Rob “Boston Rob” Mariano and Amber Brkich Mariano are one of the greatest love stories of reality TV. They met on Survivor’s first all-star season, which was its eighth season and aired in spring 2004. They connected right from the start and made it all the way to the end together, with Amber winning the money in a 4-3 jury vote.
The two got engaged on the live “All-Stars” finale and went on to get married in a televised ceremony in 2005. In 2007, Amber and Rob told People that they weren’t trying for children just yet.
“We definitely want a family and we’ve been talking about it,” Amber said at the time. “But I think it was also important for us to spend the first couple of years just the two of us together.” Rob added, “We are not trying right away but when it happens, it happens.”
Fast-forward to 2020 when Rob and Amber now have four children, all girls. Ahead of them returning to the game for the first time together for Survivor’s 40th season, “Winners At War,” here’s what you need to know about their kids.
1. Lucia Is a Fourth of July Baby
Rob and Amber’s oldest daughter is Lucia, who was born on the Fourth of July in 2009. Boston Rob has always been very proud of his Italian heritage, so all of his daughter’s have Italian names. His great-grandparents on his paternal grandfather’s side were originally born in Italy.
Lucia means “light of God” in Italian and when she was born, she was 6 lbs, 11.5 oz. and measured 19 1/4 inches long, the Marianos told People at the time.
“Lucia is a great eater and sleeps a lot, however, she tends to be a bit of a night owl like her daddy at times,” Boston Rob said when Lucia was born. “She is a perfect baby and we could not have asked for anything more. We are over the moon with happiness at her arrival!”
For her fifth birthday in 2014, she got to get her ears pierced, her proud daddy posted on Twitter.
2. Carina’s Birth Was Nearly an Emergency Situation
Baby No. 2 arrived just 17 months after her big sister. Carina was born December 10, 2010 — and it was a near-miss that she wasn’t born in the car on the way to the hospital.
“I was on the computer Friday night at 12 o’clock, and [Amber] says, ‘I don’t think I’m gonna make it ’til Monday,’ because Monday was the day they were going to induce her had she not had [her] by then,” Rob told People at the time.
“So I said, ‘Okay, let’s gather our stuff and go to the hospital.’ And as I’m standing there, I see her having contractions. They went from five minutes apart to three minutes apart. By the time we got to the car, they were a minute apart, and we live 40 minutes from the hospital. We got there at 2:15 a.m. and she had the baby at 2:25 a.m. There was no time for an I.V., no time for an epidural. It was amazing what she did.”
He went on to say that Carina was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and the birth got a little scary for a while.
“They had to stop in the middle of it and cut the cord and at that point, the baby’s not getting any oxygen. Amber needs to get the rest of the baby out. I don’t know how she did it but in six pushes, she had the baby out,” said Rob.
Fast-forward six years and little Carina, which means “dear” or “beloved” in Italian, stood up in front of her entire school and sang the National Anthem. Boston Rob’s Survivor co-star Sandra Diaz Twine commented at the time, “She’s fearless, like mommy and daddy.”
So… when can she try out for Survivor?
3. Baby Isabetta Made Life ‘A Little Crazy’
When Amber and Rob got married, Amber told People that since she and Rob both come from families with three children, they “would like to have three kids.” And on May 5, 2012, that dream came true.
Isabetta became baby No. 3 for the Marianos, born “with a full head of brown hair and blue eyes,” Amber told People at the time, adding, “Her sisters can’t get enough of her. They always want to hold her and I’m not sure who gives her more kisses — her big sisters or her parents!”
Amber also said that having three children under the age of three was “a little crazy at times,” but they were “absolutely loving life.”
Interestingly, Isabetta, which is a form of both Isabella and Elisabetta and means “pledged to God” in Italian, became the third person in their family to be born on a holiday. Dad Rob was born on Christmas Day, 1975, sister Lucia is a Fourth of July baby, and Isabetta was born on Cinco de Mayo.
4. Adelina Likes to Sneak Food and Fib About It
On June 20, 2014, Rob and Amber welcomed baby No. 4, a girl named Adelina, which means “noble” in Italian. Rob tweeted at the time that “mom and baby are doing great!” and also added a photo of all four girls, who were born in a span of just under five years. The baby of the family appears on Rob’s Twitter quite often displaying evidence of having sneaked some kind of treat.
Rob actually said he was “outnumbered” by ladies back when they were only on baby No. 2 in 2010, but he added, “I always thought I would have boys, but as a father, when your kids are born and they’re healthy and happy, that’s the most important thing.”
And in 2011, he told US Weekly, “Being a father is by far the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done.”
5. They All Have the Same Middle Name
The four Mariano girls obviously have a lot in common, appearing on their parents’ social media doing all kinds of family activities and looking a lot alike. But they also have a cool thing in common with their names — they all have the same middle name of Rose.
The tradition started when Lucia was born. She was named after Rob’s paternal grandmother Rose, who passed away in 1990. The tribute was something Rob and Amber decided to continue with each of their other daughters, so the girls all have Rose as their middle name. And it sounds like several of Rose’s grandchildren have used her name as a middle name for their children as well.
“Rob really liked the idea of all of our girls sharing the same middle name,” Amber told People when their third daughter was born. “Many cousins on his side also share Rose as their middle name.”
Survivor: Winners at War premieres Wednesday, February 12 with a special two-hour episode that kicks off at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
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