Actress Carla Orlandi had searched for her biological father, Gary Erbe, for the last two decades, but it wasn’t until a DNA test matched her with a family member on the website ancestry.com.
“I’ve been searching for 21 years, and because of the miracle of DNA, [my father and I] found each other. I have a little girl inside of me that has been crying for a very long time, and so I’m very happy,” Orlandi expressed.
Orlandi never met her biological parents. She was given up for adoption in Puerto Rico without birth records or the names of her parents.
After finding a match on ancestry.com, Orlandi reached out to her father in January 2014 and they spoke on the phone for the first time.
Finally on Wednesday, July 16, Erbe flew to San Diego to meet Orlandi for the very first time in 40 years.
“My heart is going to explode because we’ve been missing each other for almost 50 years,” Orlandi said.
“I was pretty blown away. I still am. It really hasn’t caught up with me yet,” Erbe said.
Erbe, originally from Arkansas, said he met Orlandi’s mother, Caroline, in Bellingham, WA. He said he was stunned by the former beauty queen’s good looks.
Erbe will spend six days in San Diego with Orlandi, her husband and their six children.
“We’re meeting now for the first time and hopefully we’ll be able to pack all those years in six days,” Orlandi said.
Orlandi moved to New York from Puerto Rico when she was a teenager. She is of Belgian, Finish descent, Eskimo, and her background is Puerto Rican.