Roy Rogers And Dale Evans Lost Their Daughter With Down Syndrome, But She Inspired Them To Bring 4 More Kids Into Their Loving Home
September 12, 2018 11:08 By Fabiosa
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans really cared about children in need
Many of us remember Roy Rogers and his wife Dale Evans from iconic Westerns they starred in and for their timeless music. This couple touched the lives of their fans not only with their art, but also with their charitable acts.
Roy and Dale cared about children, especially those in need, and they often visited children’s hospitals and orphanages. The couple had nine children of their own, including four children from their previous marriages and four adopted kids. They had one biological child together, and their brief journey with her led them to care about little ones even more.
Roy and Dale’s two years of joy with Robin Elizabeth
Dale gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on August 26, 1950. She and Roy named their daughter Robin Elizabeth. The baby was born with Down syndrome and a heart defect, and doctors tried to persuade her parents to give her up. Back in the 1950s, it was common for parents to give up babies born with DS, as these babies were seen as hopeless.
Dale and Roy didn’t listen. They took Robin home to give her the best life she could have. Decades later, their daughter Cheryl said in an interview with Closer Weekly:
Mom and Dad said God had a reason to give them Robin, and they brought her home – she was their baby.
Dale and Roy cared for Robin just as they cared for their other children, if not more so. Unfortunately, in the ‘50s medicine wasn’t as advanced as it is now. Robin contracted mumps and died of complications caused by the infection just two days before her second birthday.
Dale and Roy were devastated by their loss, but it made their love for each other and their other children even stronger. Dale wrote a book, Angel Unaware, in which Robin’s story is told from her perspective as she is in Heaven. The book is still in print and it has touched the lives of many other parents of children with disabilities and parents who lost their little ones too soon.
Roy and Dale’s decision to adopt
After Robin’s untimely passing, Roy and Dale decided to welcome more kids into their family. In the following years, the couple adopted four children: Mimi, Dodie, Sandy, and Debbie.
The first one was Dodie, who is a Native American, and her parents went to great lengths to bring her home. The next one was Sandy, a boy from difficult background whom the couple met accidentally. Dusty Rogers recalled his parents’ first encounter with his would-be brother in the interview with Closer Weekly:
He stuck out his hand and said, ‘Howdy, pardner!’ and dad just melted and asked if he was up for adoption. They said yes, and Dad said, ‘Great, we’ll take him!’
The couple later took home two orphaned girls: Mami, from Scotland, and Debbie, from Korea.
Roy died in 1998, and Dale followed her beloved husband in 2001. Although they’ve been gone for almost two decades, their legacy lives on. This family’s story gives hope to parents of children with Down syndrome and other developmental issues and inspires many men and women around the country to adopt.