Photo courtesy of the Robinson family.
1112 Robinson Family Adoption
Rosie, Pippa and Sam Robinson.
For Mike and Tricia Robinson, the path to adoption followed a life-changing laparoscopy. Facing a potentially life–threatening blood disease, Tricia Robinson took charge of her health as the couple reconsidered options.
She recalled that the seed to adopt had been planted in her heart early on. After much talk and prayer, the couple elected to adopt from Russia.
“We started the process in the fall, and we received Sam’s picture and video on New Year’s Day. We saw him for the first time on Valentine’s Day,” Robinson said. Although the family observes Sam’s birthday in April, each Valentine’s Day is filled with an equally joyful celebration, one in which the family reminisces over his babyhood as they pour over scrapbooks and watch favorite home movies of Sam as a toddler.
“This tradition is precious to him,” said Tricia. “He is very proud of his country. I want him to cherish and keep and have a real understanding to where he came from, his story; it is unique and special. We all have our story that God has given us.”
Robinson, a celebrated painter with a loyal following throughout the state of Alabama and the Florida panhandle, has a respectful appreciation for her God-given artistry and talent.
“That’s the cool thing. Right around the time we were adopting was when I began my art and painting – and it has definitely helped us pay for these adoptions,” she said. [The Robinsons are also adoptive parents of two daughters, Rosie and Pippa.]
“God has really provided,” she said. “He has given me a way where I can paint and we can use what we make for something so much bigger than stuff.”
In 2009, the Robinsons chose to adopt for a second time, again from Russia.
“The funny thing about Rosie was – I had this picture in my head of what my little dream girl would look like. I thought about how I would braid her hair and all that fun stuff. Well, she had a crew cut, so no braiding. Her skin had never seen the light of day. We thought she was fair-skinned, but it was only due to lack of exposure to sun. It’s funny looking back on these little things because you have this vision in your head and then you realize, ‘Oh, this is my little daughter. I will just have to wait for her hair to grow.’”
In 2011, Mike and Tricia Robinson completed the family of three they’d so long desired to have when they welcomed home baby Pippa.
A woman of strong faith, Robinson again recalls God’s hand guiding the family through their final adoption process.
“Pippa has a heart condition – she is special needs. Last September, my mom had heart surgery. I had literally just gotten home from being on the heart floor of this hospital in Georgia when we got this referral for a heart baby.”
For Robinson, that baby, who had been left in the heart clinic of a Chinese hospital by her birth mother, was as destined to be a part of the Robinson family as Mike and Tricia were meant to find her.
“When God wants a child in your life and He wants that child to be yours, it will happen. He puts families together in such a powerful way.”
Refreshingly, Robinson eschews the saccharine stereotype of adoptive parents as rescuers. She and Mike are candid and open with all three children about their families of origin, and the questions that follow.
“They come into this world with brokenness and loss,” she said. “You can’t patch that up with, ‘You’re going to America now! You’re in Perfect Land!’”
“One of the big questions is obviously, ‘Why were we given up? Why were we abandoned?’ It is a core question and it hits straight to my heart. You are addressing sorrow and sadness and you can’t just put a Band-Aid on it. You just explain it the best way you can. God uses each time we talk to our kids about this; He gives us the words to say.”
The Bluff Park painter wants her children to know their whole life story–not just the edited version. “Their birth mothers are real; we talk openly about it,” she said. While Tricia is helping her children heal and thrive, the kids are also influencing her.
“They inspire my art in many ways,” she said. “After adopting Pippa, I started a series of paintings with Chinese girls. The caption underneath them reads, ‘Just love me.’ That is what all these children need–someone to love them.”