A mother-daughter reunion nearly 80 years in the making took place last month in Florida, when Joanne Loewenstern of Boca Raton met for the first time with her 100-year-old biological mother, who lives about 70 miles away in Port St. Lucie.
Loewenstern, born to a single woman in the Bronx, New York, in 1938, was apparently given up for adoption without her mother’s knowledge, said Loewenstern’s daughter-in-law Shelley Loewenstern. At age 16, when she found out she was adopted, Joanne was told that her biological mother had died after giving birth. But that never felt right to her.
“I had a feeling she was alive somehow,” Loewenstern told The Washington Post. “I just felt that I didn’t believe it for some reason.”
It turns out she was right, and a DNA test through Ancentry.com led to the reunion.
Loewenstern’s mother, Lillian Ciminieri, had been told that her baby died in childbirth and had said to relatives many times over the years, “I lost my daughter.”
Ciminieri lives in an assisted living center, uses a wheelchair and has dementia, her family said. The reunion was a little halting at first, a Facebook video shows. Eventually, though, Ciminieri says: “This is my daughter.”