John Raymond West is a man in search of his birth parents.
"I've known I was adopted ever since I was old enough to understand what adopted was," John said.
According to his birth certificate, at 11:23 p.m. on Jan. 12, 1971, a baby boy who weighed 8 pounds, 13 ounces and was 21 inches long came into the world in Payson. D.B. Gilbert was the attendant physician.
Whether the adoption took place in Arizona or another state is an unanswered question and court records are sealed.
John grew up in Denver, and Worland, Wyo., the only son of Doris and Willard West.
Of course, John doesn't recall when Doris first held him, but a faded article about Doris in the Denver Post says she held him for the first time when he was 2 weeks old.
Doris, although diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, tried three times before the adoption to bear a child. The Wests were Seventh Day Adventists and attributed their faith in God and devotion to each other to overcoming adversity.
Doris named her adopted son John "for Christ's youngest and most beloved disciple," Claire Marin wrote in the Denver Post article.
John grew up with the knowledge that his birth mother was 14 years old, and his birth father was only a couple years older. Due to their young age, they could not raise a child.
"I never hurt for anything growing up. I got a good education, what part I took advantage of," he said.
He wondered occasionally if he might have siblings.
"I was a bit wild. I made a few bad decisions, but very few, if any, could I blame on how I was raised -- I'm addicted to cigarettes," he added.
As an adult, John became busy with his career as a welding inspector and, his own family, his wife Lidia and their sons Justin and Jayden.
With the impending birth of each child, there were medical history questions on medical forms for which John had no answers. He and Lidia searched for his birth parents on their own and through private detectives, to no avail.
"I'm pretty sure that at 37, I'm in the clear for any condition that might be a surprise, but Lidia and I are considering expanding our family, and we'd like to know what my medical history is," John said.
John stands 5 feet 8 inches tall and his 16-year-old son, Justin is approaching 6 feet tall, so height might be a family trait.
Is Justin curious?
"I don't think so. We really haven't talked about it. He hasn't asked me anything. It's not going to change who his grandparents are," John said.
Doris passed away but Willard is alive and is supportive of his son's quest.
"If anything, it would add another grandma and grandpa to our family," John added.
What would John say to his birth mother if he could?
"I commend everyone involved in the adoption. She was so young. I feel that my mother giving me up was the best decision for everyone," John said.
Although it is the medical history John is most interested in, and he does not want to disrupt their lives, he would be "more than willing" to meet his birth parents.
John West's phone number is (719) 688-0451.