Pa. woman meets adopted brother for first time in over 70 years

YORK, Pa. — Social media helped a Pennsylvania woman meet her brother who she hadn't seen in more than 70 years.

Betty Housseal, 87, of York County never got to know her brother. He 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 want to push it," Housseal told WPMT, "because I didn't know whether he knew all about the family or whether he would accept, you know."


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 goes, 'Oh, don't bother him' and I said, 'Well, I'll at least just find out even if that means we find out even if he's still living,'" said Nelson.

Without anyone knowing, she went onto Facebook asking for help. "He was adopted as a young boy, so she is hesitant that he won't want to meet her. I'm trying to get in touch with him. I believe he is around his late 70s," said Nelson as she read the post.

Dozens of people responded with helpful clues, which led Nelson 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," said Nelson.

That's when she broke the news to her great-grandmother. "So I went, 'Oh my gosh, he wants to meet you!' and she just lost it," said Nelson.

"I was worried because because I've got a pacemaker and I thought, 'Is this thing going to be OK if I see him?' Because I didn't know whether I would clunk out or what," said Housseal.

The day she'd been dreaming of for years finally became a reality. Housseal says she feels like that missing puzzle piece is now in place. "Now if I go, I know I am all right," she said.