STROUDSBURG, Pa. -- Three weeks ago, Ellen Ace got an email after signing up on Ancestry.com. The message she received came from someone claiming to be closely related to her.
"I'm really excited to see his face because he looks like my mom, and I haven't seen my mom in about 30 years, so it's really exciting. I'm emotional," Ace said.
Ace has lived in the Poconos all her life. The man from New York state sent her a copy of his adoption paper revealing they had the same mother. Immediately, she reached out to her brother Robert Pratt in Seattle to tell him they have a long-lost brother.
"And my response was like because he looks just like her, I texted my sister and I'm like, 'OMG Ellen, we have a stinkin' brother. Are you freakin' kidding me?" Pratt said.
The siblings chose the Hampton Inn in Stroudsburg to meet. Before their half-brother got there, Ace explained she had no idea that just 18 months before she was born, her mother gave birth to a boy and put him up for adoption.
"I mean, this guy has been looking for us for his whole life, but we didn't even know he existed, so today is kind of a crazy day," said Pratt.
Their long-lost brother Jim Ilardi tells Newswatch 16 he wanted to wait until his adoptive mother passed before he reached out to his biological family.
"I was always curious growing up because you have people say, 'You look just like this person. Are you related?' And so that was always in the back of my mind," explained Ilardi.
Ilardi's wife Donna says she's been waiting for this day since the moment the couple met.
"I said you know what, this is just meant to be. It was truly just meant to be. He needs this. He really does, and they are family now," added Donna Ilardi.
"He's waited so long and I just can't imagine. I just wish we would have known, but we're gonna make up for it. We're gonna make up for it," said Ace.