Facebook reunites mother with daughter after 63 years

This is a story of a family reunion that happened thanks to Facebook: an 80-year-old mother has been reunited with the daughter she had to give up at birth when she was just 17-years-old.

80-year-old Helen Torres had to give up her first-born daughter for adoption when she was just 17-year-old: in 1948. Now, 63 year later, the California mother is telling an amazing story about her reunion with her daughter, Christina.

Helen eventually got married and raised five children (one has since passed away), but she had to give up Christina at birth to a couple that had the means to take care of the baby. She kept up with her first-born daughter from a distance until she was about 12, then lost track. Nevertheless, she always made a point to take a pause on March 8 to silently celebrate Christina's birthday.

Helen's youngest child, Deneen Torres, took up the cause of trying to find her long-lost sister through public records using a birth certificate and a marriage license. She made no progress for years, until she finally created a Facebook Page with her sister's personal details, titled: "SEARCHING FOR MY SISTER, MARY CHRISTINE BUSTAMANTE (GRAY) DOB 3/8/1948."

She posted it at the end of January 2011 with the following description:

My sister's name is Mary Christine Bustamante. She was born 3/8/1948 in Los Angeles, CA and adopted by Ralph and Anna Bustamante at birth, lived on Eddystone St in Whittier, CA as a child. Married James Woodrow Gray on Nov. 12, 1966 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Whittier. Separated in the 1970's. Her best friend growing up was Barbara Morasky of Pico Rivera, CA. Does anyone know where she is? Her birth family has been searching for her for over 30 yrs and have had no luck. If you know her, could you please tell her that her birth family is searching for her or let her birth family know where she is. This picture is the only one we have of her. She is 62 yrs. old now.

In April 2011, the search finally resulted in a phone call between Chris Gray and Deneen Torres, who realized she had finally found her sister. Gray had never been told by the couple that raised her that she was adopted, and with them deceased, thought she was alone in the world. She visited her long-lost family in June, finally getting to meet her mother, Helen.

"She just stared at me and I hugged her," Helen said according to News10. "And then she hugged me. She didn't realize I was her mother. And then she called me mom. And I said 'oh my God, she called me mom.'"

Since she never knew she was adopted, Christina is understandably having a hard time getting used to the idea of having another mother plus four siblings as well as almost a dozen nieces and nephews. She is moving to Yuba City next month to live with her mother's family she never knew she had.