After getting married, Al Roker and his wife Deborah Roberts have difficulty conceiving. They had a daughter as their first child and later welcomed a son, but soon began to notice that the young boy was unusual.
When Deborah Roberts joined the NBC family in 1990 as a general-assignment reporter, Al Roker first met his future wife. Al discussed their love story during his visit on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” in February 2021.
The co-host of “Today” admitted that he and Deborah initially lived in the “friend zone.” They were so close that she even requested him to help her by keeping an eye on her apartment while she was away since they were that close.
Al looked around Deborah’s apartment after being handed the assignment! The only things he discovered when he searched her kitchen and refrigerator were a bottle of Grey Poupon mustard and some stale cheese.
The weatherman made the decision to restock her cupboard the day before she was due to return from her trip. A week later, he got his first date with her after filling up her fridge, leaving flowers, a “Welcome home” message, and more!
Deborah recalled how lovely Al had always been in an interview with People regarding their first interactions. In addition, he was forthright, upfront about his family, and showed her pictures of his daughter.
The reporter admitted that at first, she had no romantic feelings for Al since she merely saw him as a “decent person.” They stayed in touch when Deborah was transferred to Miami and then Atlanta for two years.
She made a comeback in 1992, this time working for Dateline NBC in New York. Al proposed to Deborah two years after their separation from his first wife, Alice, with whom he was married at the time.
On New Year’s Day, the proposal took place at the Grand Canyon’s rim. The couple wed on September 16, 1995, in St. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York, and then had their reception there.
In 1992, she returned and this time worked for Dateline NBC in New York. Two years after their divorce from his first wife, Alice, whom he was then married to, Al proposed to Deborah.
The marriage proposal happened on New Year’s Day along the brink of the Grand Canyon. On September 16, 1995, the couple exchanged vows and had their reception at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York.
Al’s father, on the other hand, never viewed his sacrifices as labor but rather as an expression of his love, and the more kids he had, the more love he gave. The co-host of the “Today” show desired a kid with his wife for this reason.
They tried for more than a year, but Deborah tragically was unable to get pregnant. When they went to see Deborah’s ob/gyn, Dr. Janice Marks, she informed them that it was taking too long to get pregnant and advised them to both get tested.
Al discovered the issue, and Marks suggested they seek advice at the New York Fertility Institute. Deborah cautioned them to try it naturally again and said that if it were meant to happen, God would provide the necessary arrangements.
When she informed Al she was late for her period three weeks later, she astonished him and showed that her faith had not been misplaced. A drugstore pregnancy test verified that they were really expecting!
The pair didn’t want to rush to announce the good news to everyone, though, just in case something went wrong. During the second month of the pregnancy, Marks performed a sonogram, which showed the fetus wasn’t developing.
Their doctor had the unpleasant responsibility of advising the parents that the baby wouldn’t live to term since its heart rate was lower than anticipated. As Mark had predicted, Deborah sadly miscarried over the Labor Day holiday weekend.
After that, Deborah and Al decided to use in vitro fertilization (IVF) once more, and they were pregnant. The weatherman prayed every day for the safety of his wife and unborn child in God’s hands because he was terrified to be joyful.
Twelve weeks later, when the couple went in for a scan, the doctor showed them a picture of their developing child! After that, the couple could clearly hear their infant’s heartbeat, and on November 17, 1998, they welcomed Leila Ruth Roker into the world!
Deborah and Al welcomed a son, Nick, into the family four years after having a daughter. Like all of his children, the “Today” program host said the son was “an answer to prayer,” but Nick was unique. Al said:
“He wasn’t growing as quickly as he ought to be, wasn’t gripping our fingers as firmly, wasn’t always looking in our direction, and wasn’t crawling as quickly. He could hardly walk and hardly talk when he was three.”
Doctors and specialists ran a number of tests on Nick to determine what was wrong with him. They were attempting to identify whether he had processing issues, autism, cerebral palsy, or none of the above.
Al and Deborah were aware of their son’s possible obsessive-compulsive disorder and autism spectrum disorder around the age of 17. The titles, however, annoyed the weatherman because they didn’t really reflect who his child was in reality.
Nick’s parents made an effort to jumpstart his development by arranging for him to engage with behavioral and occupational therapists on his mobility, speaking, and building strength. He was enrolled in a course at school that catered to his requirements.
Al’s son was successful in making friends and insisted on enrolling in taekwondo lessons! The NBC star acknowledged having concerns about his son enrolling in the classes, but he gave in.
Al acknowledged to Guideposts in 2019 that he does occasionally lose patience with Nick, as might be expected. But he remembered his father and how understanding he had been, and that helped him to calm down.
His wife also reminded him that he needed to express his love and admiration for Nick. Deborah’s husband needed to express his admiration for their son above all else.
Despite their best efforts to be watchful and to caution him against overextending himself, Nick’s parents were pleasantly surprised by how much he developed. The taekwondo techniques Al’s kid learned helped him advance through the ranks and obtain his black belt.
Nick subsequently shifted his focus to new problems and enrolled in basketball, chess, and swimming lessons. Al’s youngster found comfort in the St. James Church of his parents by enrolling as an acolyte.
Al publicly discussed his son on the “Today” show in 2020. He shared one of his New Year’s resolutions with Hoda Kotb, stating: “I want to be a better person after watching Nick deal with the trials of life.”
“I guess I want to be more patient. I have a tendency to become a little irritable with Nick, especially near the end of the week when I start to feel a little tired.”
Al acknowledged that he was more proud of his son than anyone could possibly know. The weather anchor’s heart swelled at the sight of Nick bearing the principal cross with dignity and attention, leading the other acolytes.
The NBC personality claimed that his son had taught him to stop placing restrictions on him, just as he wouldn’t with his other kids. He also learnt how to let his kids make mistakes, and he had his eyes opened by Nick’s early success.
Courtney, who was born in 1987, has typically remained out of the public eye. Her father publicly declared his joy at her engagement to Wesley Richard on social media in April 2020.
The pair wed in June 2021, more than a year later, and Al continued to post pictures from the memorable day. At the time, Courtney claimed her heart was overflowing with excitement, and she couldn’t wait for her honeymoon!
In November 1998, the second biological kid of “The Wake Up With Al” star was born. Leila graduated from The American University of Paris in France with a degree in journalism.
While she had more experience than that, she also had the opportunity to work as a contributor for the “Today” show. Leila has previously written for Forbes, WWD, and Footwear News as a freelancer.
She also appreciated working as an intern for ABC’s coverage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in May 2018. Al once remarked that Courtney wasn’t your normal youngster when you took the conventional routes.
Leila believed she hadn’t encountered much diversity.
She told her parents she wanted to go culinary school instead while she was a sophomore in college. From a very young age, Courtney enjoyed cooking and making food decorations.
Al remarked that although his daughter’s route may not have been what they had anticipated, they now recognize it was better because it was a decision Courtney could make. She now runs one of Google’s restaurants in the city and is thriving in her role as a chef for the firm.
The daughter of the NBC celebrity owned a catering business as well. Her father claimed that he had discovered the importance of listening to one’s children because they were the ones who know themselves the best.
Leila, who went to a Manhattan private school from kindergarten through middle school, taught Al a few things as well. She informed her parents that she desired a different high school experience when she was in the seventh grade.
Leila decided to enroll at the LaGuardia School of Performing Arts because she believed her previous school didn’t expose her to enough diversity. She had developed a passion for acting and musical theater.
Al claimed that one of the additional things he discovered was the individuality of each of his children. He discussed how it was obvious from a young age but became more obvious as they grew older and became adults, observing:
They may be grownups and your relationship may have changed in certain ways, but at its core, they are still your child.
The weatherman was able to raise three wonderful kids thanks to the principles he studied and put into practice. Nick and Leila were both in their 20s in 2022, while Courtney was already in her 30s.