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Published Sunday September 13th, 2009 at 9:32pm

Original Article by Joe Elenick

Ad completes long search for woman's long-lost family.

Janis Lynn Pineda grew up in a nice family. Last week, she met up with another nice family -- the one she was born into.

Last week, Pineda met with her long-lost brother and sister, Frank Thiemke and Sylvia Foley, in the Town of Lockport. Over the weekend, she also has come in contact with sister Dora Jones of Rochester, Claudia Powers of Middleport and stepsister Melody Zaccaria. The meeting completed a search that started more than 25 years ago.

Pineda, currently a resident of Greenville, Texas, had been searching for years to find the family of her birth mother. She loved the adoptive family she was raised in, though, Vincent "Red" Ogilvie and his wife, Norene.

"I had a very loving family, a great, beautiful life," Pineda said. "But I wanted to know."

Despite looking for years, the path to finding her siblings began only recently, one day in 2008 while Pineda was cleaning out the house. She found an old picture of two very young children she did not recognize, with the words "children of Doris" written on the back.

She decided to put the picture in the Union-Sun & Journal to see if anyone knew anything about the children. The picture ran only once,on July 25, 2008, and three days later, Foley saw that copy of the Union-Sun & Journal.

Pineda wasn't sure why, but the idea to put it in the paper just randomly occurred to her. The other big question, why did Foley look at the July 25, 2008, edition of the US&J.

"She just happened to pick up the paper," Pineda said, pointing to Foley.

Foley is normally a resident of Mesa, Ariz., but spends half of the year in Gasport. Foley called Thiemke immediately, wondering who would put their picture as young children in the paper. Foley had a copy of the same picture at her home in Arizona.

"Who do you think it is?" he asked.

When their mother, Doris Wheaton, passed away eight years ago, Thiemke, Foley, Jones and others had learned that Wheaton had another child. So they responded to the e-mail address that ran with the picture.

Then, while visiting her mother, Norene Ogilvie, in Arkansas, Pineda received one of the most significant e-mails, and probably one of the most important messages, of her life.

"Talk about being off-guard," the e-mail from Foley read. "Are you the long-lost sister I have been searching for?"

The next few days were filled with a flurry of e-mails and phone calls between the siblings.

As they talked, Pineda noticed all kinds of connections, including this one: Pineda, a 1969 Newfane High School graduate, worked for some time at Inter-Community Memorial Hospital, which is now the Eastern Niagara Hospital-Newfane site. While she was working at the hospital, there was a co-worker Pineda would have loved to meet: her birth mother, Wheaton.

The excitement of meeting Pineda went even beyond the family. Foley said Gasport neighbors were asking about Lynn and how everything was working out.

"They would ask, 'When's Lynn coming?' It was real exciting," Foley said.

For the past year, the siblings kept in contact through e-mails and phone calls. But when they met in person, tears were shed.

"It was emotional for us," Thiemke said. "You spend your whole life looking for something. It's hard to believe when it happens."

Despite being apart for so many years, there were interesting little things the reunited family members had in common -- similar ear piercings, for one, but also attitudes toward certain things are common among Frank, Sylvia, Lynn and the rest of the siblings.

There was a big thing they all had in common: "Lemon pie, we all love it," Thiemke said.

Pineda said she ran into all kinds of roadblocks in an attempt to connect with the family of Wheaton. Most were bureaucratic barriers to information about her birth parents. Pineda went through hell, Thiemke said. Information about adoptions is hardly ever given out, even to the child.

"It was my choice," Pineda said. "It shouldn't be up to some bureaucrat behind a desk."

The reunited family spent Thursday evening watching the football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans. While watching the game, and over some pizza, the children of Wheaton laughed, talked and enjoyed each other's company as if they hadn't spent a single day apart.