Pierce, now living in Hallstead, Pennsylvania, says it was a joy to meet the child she had called Eva May after all these years.

Morrell also met her 65-year-old sister, Minnie Hawk, who lives near Binghamton. She says the two immediately clicked.

Morrell credits her granddaughter Kimberly Miccio’s dogged persistence via the Internet for connecting her with her birth family.