CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Ruby Long was just a little girl when she and three of her sisters were separated from their two younger sisters.
Long and her sisters Tammy, Meka and Paula were raised by their grandparents. Their biracial sisters, Lori and Susan, were given up for adoption and taken in by black families.
It would be 45 years before they were reunited.
"I don't know where they ripped them apart from us," said Long, of Dunbar. "I really don't remember that exact day. My sister says she does but I don't."
Born to a "wild child" mother who married 11 times, Long said she and her sisters were cared for by their grandparents. Her mother popped in and out of their lives.
The grandparents owned five houses and a grocery store on Coopers Creek in Big Chimney.
To keep the girls from harm, Susan and Lori lived back in the hollow with a family who rented a home from the grandparents.
"I can remember going there and playing with [Susan] and she'd come down in the evenings when it was dark and nobody could see her," Long said.
But that didn't stop word from getting out, she said. It also didn't stop people from trying to harm the family.
"Every other weekend we had crosses burned on the porch, [cocktail bombs] thrown on the house and it was stone so it didn't burn," Long recalled.
People skinned animals and threw them in front of the house and vandalized her grandfather's grocery store.
Once, a person even ran over one of her white sisters in a parking lot with a car, leaving the little girl in a body cast for nine months, Long said.
"They said they didn't mean to but [they] had a whole store parking lot [they] could have swerved around on," Long said. No one was ever charged for the incident.
Long spent years searching for her sisters. She joined the state and national adoption registries.
She tracked down Lori, the younger of the two, in 1997, but the Florida woman was not interested in a reunion.
Then last month, the family got a call out of the blue from Susan.