Mother, son reunited after 27 years


Pam Rider holds a photo of her son 27-year-old Matthew Jones and herself taken during their first meeting. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal

A dozen people were huddled underneath an awning, but Pam Rider was focused on one person in the crowd: the son she gave up for adoption 27 years ago.

Rider, a Franklin Community High School teacher, had spent years wondering if she shared a physical likeness to her son, Matthew Johnson. She did numerous Internet searches once he turned 18, trying to find him.

With tears streaming down her cheek, Rider hugged Johnson for the first time, and the two had no concerns about the onlookers huddled around them outside of a popular tea room in St. Petersburg, Fla., near where Johnson lives. Rider and her husband traveled there to meet Johnson for the first time during Christmas break.

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