It was a reunion that many may have thought would never happen. A 79-year-old woman finally met her mother more than half a century after she found out she was adopted.
Joanne Loewenstern, 79, was only 16 when she found out she was adopted. She was told that her birth mother had died after she was born in a Bronx hospital, The Washington Post reported.
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She knew her mother’s name, Lillian Feinsilver. Loewenstern was adopted two months after Feinsilver gave birth. But for most of her life, she didn’t believe that her mother was dead. Something inside made her believe there was more. She wanted to know what happened. She tried using a private detective that came up with no answers, so she gave up.
But recently she decided to give it a try again, years after moving to Boca Raton, and at the urging of her daughter-in-law, she tried Ancestry.com's DNA service, Washington Post reported.
On May 13, she was told there was a match. A familiar name was resurrected - Lillian Feinsilver and she was alive, living only 80 minutes from Loewenstern in Port St. Lucie, Florida. She goes by the name Lillian Ciminierti now. It was her son Sam Ciminierti who contacted Loewenstern first.
Ciminierti has dementia and is 100 years old, but she told caregivers that she had lost her daughter.
Ciminierti was a single unwed mother in the 1930s and her baby was taken away from her without her knowing.
Her caretaker, Sam Ciminierti's ex-wife, said that Lillian Ciminierti was told that her daughter had died, The Washington Post reported.
Last month, Ciminierti and Loewenstern reunited at the facility where Ciminierti now lives.
Family members who were part of the reunion told The Washington Post that it felt anticlimactic when it started because no one knew what to say.
After a few questions from Loewenstern and Ciminierti not answering them, Loewenstern started to cry. That was the moment that Ciminierti started to become aware. Family members started showing videos to Ciminierti, explaining the extended family she had no idea she had.
Eventually Ciminierti said, "This is my daughter," speaking of Loewenstern, The Washington Post reported.
The mother and daughter posed for a photo, and Loewenstern was finally able to tell her mother that she loved her.
Loewenstern visited her mother after the first visit, and she said Ciminierti recognized her and that Ciminierti kept telling Loewenstern, "Thank you," The Washington Post reported.