80-year-old adopted woman finds biological mother who is now 100

Two local families have one story they hope will inspire people to never lose hope.Joanne Loewenstern, 80, was...

Posted: Jun 29, 2018 2:27 PM
Updated: Jun 29, 2018 2:27 PM

Two local families have one story they hope will inspire people to never lose hope.

Joanne Loewenstern, 80, was adopted as a baby and lived her entire life never knowing her biological mother, until this week.

The best part; her mother, Lillian Ciminieri, now 100-years-old, is also still around for the reunion, nearly a century in the making.

On Wednesday, they spent time together coloring a picture at Lillian's nursing home.

It was only their second time ever spending time together. They take no time together for granted.

"They didn't get to color together when she was a little girl, but it's never too late to color with your mom," said Elliot Loewenstern, Joanne's son.

Joanne's family knew how badly Joanne wanted to know about her past.

"Many nights I sat and cried, believe me," Joanne said.

She was 16-years-old when she found out she was adopted.

"1964 I found out I was adopted ...I was told two days after I was born, my mother died."

But, even if she wasn't alive, Joanne wanted to know more about her mother.

Her daughter-in-law, Shelley Loewenstein, decided to take a chance and created an Ancestry.com account about a year ago.

"She was in pain and I could see it. She was always saying I don't know where I'm from," Shelley said.

She knew it was a long shot since they did not have much information to go on.

"All she remembered was her mother's birth name," Shelley said.

Fortunately, that was enough.

Samson Ciminieri recently created an Ancestry.com account, too.

Shelley got a message that she got a "hit" and reached out to Samson.

"She asked me if I knew a Lillian Feinsilver. I said yes, that's my mother," Samson said.

Feinsilver was Lillian's maiden name before she became a Ciminieri.

"Without his DNA we wouldn't have found her," Shelley said,

They quickly decided to meet.

Joanne not only meeting her mother for the first time about a week ago, she also learned she had a half-brother, Samson.

But, the family's mystery isn't over completely.

Joanne's mother, Lillian, was clearly never dead as she was told to believe.

Lillian's caretaker, Rose Marie Ciminieri, said Lillian told her a story about a daughter she 'lost'.

"She had the baby in the hospital. She said the baby died," Rose Marie said. Lillian never mentioned knowing she gave a child up for adoption.

'I think I'm the little girl that she lost," Joanne said.

Now, they know both are alive. Their relationship is unquestionable.

"I look like her, the eyes … I knew that she was my mother," Joanne said.

"Look a the fashion sense of the shoes. Look at the shoes!" Shelley laughed.

Why they were truly separated, Joanne might never know. Lillian's memory from 1938 is foggy.

But now, they focus on making the most of their time left together.

"I'm proud. This is something I wanted to do all my life. Now, I'm through," Joanne said.

She also wants to inspire other adopted families, to seek answers if they want them.

"Children should know that if they want to find their roots, they shouldn't be afraid to do it."

Another part of the story that amazes the families is how close they live to each other after all these years.

Joanne is in Boca Raton. Lillian is in Port St. Lucie.

Joanne and her family hope to visit Lillian as much as possible, potentially on the weekends.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 308111

Reported Deaths: 7122
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20826248
Hinds19910411
Harrison17510302
Rankin13334276
Jackson13118243
Madison9908210
Lee9871170
Jones8297160
Forrest7525147
Lauderdale7198237
Lowndes6272144
Lamar611084
Lafayette6039117
Washington5281133
Bolivar4772129
Oktibbeha455897
Panola4445103
Pearl River4428141
Warren4284118
Marshall4276100
Pontotoc416972
Monroe4061132
Union403975
Neshoba3994176
Lincoln3871109
Hancock372885
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329589
Tate322782
Pike3188104
Scott310872
Yazoo304468
Alcorn298065
Itawamba297177
Copiah293265
Coahoma289778
Simpson288284
Tippah284868
Prentiss275759
Marion266079
Leake261373
Wayne261341
Grenada255384
Covington254780
Adams246082
Newton245161
George238147
Winston225981
Tishomingo222267
Jasper219748
Attala213473
Chickasaw205057
Holmes186872
Clay182854
Stone179331
Clarke177076
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163531
Yalobusha159236
Smith158834
Walthall130643
Greene129433
Lawrence126423
Noxubee126233
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120926
Amite120141
Webster113532
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102725
Claiborne101330
Benton97325
Kemper95428
Humphreys94332
Franklin82123
Quitman78916
Choctaw73417
Wilkinson64928
Jefferson64828
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 520503

Reported Deaths: 10722
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754091487
Mobile38938798
Madison33898495
Tuscaloosa25297443
Montgomery23992567
Shelby23124239
Baldwin20652300
Lee15541165
Calhoun14301311
Morgan14145270
Etowah13665346
Marshall11967219
Houston10381278
Elmore10001200
Limestone9822147
Cullman9481188
St. Clair9435234
Lauderdale9223227
DeKalb8748181
Talladega8071171
Walker7100275
Jackson6762110
Autauga6734103
Blount6497135
Colbert6210130
Coffee5404112
Dale4766110
Russell429038
Franklin419982
Chilton4087109
Covington4056114
Tallapoosa3898146
Escambia388574
Dallas3531149
Chambers3503122
Clarke346560
Marion3066100
Pike305876
Lawrence295395
Winston272572
Bibb256459
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens233059
Barbour225255
Hale218775
Butler212566
Fayette209260
Henry187744
Cherokee182144
Randolph176941
Monroe172040
Washington164238
Macon154848
Clay149555
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146241
Lamar139334
Lowndes136553
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109128
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99328
Greene91034
Choctaw58724
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