updated 05/07/2010 AT 5:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/07/2010 AT 7:15 PM ET
When Oprah Winfrey called all Twilight fans in April to submit stories about how the hit supernatural series changed their lives, Maria Mele knew she had to e-mail the daytime talk show host.
Unfortunately, the super fan didn’t get the response she hoped for – tickets to attend the taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show where Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner and Dakota Fanning would all be. So, she settled for being interviewed by Winfrey via Skype.
Turns out, she got something even better than a seat inside Harpo Studios: Robert Pattinson at her doorstep.
“[My family and I] all lost it,” Mele tells PEOPLE about the Tuesday night surprise visit from the British actor, which was taped for The Oprah Winfrey Show’s May 13 episode. “[We were] screaming like a bunch of maniacs. We were all amazed that he was in our house.”
Just when Mele thought they were going to talk to Winfrey via webcam, Pattinson walked into her house, prompting her daughter Rosanna to start crying, while her son, Giuseppe, “was frozen.”
So how did Mele, a mom from Naperville, Ill., catch Winfrey’s attention from the thousands of other super fans? She sent a photo of her family, which bears a striking resemblance to the film’s Cullen clan.
“They were so amazed how my son Guiseppe looked so much like Edward,” says Mele.
The star, 23, stayed for about 10 minutes and “was great,” Mele says, “so nice. Funny. And so tall! He was beautifully flawless and a great sport.”
“Robert was genuinely happy to fulfill our dream,” she says. “I still can’t believe it.”
As an added bonus, Mele and her family did, in fact, get to go to the taping after all – with reserved seats.
“It’s something we will never forget,” says the Twi-Hard mom. “I have to say although Oprah and Robert were great, hearing my kids say ‘thanks for making this happen’ [was] absolutely priceless.”