HOULTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- John "Jack" Etgen was adopted when he was a baby back in 1949 in Danforth, Maine. He moved with his family to Detroit, Michigan and grew up in Whittier, California.
Etgen found out that he was adopted after he graduated high school. "I've always had the notion of meeting my mom. I wanted to see what she looked like," said Etgen.
So for the last 20 years, Etgen searched for his birth mother. "A lot of people at my stage in life would never look for anyone anymore, but I just wanted to find out who they were," he said.
After talking with his daughter, she went on to Facebook and typed in Etgen's mother's name. What happened next was what Etgen had been waiting for. The search led them to a Family Reunion Facebook page, which led to a phone conversation with Sam Hafford.
"I was sleeping when the call came in. My wife took the call. The girl on the other line said, 'I think your husband is my father's brother," said Sam.
After realizing the two were brothers, Hafford and Etgen said they both sobbed on the phone. "I just couldn't believe I finally found someone," said Etgen.
Unfortunately, Etgen was not able to meet his mother because she passed away in 1996, but he was finally reunited with his brothers earlier this week when he flew into Portland from Nebraska. "It's the greatest thing that's ever happened to me in the world," said Etgen.
After the quick introductions, it was nearly impossible to tell that these brothers were separated for six decades. "It was all natural from then on, like he's been there every day of our lives," said Bob Hafford.
Etgen grew up as an only child, but has a big family on his own. He and his wife have four children and 14 grandchildren. But he had no idea his family was about to get bigger, as he was walking into a family with eight brothers and sisters.
The Hafford family lost four siblings in the last seven years, including three within the past year. But to find out they had another brother was a blessing in disguise, said Bob.
It's been a whirlwind of emotion for these brothers the past couple of weeks. To make things more emotional, Bob surprised John with their mother's ring, which had the birthstones of all eight children. "I'm sorry that your's is missing, but maybe you can take it home and keep it in your possession and put your stone on it. That's the only way I can show that we accept you as a brother into our family," said Bob.
These brothers wish they had met sooner, but they are grateful they have found one another.
"I'm still living the dream. It's unreal. It really is. I couldn't ask for a better family," said Etgen.
"It's the most amazing story. It's the stuff that only happens on television or in a book. We're living the dream and we're never going to let go," said Sam.