Next stop: New York
By B.C. Manion
Nick Bowers is trying to solve the biggest mystery of his life.
The 31-year-old Wesley Chapel man wants to find his birth parents.
Bowers knows he was born at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital on Oct. 11, 1979, in Plattsburgh, N.Y.
He also has a description of what his parents looked like, when he was born. His mom was kind of short with light-colored hair and his dad was short and stocky, with dark hair, he said.
At least that is how they were described to his adoptive parents, Mike and Grace Bowers, who lived in Plattsburgh during Nick’s early years, but later moved to Florida.
Bowers has not been able to find out the identities of his parents.
“New York is a sealed state. I’ve already applied for non-identifying information. Nothing has come back,” he said.
To help move his search along, Bowers and his wife, Sidney, are traveling to Plattsburgh this summer. They’ll be there a few days around the time when the Plattsburgh High Class of 1981 will celebrate its 30th reunion.
By Bowers’ calculations, it’s quite possible that his parents were members of that class.
The paramedic/firefighter for Pasco County Fire Rescue wants to be in the area before, during and after the reunion – to see if anyone can help him find his parents.
He doesn’t plan to crash the reunion.
“I want to have some tact. I’m not going to barge in. I’m not going to hinder anyone’s time who is there to see old friends and family,” Bowers said. “We have to step lightly.”
He does plan to share his story with the local newspaper, in hopes one or both of his parents, or someone who knows them, will reach out to him.
He’s even thinking about printing up some business cards that ask anyone who can help him find his biological mom and dad to get in touch with him.
Being there in person may help to drum up leads, or even better, may bring his search to a successful conclusion, he said.
Bowers said he began looking for his birth parents after he turned 18.
His adoptive parents have been supportive all along. “They’re like, ‘Whatever we can do to help, let us know.’ ”
In fact, his adoptive dad provided the first clues into the possible identity of his biological mom, Bowers said.
While his parents were going through the adoption process, Bowers said his dad happened to see the name Mary on a record, with the last name blackened out. He also saw an address — 13 Elizabeth St.
That is a valid address, but so far Bowers’ sleuthing has come up empty. He interviewed people who live in the neighborhood.
He has looked through Plattsburg High yearbooks from 1978-81, searching for any girl named Mary. He and his wife have done Internet searches to try to track down these women, but the ones they’ve found were not the right one.
Bowers said he has never viewed his adoption as a negative thing.
His parents told him when he was quite young.
“From the minute that I could comprehend it was like, ‘Oh, you’re my special little adopted boy,’ ” Bowers said.
He realizes that he might never find his biological parents, or, even if he does, they may be unwilling to establish any kind of connection.
“I’m fully prepared, if either they don’t want to meet me or they’re dead,” said Bowers, who deals with death in his line of work.
He’s hoping, however, that a personal visit will help.
He’s not concerned about why they gave him up for adoption, and he is grateful for the life he has had. Still, he would like to connect with the people who brought him into this world to get a better understanding of his genetic background, if nothing else.
“I would love to meet them. I’d like to see who I look like.”
If they’d like a deeper connection, he’s open to that, too.
“I’m such a family person, I would love to have them in my life,” Bowers said.
“It’s an interesting, intriguing story – and a question that I’d really like to have answered,” Bowers said.