Parents reunited with long lost son

A MOTHER and father have been reunited with their 26-year-old son two decades after they last saw him.

Tom Potter

A MOTHER and father have been reunited with their 26-year-old son two decades after they last saw him.

Leon Bailey, who flew in to Heathrow Airport from Texas yesterday, compared sitting between his biological parents - 20 years after his adoption - to being in a dream.

Mr Bailey, who was adopted by an American couple as a child, began searching for mum Debra Kneuman and dad Tony Goulbourne when he was 18.

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He finally managed to track them down on the internet and set up an emotional reunion at his father's home in St Anthony's Crescent, Ipswich.

He said: “I had a lot of help searching for them but nothing ever came up. Then one day I thought of looking for them on Myspace. I typed my mum's name into the search engine and there she was.

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“I knew she and my dad were from England but when I was younger I had never been confident enough to try and find them.”

Mrs Kneuman, who also lives in America, couldn't believe it when she received a message from someone claiming to be her son. She said: “I thought he was an imposter! I sent a message back asking him for his middle name and when his birthday was. When I was sure it was him I gave him a call and started looking for his dad.”

Mrs Kneuman, who now lives in Virginia, went to see her son in Texas and traced her ex partner on the web, sending him a message saying she had found their son. Mr Goulbourne said: “It hit me like a steamroller - everything happened so quickly.

“In a way it was a relief to finally meet him and begin the real process of getting to know him.”

Mr Bailey, who was driven to the airport in Houston by his adoptive parents, said: “It's something I always knew would happen - it was just a matter of when.

“I remember seeing British people on TV as a child and thinking they could be my real parents.

“When Leona Lewis became popular all my friends kept telling me she could be my sister!”

Mr Bailey is in town to catch up with his blood relatives for just a few days but the trio have promised not to wait another 20 years before seeing each other again.

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