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The Dallas Cowboys had and will always have a special place in my heart. That said, I couldn’t help but smile when reading an article on Cowboy DeMarcus Ware, his wife Taniqua, and their 6-month old daughter Marley.

After practice on Saturday, August 23rd, Ware stormed off the field. He said he was tired of practicing and was ready to start the season. But, upon seeing his wife and daughter, who were waiting for him after practice, his demeanor changed entirely;

“You are so happy because you have a little bundle of joy in your life,” he said to the Dallas Morning News. “I even find myself going to Wal-Mart looking for little toys. When I’m going grocery shopping looking for food, I’m getting baby food instead of food for myself.”

Before Marley entered the Ware home, DeMarcus and Taniqua had suffered three miscarriages, convinced that having a child wasn’t part of their reality. But, when going to get his Corvette serviced at a Grapevine car dealership last January, DeMarcus met Grapevine dealer Justin Norwood.

While sitting in Norwood’s office, Ware noticed a photo of two kids. Norwood told Ware that those kids were his adopted children. At that, Ware began to share his personal struggles with starting a family. From there, Justin phoned his father Jim, a pastor at the Oakcrest Family Church in Kennedale, TX, about DeMarcus and Taniqua’s story. Jim happened to know of a woman who needed to find a home for her unborn baby. The woman who gave up her parental rights was due in February. The adoption process had been set into motion.

“Everything happened so fast. The timing of it all definitely shows she was meant to be ours,” Taniqua said.

Because they were not expecting the birth to happen as soon as it did, the Wares attended the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, followed by Cowboy Stephen Bowen’s wedding in New York. DeMarcus was in New York on February 29th when he was phoned about the baby’s birth, and he returned to Texas before the wedding:

“That just tells you how badly they wanted a baby, and how important it was to them,” Justin said.

The Wares missed the birth, but they met the mother, and named the daughter after DeMarcus’ favorite singer, Bob Marley.

Fatherhood is important to DeMarcus, who was raised in a single-parent household;

“I never had a father around, so now with Marley in our lives this has really taught me a lot of responsibility,” DeMarcus said. “It’s also taught me how important a child is and how much happiness a child can bring to a family.”

At this point in my life, I can only imagine how much strength is required to accept not being able to procreate. And acceptance is usually the first step of many. What next? Do you forget that you ever tried to start a family in the first place? Or, do you put pride aside and consider adopting a child that isn’t biologically your own, realizing that family transcends biological ties?

I am thrilled that the Wares have found happiness through choosing to do the latter, and, though I don’t think I need to say it, I am even more thrilled that it is football season.

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