Port St. Lucie, FL (CBS Local)- Ancestry.com helped reunite a mother and daughter that hadn’t seen each other in decades after the daughter was given up for adoption.
80-year-old Boca Raton resident Joanne Loewenstern was adopted as a baby and never met her biological mother, 100-year-old Lillian Ciminieri, until earlier this week when the two were reunited. Loewenstern told WPTV 5 in West Palm Beach that she didn’t find out that she was adopted until she was 16 years old in 1964. Even then, she was told that her mother had died days after giving her up for adoption.
However, Ms. Loewenstern still wanted to know more about her mother even if she had passed away. That’s when her daughter-in-law, Shelley Loewenstern, created an Ancestry.com account and searched her birth mother’s name. Lucky for the Loewensterns, Ciminieri’s son, Samson, had recently created an account on the site as well. After Shelley and Samson connected, they decided to meet and Joanne learned that not only was her mother still alive, she also had a half-brother.
The craziest part? Ciminieri lives in Port St. Lucie, Florida just about 70 miles away from Loewenstern in Boca Raton. Ms. Loewenstern told the station that she’s hoping their story will inspire others to never give up hope of finding their family members.