Summer 2024

Tampa Bay Buccaneers DB Josh Robinson and wife follow God's prompting to adopt twin boys

Two weeks remain until the Tampa Bay Buccaneers open training camp on July 25. That leaves Bucs defensive back Josh Robinson two weeks until he has to go back to work. Two weeks until he leaves his family, which recently doubled in children.

The 27-year-old and his wife, Julianna, live in Tampa with their two biological sons, Jesse, 4, and Judah, 2. Soon, the family’s adopted twin sons will join them. Born four weeks ago, the oldest weighs 5 pounds, 12 ounces and the youngest weighs 4 pounds, 10 ounces. They require feeding every three hours.

“We’re slowly trying to get the food intake up at each feeding so that they can eventually be discharged,” Josh told ESPN’s Jenna Laine, adding, “I’m spending the rest of my offseason here.”

The rest of Robinson’s family is back home, eager to meet the newest additions — children the Robinsons are blessed to have through the help of Sacred Selections.

Josh and Julianna became aware of the organization through a boy at their church who was adopted with the help of Sacred Selections. In December, during the NFL’s My Cause, My Cleats week, Josh donned cleats featuring the names of the first 200 children who had been adopted through Sacred Selections. He also set up a YouCaring page, pledging $2 for every $1 donated.

“Sacred Selections families, especially, are open to adopting children that are typically unwanted — when you start getting into a disability that people are uncomfortable with, a low birth weight, a preemie — some people when they adopt, they want their picture-perfect family,” Julianna told ESPN. “The families [Sacred Selections is] working with are typically focused on a Godly mission of loving the unloved.”

Among those the Robinsons were able to meet through the fundraiser was a 17-year-old girl who had been adopted. When she was asked what she’d say to families who were considering adopting, she said, “Do you have room at your table for one more?”

That hit the hearts of Josh and Julianna. Initially, they were just trying to raise money and awareness for a program that helped a boy at their church. But when they heard this girl’s words, they thought about what else they could do. They had a stable home, a good job, a solid marriage. They had room for more.

“To me, it was so profound, to see a little heart thinking, ‘I don’t need much. If you have room,'” Josh said.

“We figured that better than sharing an opinion [about adoption] would be just to show the right thing to do, for there to be action and not just words,” Julianna said.

Instead of just presenting the organization with a check following their fundraiser, the Robinsons announced their intention to adopt. “That was the first time we shared it with anyone,” Julianna said. “I think we said it publicly so we couldn’t back out.”

Josh had always been open to adoption; Julianna wasn’t. But when the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., took place in February, her heart shifted.

“The shooter was adopted. The media focused on that part of his story so much,” Julianna said. “But I realized that most problems have solutions if you’re honest and not afraid of hard work, and getting children the support that they need. That’s something that, little by little, I was able to get over that hurdle. Because you know what? People who are not adopted also do awful things.”

The Robinsons aren’t sure when the twins will be released from the hospital. Once they are, they’ll need to be formally approved to leave their birth state, and go through a finalization hearing in court.

Josh may be at training camp by then. But regardless, he won’t be able to help take care of the kids as much once football season starts. So Julianna is preparing for a hectic fall.

“I’m sure we’re gonna have moments where we feel stretched pretty thin, but it’s worth it. They are worth it. That’s kind of been a motto for me — they are worth it,” Julianna said, adding, “We owe it to everyone [involved in the adoption process], but to God most of all, to raise these children the right way, to love them with everything we have.”

Click here for the entire ESPN feature.

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