AFTER nearly 60 years Laurel Howard finally got the brother she had always wanted this week.
Mrs Howard, who was adopted out as a baby at just one week old, decided to start trying to find out about her birth family late last year.
After months of trawling online databases, countless phone calls and lots of help from the Toowoomba and Darling Downs Family History Society, Mrs Howard was able to trace both her parents and grandparents through birth, death and engagement notices.
It was while doing this she discovered that she had an older brother William, who lived at the coast.
He knew nothing about her.
"I called him up and asked 'was your mother such and such and your father such and such?' " she said.
"I explained to him I was adopted out and never knew who my mother was but that I had all the certificates and clippings and that he was definitely my brother.
"He admitted he was surprised but excited and wanted to meet me.
"I told him I've always wanted a brother and now I've got one," she said.
The siblings met for the first time earlier this week when William travelled to Toowoomba to visit for the day.
Mrs Howard also saw a photo of her birth mother for the first time.
"He looked nothing like I thought he would," she said.
"When you see them for the first time, you don't know whether to shake hands or hug.
"It was so emotional. We were both a bit teary eyed."
Mrs Howard is still unsure as to why her mother gave her up for adoption.
Both parents are now deceased.
Through her searching and talking to new family members, Mrs Howard has discovered she also has cousins that live nearby.
"They've been all around me and I've never known," she said.
"We came to a lot of dead ends but you've got to be consistent and persistent. You've got to keep going."