A MAN who was given up for adoption as a toddler has been reunited with his long-lost family on Facebook.

Richard Marks, of Abbotsbury Road, Weymouth, last saw his mum Carol when he was a three-year-old boy named John Robert Horridge shortly before he was adopted by a family in Manchester.

Now, 30 years later, Richard has managed to speak to his family for the first time after finding his sister Andrea Roczniac on the internet social networking site.

An emotional Richard said: “I couldn’t believe it when I realised I had found my sister and mum.

“I feel like my life has started again and I have a whole new family – I couldn’t be happier if I won the Lottery.

“Facebook has changed my life – if it wasn’t for that then all this wouldn’t have happened.”

Richard, 33, had been desperately seeking his biological family – with no luck – since the day he turned 18.

He grew up in Manchester with his adoptive family, living happily with mum Beverly, dad Dorian and older brother Andrew – who was also adopted.

He said: “I always knew I was adopted and I had real issues with feeling rejected and not knowing where I belong,” he said.

“I felt depressed when I was growing up – it was like a massive void that was never filled.”

Unknown to him all this time the Horridge family was living just two miles from his adoptive parents’ house in Manchester.

After contacting Bury Social Services for help when he turned 18, he found out that his sister Andrea had also been looking for him and had dropped off a letter for him two years previously.

By the time Richard received the letter, the family had moved and despite several attempts he was unable to trace his mother Carol Horridge or any of her family.

He moved to Weymouth to start a new life and said that in this time he made more attempts to contact people with the name Horridge using different internet sites but failed to trace any member of his blood family.

Then last week, Richard said he ‘couldn’t believe his eyes’ when a Facebook message written to a woman called Andrea Roczniac – formerly Horridge – came back saying that she believed Richard was her brother.

By coincidence, only this week Andrea had decided to resume the search for her little brother and had applied for his birth certificate to shed more light on his whereabouts.

A nerve-wracking phone call followed and Richard said that the moment he heard his sister’s voice for the first time he burst into tears.

“She started telling me how she had been looking for me for 12 years and how I had a massive family waiting to meet me.

“After all these years it felt completely natural to speak to her.”

A phone call to his older brother Mark followed and Richard said he was ‘over the moon’ to get on so well with him and they both ended up in hysterical laughter.

Richard said the most difficult thing was picking up the phone to call his mum Carol after a lifetime of wondering if he would see her again.

He said: “I picked up the phone and instantly I could hear a faint voice blubbering so I said ‘hello mum’ and that was it we were talking and crying for the next two and a half hours.

“Since then we have talked lots and I have been re- listening to a message over and over again just to hear her voice.”

Richard found out that his mother was 19 and struggling with three young children when she gave him up for adoption and she told him she wanted to give him a better life.

He is now looking forward to an emotional reunion in Manchester next week with sister Andrea, brother Mark and another sister Elaine as well as a large family of grandparents, nieces and nephews.

He said: “Today, for the first in my life, I can sit on the beach and feel complete with no worries. My burden has been lifted at long last – I feel like a completely different person.”