reunion

Father's Day surprise: See dad, daughter's tearful reunion after 50 years

June 12, 2014 at 11:14 AM ET

Video: After decades of trying to find her father, Barb Stewart reunites with her dad in a tearful meeting in Studio 1A. Kyle Michael Miller reports.

At just 3 months old, Barb Stewart lost her biological mom to rheumatic fever. Before she died, Stewart's mother and father, Fred Herman, vowed they'd give their daughter a normal life with two loving parents —which meant giving her up for adoption to an aunt and uncle who raised her as their own. 

"I had a really good childhood," Stewart, 59, told TODAY. 

Barb Stewart
Barb Stewart
Barb Stewart and her 22-year-old daughter Natalie.
Barb Stewart
Barb Stewart
Barb Stewart's natural parents Fred and Helen Herman.

The Illinois mother of four found out she was adopted at age 6, and has wanted to track down her biological family ever since. While she did see her father once at the age of 10 at a family gathering, she wasn't able to stay in touch with him, or meet the rest of her relatives.

WATCH: Father, daughter reunite after 50 years

"It was something that was on the back-burner emotionally," Stewart said. "I did always wonder who they were and if they knew about me." 

She looked for her family off and on over the new years but never got anywhere. She had old photos of her late mother, and knew that her father had remarried and had two other children. 

One night, Stewart turned to Facebook and stumbled upon Josephine Herman, her father's second wife. Stewart sent her a short message and by clicking through her page, she discovered her half-brother and half-sister. 

"I just cried," she said after getting a message back. "This is something I've wanted for so long."

TODAY
Kyle Michael Miller
Barb Stewart reunited with her father Fred Herman on TODAY.

While visiting TODAY Thursday, Stewart finally reunited with her 84-year-old father, with a hug that left them both in tears.

"She looks just like her mother," an emotional Herman said.

Reunion
Kyle Michael Miller
Barb Stewart meets her half-sister Nancy for the first time.

The tears continued as Stewart met many other family members she'd never seen before. The newly reunited family then headed to spend a special Father's Day lunch together, to catch up on the last five decades.

Follow TODAY digital dude Kyle Michael Miller on Twitter.

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