Spokesperson for Franklin County Sheriff's Office cracks case of his own family history
A reunion 52 years in the making is taking place for one representative of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office more than 2,000 miles away on Christmas Eve. Public Information Officer Marc Gofstein said he cracked the case in finding his biological family.
"There's a reason why this is happening," said Gofstein. "This is Christmas and this is one hell of a present."
Days before taking his flight out to Los Angeles, Gofstein shared his story with ABC 6/FOX 28 with a photo album his mother put together when he was a child.
"Judy Gofstein is my mom," he said. Gofstein said his mother was a dog trainer for the celebrities, took him home from a southern California hospital in 1966 and raised him as her own. She never hid from Gofstein that he was adopted. In five decades, Gofstein said he never wondered about his biological mother until recently. He said his doctors and his husband told him he needed to know more about his family history for his own health.
"Is there a history of health issues, heart issues, smoking? You know, all of that stuff," said Gofstein.
Gofstein decided to send a DNA sample to Ancestry.com to see what he could find. His profile indicated he's Scottish, Irish, British and Scandinavian. The website listed names of possible relatives. His DNA samples connected him with a half-brother he never knew he had.
"When I heard the words 'you're most likely my half-brother,' everything turned upside down," Gofstein said. "I went from not really caring to now we go full tilt."
The brother connected Gofstein to his biological mother who is now in her 80's and still living near Los Angeles. While she did not remember Gofstein's birthday, she did recall details that provided him certainty.
"There was something I remember about them owning a dog kennel," Gofstein said his biological mother remembered. "The light went on and I went, 'You're my mom!'"
Biological mother and son said they wanted to meet. Weeks later, Gofstein and his husband boarded a plane from Columbus to L.A. Christmas Eve to meet his biological mother straight off the plane.
"You're always in your rightful place and things happen for a reason," he said.
Gofstein plans to record their first meeting and use it to bring other adopted children hope. He wants to encourage others who have been adopted to reach out if they're inclined to find biological family members of their own.