Sisters, 68 and 75, Meet for First Time

Judy Bottomley hunted for birth family for decades
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2013 12:38 PM CST

Rita Betush was just 10 years old when she found out she had an older sister who had been given up for adoption as a baby—in 1939. Yesterday, they met for the first time, a heartwarming story described in the Arizona Republic. Judy Bottomley grew up knowing she was adopted, but despite being curious about her biological family, she waited until her adoptive mother died in 1987 to start looking for them. “When I was a young girl, I used to dream" about finding her birth family, says Bottomley. “I was looking at people on the street and wondering if any of these people was my mother. That’s how bad I wanted to know.”

Tough privacy laws concerning adoption and the long time period made the search extra difficult. But last year, a social worker was looking at Bottomley's case again when she noticed Rita's married name, Betush, in their mother's obituary. With a bit of research, she was able to track down Rita, and by October the agency was able to put the two women in touch with each other. Rita is 68 now, and Judy is 75. "It felt like all the time I was looking and wondering where she was," says Betush. "I wondered if she was still alive and if she knew about us.” (More long lost relatives stories.)

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