EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Six decades after she was given up for adoption, a woman from western Wisconsin was able to meet her birth mom. Thanks to years of searching and a little help from the internet, the pair were finally reunited this fall.
A mom and daughter originally from Germany have been searching for each other for more than 60 years. Last month, the pair connected and a woman from Rice Lake took the trip of a lifetime to finally meet her mom.
Laura Brunette was adopted by an American military family in Germany when she was just a few weeks old. "I had a good life with my parents and stuff but whether it's good or bad you just always want to know,” Brunette said.
She moved all over the U.S. and ended up settling down in Rice Lake, but she felt like her life was still not complete. "I think every adopted child or adult, they look in the mirror all the time, I would look in the mirror and who am I? Because I knew I didn't look like them,” Brunette added.
At age 30, her dad gave her the adoption papers and her search was officially underway. "Then I was trying to find her but we didn't have the internet, we didn't have ancestry, we didn't have all of that, I had people in Germany looking,” Brunette said. She wanted to give up so many times but about a year ago, she had a breakthrough.
"I googled her name, and a face popped up and I showed my family and I said that's my mom,” she said. Months later, Laura’s daughter submitted her DNA on ancestry.com and that picture on google was in fact her mom. "My daughter called me and said, mom I found her and it is that woman you said."
So Laura found her mom's phone number who now lives in Florida and picked up the phone and called her. "I told her my name Laura Brunette and then I gave her my birth name Barbara Husack." And on the other end of the phone, "The most loving mother's voice, "She's my beautiful Barbara."
And just like that, Laura's look in the mirror had shifted. "When I got off the phone with her that Sunday for the first time in my life I walked into the bathroom, I looked in the bathroom mirror and I knew who I was,” Brunette said.
Laura's mom had married and moved to Florida so Laura and her daughter hopped on a plane for the long awaited reunion. "Been on a lot of vacations but this was the trip of a life time,” Brunette added.
The two instantly bonded after being separated for more than 60 years. "With the love she has shown, it's as if we've never been apart,” she said.
And in that one moment, with that one hug, her dream had become reality. "I couldn't have asked for a better ending to the story,” Brunette said.
Laura is planning another trip in February to meet her two half-sisters along with bringing her children and grandchildren for one big family reunion.