Imagine the joy and the anticipation of meeting your child for the first time after over 50 years. No matter how incredible it sounds, this is exactly what a Vietnam veteran and his daughter, who he didn’t know existed, experienced a few years back.
When Gary Barnes was serving in Vietnam, he met a woman from the Philippines with whom he started a relationship. However, when his service there came to an end, the two lost contact and never heard of one another again.
What Barnes didn’t know was that he had a daughter from that relationship; a daughter he will meet when he is 78 years old.
Olivia Robles was born in the Philippines in 1967. She moved to the States when she was six years old and soon learned that her stepdad wasn’t her biological father.
Although her life seemed complete, she always wanted to know who her real dad was and never stopped looking. One day, she decided to submit a sample of her DNA to the popular website ancestry.com.
Time passed by, and Olivia almost lost hope of ever tracking her father, but then, the site notified her that there was a close match between her DNA and that of a woman named Diana Barnes, who happened to be Gary Barnes’ cousin.
After some hesitation, Olivia decided to contact Diana and tell her the story of her life. Diana said how her cousin Gary was dating a girl from the Philippines not long before Olivia was born. But could this man be the person Olivia was desperately looking for?
Speaking to The Union, Olivia said: “The timeline fit together. And then Diana sent me a picture of him. My youngest son has such a resemblance to him that I thought, ‘He has to be my father.’”
Celebrating my bday with my dad for the 1st time – priceless!!
She decided to get in touch with Gary but admitted she was feeling nervous because she couldn’t possibly know how he would react.
Gary, who didn’t have other children, was thrilled to meet his only child. In order to be sure they were a father and a daughter, another test was done. It was confirmed they were a family.
When she first met him, Olivia said she felt like she knew Gary for years.
The first encounter was like those in the movies. The elderly man was patiently waiting at an arrival gate to hug his daughter for the first time ever and the sight was heartwarming.
With Olivia, Gary and his wife got a family. They now have three grandsons, who serve in the military like he did, and a great-grandson. They are all very close and don’t miss even a day without speaking on the phone and spending time together.
What a beautiful story of love and hope. Life can be truly incredible.
Please SHARE this story with your family and friends on Facebook!
Love and Peace