Family is important for Scott Bowen, that's why he's been trying to learn more about his for the last few decades. The Oklahoma man, who is a father of three, said he has loving parents who never tried to hide the fact that he was adopted. In fact, he said, the only people that seemed to find that strange, were his friends.

"They'd say, 'get out of here, you're adopted?' And I'd say, 'Yeah,' and they'd say, 'No way!' And I'd say, 'Yeah, I'm adopted.' And it was over the years of hearing that response over and over again that it kind of made me step back and say, hmm, this is not normal," Bowen explained. 

Bowen decided he wanted to know more about his biological mother, but finding information from his 1963 adoption in California wasn't easy. He knew her last name was Hogin and that she was just 18 years old when she gave him up. Eventually, he hired a private investigator who helped him figure out the rest.

"He said we are 99.9% sure that your mother is Elaine Hogin Gartin. She is your biological mother," Bowen said. 

He also received his mother's address in Anchorage Alaska where she'd moved more than 30 years ago.

Bowen said it took him a long time to decide whether he wanted to reach out. But eventually, he did. To his amazement, she responded right away.

"She contacted me via email, via texting, via phone call, all within hours," he said.

The pair continued to correspond for nearly two years. About two weeks ago, learning that his mother was in poor health, Bowen decided it was time to meet her face-to-face. Working with his mother's husband, he planned a surprise visit for her 74th birthday.

He met his mother for the first time in 55 years at her Sand Lake home on Monday. Hogin Gartin couldn't have been more excited to see her son stride towards her. The two embraced as the shock slowly started to wear off. She said it was one of the happiest days of her life. The other was when she received his original letter two years ago.

"I thought I gave him up, so why should he find me? But he did and, oh golly, I'm so happy!" she said. 

Bowen will be in Alaska for the next 10 days. He plans to spend a good deal of that time hanging out with his mother and stepfather. After 55 years, they have a lot of catching up to do.

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