Facebook Reunites PA Mother and Daughter After 44 Years

This is why the Reddit people thought they could solve the Boston bombings: It took Facebook two days to reunite Cyndi Lane and her mother, Audrey Gilligan, 44 years after they separated—despite the fact the duo had both spent years combing through files and hiring investigators who failed to make the reunion happen.

The Daily Beast reports on Lane’s search for her birth mother: “For eight years, Lane hired multiple private investigators, poured through microfilm hospital records, and filed requests of New York’s state adoption agencies. “It was one dead end after another,” she says. Despite this, the search consumed her, and she pressed on.”

The breakthrough happened in mid-March, when she set up a “Are you Cyndi’s mother?” page on Facebook. Withinn 48 hours, the page had been shared 1,100 times—generating information that lead Lane to call Gilligan. A DNA test later confirmed the two are mother and daughter.

Mother and daughter met for the first time in Bradford, Pennsylvania, the small town where Gilligan lives, during a weekend in mid-April. They spent the visit meeting relatives—one who drove 10 hours from Michigan—and catching up on 44 years of lost time. “By Saturday morning you would think we knew each other our whole lives,” Lane says. An unsuspecting waitress at breakfast that morning asked how everyone was doing and found herself regaled with the incredible tale. After the local paper featured them in Sunday’s edition, their reunion was talk of the town. People were coming up to offer congratulations and beaming at them on the street.

Lane lives in Kintnersville, Pennsylvania, and the two plan to spend more time together. But the story isn’t completely happy: The Daily Beast reports that Lane’s adoptive family now apparently refuses to speak to her.