Gary Barnes had participated in the Vietnam War, after which he served as American soldier in many countries. He now spend time in retirement at his home in Grass Valley, California. But a recent phone call from a total stranger just made his life even more full. It turns out she was no stranger at all. There was a woman’s voice in it. She humbly said to Bernes, “Would you be willing to do a DNA test? And I said—sure!”.
DNA test resulted in fact that the caller was his daughter, whose age is 50 years old. Barnes’ daughter’s name is Olivia Robles was born in 1967. At 10 years old, she learned that her mother’s husband — the man who practically raised her — wasn’t actually her birth father. Thus began Olivia’s lifelong search to find her dad.
Olivia Robles was doing family research on Ancestry.com and found someone who led her to Gary Barnes. She did not know that his father is still alive and Gary also did not even know that he had a daughter too.
There she somehow got the phone number of Barnes. Finally she found the father Barnes told that after Vietnam, he had spent some time in the Philippines. There he never mentioned the daughter of whom he had met there, so I was not aware of Olivia. Burns says – I can not tell how much happiness is found today, Olivia’s arrival came to fulfill my family. Olivia said that since I was 10 years old, she had been searching for her father since then. Today, I met them at the age of 50. For so many years I had to face a lot of questions, but now that time has gone.
Gary said, “Barnes said his memories of the mid-1960s are fuzzy. He’d traveled to the Philippines a handful of times for “rest and relaxation” while he was off duty during the war, he said. He’d met Robles’ mother there, but lost contact with her shortly thereafter.”
Olivia was ecstatic, “This is truly a miracle; I’ve been on this quest for so many years since I was 10 years old, and here we find each other at age 50 and 78, so it’s a miracle.”
Gary, who has never had children—until now—couldn’t be happier.
“It’s so hard to describe the feeling,” Robles said, recounting those first moments at the airport. “It just all fell together, like that missing piece of the puzzle all my life. It was amazing.”
Robles has three sons and a grandson, and Barnes is already planning a trip out to Florida to meet the rest of his kin for Christmas.
Gary Barnes found out he’s not only a father but a grandfather and great-grandfather as well.
“I went from nothing to a great-grandfather,” Barnes said. “It is such a blessing.”
For the Barnes family, this will be their best Christmas ever.