The Internet makes our lives easier in a lot of ways. Specifically, if you've lost touch with someone for a few years, having the world wide web at your fingertips, can make your search go a lot more smoothly. But what if you have not seen someone for sixty-five years? That was the case for Betty Billadeau and her brother Clifford Boyson, who were put into two separate Chicago foster homes as children in 1948. Clifford and Betty were able to speak to each other for the first time in more than 6 decades via video chat. "How long have you been looking for me?" Boyson responds, "a long, long, long time." Billadeau told a local TV reporter Anne Allred that she knew he was there, but not where he was at, and that not knowing exactly where her brother was had left a hole in her heart.
Perhaps even more surprising that the reunion itself is who orchestrated it. "That's the little munchkin. He's the one who found ya," Boyson says to Billadeau during the chat, referencing Eddie Hanzlin, an 8-year-old neighbor of Boyson's. Eddie got online, and it only took him a week to find Boyson's sister. Eddie's parents are friends of Clifford, and the man asked the little boy to look online to see if he could find his sister. Eddie ultimately found her on Facebook, and he did it by using her maiden name, "Boyson."
Betty is still blown away by the fact that a child helped bring she and her brother together again, calling it "mind boggling." She says that once they're able to meet in person, she will give Clifford the one thing she has not been able to give him in all these years, a hug from his big sister.
And it looks as if that face-to-face reunion is just days away. Boyson lives in Davenport, Iowa and Billadeau is in Florissant, Missouri. Billadeau plans to drive to Davenport this weekend to see her brother, and give him the first hug he's received from his big sister since they were kids.