Unexpected reunion: Long lost family meets for the first time

Before Wednesday, Alicia Bronson didn't know she had 3 siblings. (Photo: WTHR)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - It was a reunion that almost never happened, but a woman who was put up for adoption when she was 10 years old wouldn't give up the search for her family.

Life can change in an instant. No one knows that better than Alicia Bronson, 60.

Before Wednesday, Bronson didn't know she had 2 sisters and a brother she'd never met. 24 hours later, she has a new family.

"I've got sisters, a brother, nephews, aunts and uncles," she said.

They're loved ones Bronson always hoped were out there somewhere.

"I've been looking for a long time and I never gave up," Bronson said.

That all changed last July, when an Indiana law opened up adoption records that had previously been sealed.

Bronson sent her information to see what she could find out about her birth mother.

Last Monday, she learned her mom's name. By Wednesday, she had the names of her siblings, thanks to an online community that helps adopted people search for family members.

When Bronson put one of her sister's name into Facebook, she found out they shared a friend.

"I called that person and said, 'I need you to do me a favor,'" Bronson said.

Not an hour later, Bronson was talking on the phone with her little brother.

"I got on the phone and said, 'I'm Alicia.' and he said, 'Oh my God, that voice,'" Bronson remembered him saying.

"First thing I heard was my mother," said Mario Brown, who said he learned his mother had another child after reading her diary once.

His sisters knew too.

"She said, 'I was 13.' and that was it," Rev. Kimberly Barlow said of her mom who passed away 17 years ago.

"You knew, but it was unspoken," LaTanya Brown said of knowing she had an older sister.

It's not unspoken anymore.

"He called me when he got off the phone with her and said, 'Are you sitting down?'" Barlow said of the conversation she had with her brother.

"I was like, 'What's going on brother?' He said, 'Our sister has found us,'" Barlow said.

That same night, Bronson met her younger siblings in a tearful, joyful reunion.

"She turned around and I was like, 'That's my mother,'" LaTanya Brown said.

Now, this family has a lifetime of catching up to do. They're not wasting any time.

"I got my family I knew I had all along somewhere in life and it's a wonderful feeling," said Bronson, whose younger siblings are still learning about their big sister.

"She can make a mean peach cobbler. We're looking forward to that," said Barlow, laughing.

It's only been 24 hours, but this family says the celebration's just getting started.

"When's the cookout?" we asked.

"Sunday," said Bronson smiling.

"Resurrection reunion. Barlow added. "Hallelujah!"