When a 16-year-old Theresa Simmons gave up her baby for adoption 57 years ago, she never thought she’d see the child again. On Thursday, she got that chance.
Another of Simmons’s children, Joanne Farrell, looked into her family history online. She tracked down her half-sister, Roseanne Lombardi, the daughter Simmons gave up decades before, in Connecticut.
Farrell then contacted Lombardi and then put their mother in touch with her, as well.
“I always wondered if she thought of me, if she was alive, why did this happen?” said Lombardi.
Simmons’s children arranged for Lombardi to fly to Tampa to meet their mother, but kept it a surprise. They took their mom to Tampa International Airport, telling her they were just going there for lunch.
“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster,” said Farrell.
“Somebody has been out there all these years that we’ve never known, and yet so close when we were living up north and yet so far away, ” said Simmons other daughter, Ann Marie Crawford.
“This is a big surprise for Mom,” said Simmons’s son, Anthony. “I tried to keep it under wraps for as long as I could.”
There were tears and big hugs when Lombardi got off the plane, and she and her mom met for the first time.
“I prayed and I prayed and I prayed and I said, ‘Please give me a chance to see her, just one chance,'” said Simmons. “I just want to see her one time, to hold her and kiss her.”