DeMarcus Ware opens up about stillbirth, adoption

06/15/2008 at 12:30 PM ET

Demarcusw_jason_15420274_max_cbbIn 2006, Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware and wife Taniqua suffered the unthinkable when their first child, Omar, was stillborn.  During an ultrasound the couple learned that their baby stood no chance of survival, for he had no kidneys; Arrangements were made soon thereafter for Taniqua to deliver, something she calls "the low point."  "To go to the hospital and give birth and coming home with nothing," Taniqua said, left her feeling unsure of "how to react.  You’re angry, hurt, upset."

Sadly, it would not be the couple’s only brush with loss: Two other pregnancies ended in miscarriage, one before Omar’s stillbirth and one after.  DeMarcus — in an interview in today’s New York Times — said that he carries the memory of each pregnancy and each child with him to this day, both on and off the football field.

I feel Omar out there with me, watching over me and protecting me. Sometimes, when I’m tired on the field, and I feel like I can’t go anymore, I just think, what if he had one more breath? What if all three did?

But this Father’s Day, the couple finally has reason to celebrate, for their dreams of parenthood were recently realized through adoption.  Their 3 Β½-month-old daughter Marley — named after DeMarcus’ favorite reggae singer, Bob Marley — was born on leap day, Feb. 29.  After making a last-minute flight to meet their newborn daughter in the hospital, DeMarcus told Taniqua "you a momma now," to which Taniqua replied "and you a daddy."  Marley, DeMarcus said, is "our little angel."

DeMarcus, 25, and Taniqua, 26, were married in March 2005. To see photos of Marley, click here.

Source:  New York Times; Photo by Jason Merritt/WireImage.

FILED UNDER: Babies , News

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Showing 40 comments

I-dra on

that makes me so happy to hear. i don’t even know who this guy is, but i offer my sincere congratulations on their new baby girl. related question for those who may know: what day would the celebrate her birthday on? march 1st?

Kelly on

That picture of DeMarcus holding his daughter on the NY Times website is one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen! πŸ™‚

Karen on

Wow that was one of the sweetest articles I have ever read. It brought tears to my eyes, they are an amazing family and Marley is so blessed!

Sarah on

The picture of DeMarcus holding her shirtless is just precious. Congratulations to them! Happy 1st Father’s Day DeMarcus!

Heather on

That made my heart melt! I’m very happy for them. Happy Father’s day to him.

Stephany on

I’m an avid football fan so I know much about DeMarcus Ware in respect to football but not much about his personal life. It made me so sad to think of the miscarriages and stillborn Omar. How utterly sad. But luckily they were able to adopt beautiful Marley. She’s a doll. The picture of DeMarcus and Marley was priceless!

Tanya on

Its kind of cool that this black couple adopts a white babygirl! I mean in adoption you often see white parents adopt a black baby, but you almost never see black people with a white child. So its refreshing.

nicole on

Amazing story and pics!!!!

coco on

wow their story was heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time.i cant imagine what they’ve gone through.but its good to see that they’ve realized their dreams of parenthood through adoption.a beautiful baby too!

gigi on

wonderful family and uplifting story. bless them.

Erica on

DeMarcus’ story is heartbreaking yet very hopeful. And of course he and his wife now have a beautiful girl for the rest of their lives, which is great. I hope he has a good father’s day with Marley. πŸ™‚

Gabrielle on

I can’t imagine going through that amount of pain and strife… I am so happy for them, they now have the family they so obviously want.

k on

I think I sent a tip for this story in but my feed hadn’t updated yet! I should have realized y’all wouldn’t miss it. This story brought tears to my eyes, too!

T on

I’m a die hard cowboys fan. I love the defense… I’m really glad to see that his wish to be a father has been granted. He is truly a wonderful person on the field and off. She is a beautiful baby girl with the most adorable smile. I hate to turn the topic to skin color but I thought it was awesome to see D-Ware and his wife adopt a baby not of the same skin color. I think the pictures and the story prove that true love is color blind. That is a powerful picture of father and child πŸ™‚

Erica on

Sorry for the second post, but I just had to comment on the photo with DeMarcus and Marley: that has got to be one of the most gorgeous shots of a parent and his child that I’ve ever seen. It honestly brought a tear to my eye. Talk about a picture of perfection!

Ihavetosay on

That’s great that they are parents, and have a wonderful,healthy baby. But, why wouldn’t a black couple adopt a black child when there are way more black children in America that need homes?

Beth Hammond on

This world needs to STOP seeing in color when it comes to people! They were approached to adopt THIS baby! Who cares what color her skin is or what color their skin is! They all have the same color blood. That is a beautiful picture of father and child. That’s all that matters.

kate on

Living in Australia I’ve never heard of this family before. That article was so bittersweet, I’m sitting here crying. I wish them the very best of luck in their struggle for a family. I’m so glad they have a beautiful daughter to love!

J-Lin on

Beautiful story.

Tanya – I don’t think the baby is white. She looks bi-racial or black.

brooke on

Sad story, but glad they have a baby girl now

emmalee on

Tanya, I also wouldn’t assume that Marley’s biological parents are both White just because she has fair skin in these pics.

Regardless, it’s so great to see pictures of this baby so loved and cherished by her parents after they’d experienced such heartache.

Sanja on

I agree with some of the previous posters, it’s very nice and refreshing to see a black family adopt a (seemingly) white baby.

They seem so happy and that is one lucky little girl.

The only thing that bothers me in this (and I know I might get some flack for this) is the fact that they plan to get pregnant again.With three miscarriages /stillborns, and two of those children having serious genetic defects (and probably the third one as well), it seems pretty obvious that they’re not genetically compatible. I’d certainly have that checked out first and then, maybe try some genetic screening with the next conception.

chris on

Marley is biracial. What a wonderful family, best wishes to them!

Kay on

I’m not a football fan and this story moved me. I’m at work crying. That picture of him holding her like a little football is sooooo precious.


Race is still very much an issue in 2008.(I don’t know why) There are many
childern of all races that are in need of adoption. I can not commment on the childs race because it was not mentioned and I really don’t care. All that matters is that they are happy and the baby is healthy. Race issues are so 1960’s lets get over it guys!!!!!!!.

Wilamena on

Congratulations to the happy family! I don’t know personally, but I’ve heard it’s a difficult process to adopt a newborn of any background, but it is especially difficult for an African American couple to adopt outside of their race…I’m sure they just wanted a happy, healthy newborn.

crystal on

I LOVE the cowboys!This story was absolutly beautiful!!
Congrats to them and their gorgeous baby girl!!!!

b on

That was the most touching story… It brought tears to my eyes.

That child will be soooo loved! This is obviously their destiny. I have my own biological child, but I’ve always had a deep desire to adopt. I just want to love all the babies!!!!

Angela on

I’m happy the Wares finally found a happy ending after such heartache.

mf on

i can’t stop crying. i am so happy for them. they finally have this blessing. i hope from now on they only experience the joy of parenthood.

Tara on

Marley is a very beautiful and blessed child. She was born in the hearts of two very special people who loved her enough to bring her into their lives forever. I think it’s wonderful!!!! Congratulation to both of you and your family.

Elyse on

That is simply the most touching story. I am glad I got to read this today! Congrats to the Ware’s for welcoming their little angel Marley into their home!

Steve on

This story is just wonderful. We adopted a baby girl 6 months ago.

When people say “why did he adopt a white child when there are so many black kids out there who need homes”, it shows a lack of understanding about domestic adoption.

If one wants to adopt a newborn, the best chance you have domestically is not through the foster care system. That is where all these “kids who need homes” are, I would assume. These days, a birthmother CHOOSES the adoptive parents she wants to parent her baby. Should a couple desperate to have a child say “No, we can’t – she’s white”?

All the best to the lovely family.

cmb on

Being an Adoptive Mom, I am thrilled for this couple. I didn’t go through the things they went through before adopting. I stopped at the thought of fertility drugs. The miracle of adoption is like no other. The moment you get your hands on the child, it feels as if that child has been a part of you your whole life. My husband is the biggest Dallas Cowboy fan and he brought this story to me. God Bless to the Ware family. They are so blessed to have Marley in their lives. And to Mrs. Ware, I’ll bet the moment you saw her, the Mommy inside you came out of nowhere. Not even knowing you have it inside…it just comes and you just know exactly what to do.

CTBmom on

I missed this the first time around, but I am so glad that they found their happy ending. I am an adoptive mom, and it’s such an amazing feeling when you hold your baby the first time, after dreaming of them for so long. Marley is absolutely gorgeous, and I am sure they are thrilled to have her in their lives. Congrats!!

FC on

I’m glad I came and looked at this post after reading the most current. Their story sounded heartbreaking.Birthing a baby you know will be stillborn, that just rips your heart out.

But I’m glad they’re on the mends, and they have a beautiful little girl to show for it.Just looking at Marley with them, and the smile she had in the photo of her with DeMarcus, you can no doubt see they have a big reason to smile now.

peanut's_mom on

This was truly a heart warming story. As an African American mom in the process of adopting a Caucasian baby let me just say that love knows no race! I didn’t turn down my princess because she was white and she didn’t reject me because I was black. I saw a baby who needed a family and who responded to my voice like she already knew I was to be her mom and I knew that she was MY baby. Not my white baby or my black baby, but just my baby.

Newborns are so hard to adopt that you can’t pick and choose.

Hunter on

Being a cowboys fan, I often watch Ware and how he reacts on and off the field. After the death of Omar, Ware had a sack during a game and pointed at the sky, and I got a little emotional. He is an athletic beast, and a softie in real life. And by the way, Marley is pretty cute! πŸ™‚

K on

I just saw a story on the Wares that told the story of their decision to adopt a non-black baby. They did not set out to adopt, and were still grieving over their lost babies when their pastor, who runs a home for troubled young women, contacted them about one of his girls who was 8 months along and wanted an adopted family who were unable to have children for her baby. The pastor immediately thought of the Wares, since they were in his own congregation. I doubt the couple would have cared if she was black, white, red, yellow, purple, chartreuse, or polkadotted. The fact is, Marley is the baby that God placed in their path and in their arms. Arguing that a baby should not be loved simply because they are of a somehow perceived more “marketable” race of adoptable children shows complete ignorance.

dan on

can anyone find the espn story they did on demarcus and his wife? if so, please email me the link at thanks