(INDIANAPOLIS) — It all started with a simple Facebook post: “My name is Elizabeth Boys aka Betsy. I was born at St. Francis Hospital in Beech Grove, IN on May 29th, 1984. I am searching for my biological mother.”
Thirty-six hours later, Boys had Facebook messages from her biological brother, a cousin and an aunt. She was stunned.
Boys, 29, is the mother of a 2-year-old and lives in Indianapolis. She owns a housecleaning service called Maid in Indy.
“I’ve always known that I was adopted,” Boys told ABC News. “That was never, ever a secret.”
She was adopted when she was a day old by loving parents who were high school sweethearts and whose first date was a Beatles concert. They have been married for 42 years.
Boys’ sister, who is two years older, was also adopted at a few days old and successfully tracked down her birth family two years ago.
“It inspired me,” Boys said. “I’ve always wanted to find her [biological mother], but I had an awesome childhood so I was a little hesitant. I didn’t want to juggle things up. There was a little part of me that was scared of the result.”
When Boys recently saw a story similar to hers on a national news show, she found herself crying and knew it was time.
“All of a sudden [I realized], I’m going to use Facebook. I guarantee I can find her through Facebook,” she said.
Her parents were fully supportive and her dad even told her he’d want to do the same thing if he were adopted.
Then she got a clue from her mother that proved to be key to the search. The adoption was closed on both sides, but her mother had seen Boys’ biological mother’s last name on a form where it wasn’t entirely whited out. It was Woods.
Boys created a Facebook page called “Betsy’s biological Journey” and kept her bio simple with her name, birthdate and the hospital where she was born. She invited all her friends to see and share the page.
“Before I knew it, I had 300 likes on the page and people posting left and right, saying good luck and we’re here for you,” Boys said. “I was like, ‘Wow, this could really happen.'”
The next day, she was receiving messages from across the country and around the world. The page now has nearly 6,000 likes and Boys hopes to continue using it to help others find their families.
Boys posted her information on Facebook at 2 p.m. last Wednesday and by Friday at 2 a.m., she had messages from her biological brother, a cousin and an aunt.
“I found her within 36 hours,” she said of her biological mother. She soon found out that she has a large family. Her biological mother is the youngest of six.
Boys told her brother to call her right away and when he did they confirmed that they had found each other. They talked for two hours on the phone and agreed to meet.
By Sunday, she was standing outside a door waiting to meet her brother, Toby Hardy.
“I can’t even explain it. I wasn’t nervous at all. I was just so excited,” she said. “When he opened the door, I just froze not because I was nervous, but because I was like, ‘Lord, this is really real.’ It was like I was looking at myself because he looks just like me.”
Hardy grew up as an only child raised by his father and step-mother. He had intermittent contact with their birth mother throughout his life.
“I had no idea,” Hardy said of his sibling. “Nobody had ever told me anything. I was excited because I always wanted a little sister.”
He was just as amazed as Boys when he saw her for the first time.
“I could really see some of my facial expressions, we looked a lot alike and she sounded like the girls from the family,” he said. “And she laughed like her mom.”
“It’s really something that I never even thought could happen,” Hardy said. “It just happened. It was crazy.”
Boys discovered that after so many years her brother lived right around the corner from her son’s father and goes to the same barbershop as her boyfriend.
She has met cousins and other relatives, but has not yet met her birth mother. Her birth mother is ill, so Boys is giving her time to “take all of this in.”
But she knows that her birth mother knows about her. Boys’ cousin told her biological mother that the daughter she gave up was going to be on the local news.
She had a “smile ear to ear and tears started rolling down her face” when she saw Boys on TV, her cousin told her.
Boys has asked her mom to come with her to meet her biological mother, which she hopes will happen in the next week.
“They’re just shocked,” she said of her parents. “For them, they’re just so happy that I’m finding out this biological health history. They’re blown away.”
Boys is excited to incorporate her new family into the beloved family she has grown up with.
“Thanksgiving is going to be awesome,” Boys said with a laugh.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Aaron Smith and Evan Perez, CNM
Kathryn Vasel, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN