Sisters Reunite After 40 Years Apart
More than 40 years ago, Nancy Stingone and her sister Louise Zayas lost contact with their stepsister Martha Demetrowitz when the trio were children. The three sisters lived together until they were separated due to their mother’s death. Nancy and Louise were taken to the Bronx, New York to live with their grandmother and Martha, at 2 years old, was taken by her father.
Nancy and Louise discovered that Martha’s father had passed away only a few years after he took Martha to live with him. Martha went to live with her uncle in Putnam County. At this time, Nancy and Louise had moved to Westchester.
Growing up, the sisters thought about each other but never made a strong effort to reconnect. They would research the phone books but the reunion never seemed to materialize. The desire was not rekindled until the women had children of their own.
Louise and her daughter were playing around on Facebook one day in 2009 and decided to search for Martha. To their surprise, Louise had found her stepsister whom she had not seen in more than 40 years.
“That’s when she called me to say, ‘I think I found our sister,’ she then sent me a picture of Martha to me and it was, and so the story goes from there,” Nancy said.
The three sisters connected over the phone and reunited in person only two months later. Nancy was beyond emotional for the reunion and the sisters discovered that Martha was looking for them as well.
The trio caught up on their lives and filled in all the missing pieces. Tears were shared and emotions were high.
“There was a lot of catching up to do,” said Nancy. “I remember sitting there, the three of us, and thinking we came out OK after all we’ve been through.”
The sisters also discovered that they lived close to each other for many years. In fact, Nancy’s son went to a graduation party for the daughter of Martha’s first cousin. Martha and Nancy’s son attended the same party without knowing their relation.
The women spent many hours catching up and Nancy and Louise told Martha about their mother since Martha was too young to know her. Though the sisters did not connect for the last 40 years, they still feel as if they were never separated.
“It’s like we’ve known each other all the time,” Nancy said of the reunion. “It’s like we never missed those 40 years.”
After receiving the beautiful gift of a reunion, Nancy encouraged others to never give up hope on searching for loved ones. Nancy decided to tell her story after reading about a mother who was looking for her son she gave up for adoption more than 30 years ago. She believes this woman needs to keep the faith and she will find her son because with modern technology it can happen.
“I really think she is going to make that connection,” she said. “Hopefully it will happen for her as fast as it did for me and my sister. It’s going to be amazing for her.”