Man's 23-year search for birth mom finally pays off

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It is the power of the Internet that has created this reunion between a Glendale man and his birth mom living in Florida. By Jennifer Thomas It is the power of the Internet that has created this reunion between a Glendale man and his birth mom living in Florida. By Jennifer Thomas

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It is the power of the Internet that has created this reunion between a Glendale man and his birth mom living in Florida.

Thus far, Larry Johnson and his mom, Alma Olson, have only met via Skype and Facebook, but already the technology is helping to close a 41-year gap in their story and it only took Johnson some 23 years of searching to finally find his birth mom, Alma Clark, now Alma Olson.
 
“Each year I would open my adoption file, look on the Internet and see what technology or information was available,” Johnson said.
 
And this year he found an ancestry website with a family tree that looked to be linked to his birth mother's maiden name, Burge.
 
“There was fear in me reaching out sending another email, but really I had nothing to lose,” Johnson said.
 
It turns out Johnson had everything to gain.
 
“It happened on my birthday, what a wonderful birthday,” Olson said. He sent me his birth certificate and the records ... I almost fell over.”
 
She said she never doubted the decision to give up her baby and remembers that day well.
 
“I prayed with him and said goodbye to him and said I love you and that’s why I am doing this,” Olson said.
 
Johnson, too, has always respected that decision. He's even adopted two boys of his own.
 
“I named my first son after my birth name,” Johnson said. “She had named me David Shane and I named my first son David Shane.”
 
Johnson hopes others can learn from his experience.
 
“It's an amazing experience being the adopted and the adopter,” he said. “I would say to anybody in a situation where adopting is an option, it works … it just does.”
 
Johnson and his birth mom plan to meet in person here in Arizona next month.