A Danville native and her husband who are featured on BYU TV Cable series "Relative Race" promise "tons of smiles and tears" for those tuning in to see their journey in finding their biological families.
Elizabeth Dobson, formerly a Waldrop, and her husband, Devin Dobson, who were both adopted and now live in Lehigh Valley, are among four teams selected for the seventh season of "Relative Race," which premiered on Feb. 21. Viewers can watch them at 9 p.m. EST each Sunday over the next 10 weeks as they take their trip across the country, compete against the other teams and discover the facts about their identity and biological family.
"I'm really grateful for this experience we were afforded," said Elizabeth Dobson, who graduated from Danville Area High School in 2002. "These are memories we'll be able to cherish with each other. We'll be able to relive and share with our children and then our grandchildren. It's captured and documented so beautifully."
They cannot talk too much about the show and how the episodes unfold, but they both promise "tons of smiles and tears."
"If you want to hear a feel-good story about a Danville native, definitely tune in," said Devin Dobson.
Be sure to have a box of tissues handy because each episode is a tearjerker, they said.
Devin Dobson compared the show to "The Amazing Race." Each team starts in a different city. They are given simple phones — no internet connection or GPS — and they receive a text with the name of the city they are supposed to travel to with only paper maps. In those cities, they must complete a challenge to receive the address of a family member they have never met before.
The first city the Dobsons travel to is Pittsburgh.
"Not everything on TV has a warm, fuzzy, really feel-good quality, but this is programming that everybody can feel good about and enjoy," said Elizabeth Dobson.
Elizabeth and Devin met in 2007 when they were both working for Pfizer Pharmaceutical in New York City. They started dating in 2009, married in 2010 and now have two boys: David, 3, and Dylan, 18 months. Among the many things they bonded over was their adoptions.
"It's a very unique experience," said Elizabeth Dobson. "It's a very unique set of emotions that we were able to connect with. One of our key values is living life to the fullest. Because of our beginnings, we never take life for granted. We both have this drive and determination. We both feel like we got a second chance at life."
Adoption, said Devin Dobson, is about love and humans' ability to love each other.
"It teaches us that we really do have the capacity to love regardless of our differences," he said. "I think that's what people will see with this show. My wife and I feel blessed and fortunate that we had this opportunity, especially in this critical time in our nation's history."
Elizabeth Dobson was a soccer and track star at Danville Area High School and at one point held school records for three track events and co-captained an undefeated soccer season for the Lady Ironmen before she graduated in 2002. She was actively involved in the marching band, drama club and earned several awards/titles with the DAHS speech and debate team. Her family moved to the Danville Area in the early 1990s for her father’s pediatric work at Geisinger Hospital. Danny and Darlene Waldrop adopted Elizabeth as a baby in addition to their two oldest sons, who were also adopted at birth.
The Dobsons founded Source Connect International, a faith-based business consulting firm, over a decade ago. The couple have lived as residents of the Lehigh Valley for over 10 years and have run successful businesses and supported multiple nonprofits.
Elizabeth Dobson was featured as a Lehigh River Tedx speaker in 2016 for her talk on subconscious biases. She is set to graduate with her masters of sociology from Lehigh University in the spring of 2021 and much of her blog, media company and nonprofit work via familyremixed.com is empowering and connecting adoption communities. She has focused her research on mixed-race identity and interracial families.
Devin Dobson has a varied sales background that includes pharmaceuticals, banking and fundraising. As an actor and author, he has done book signings and speaking engagements across the country. His acting career has been comprised of theater productions and TV commercials. He was most recently depicted as an assistant football coach in the Emmy-nominated HBO movie “Paterno”, starring Al Pacino.
Viewers can watch the Dobsons on Dish Network channel 4369, 9403, DIRECTV channel 374, Verizon Fios 290, 289. It can also be watched by livestream via https://www.byutv.org/livetv or by downloading the BYUTV app on a smart TV or mobile device.