Christmas gifts |

Christmas gifts

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

On Christmas Eve in a Carson City courtroom, a family grew by three.

“This is the best part of my job, always has been,” said an emotional George Keele, the attorney who handled the adoption of Jose, 12; Paola, 10, and Aimee, 6, for Tim and Lorraine Vazquez. “It’s absolutely breathtaking.”

Monday’s hearing brought the number of children the Vazquezes have adopted over the last decade to 12. The smiling clan filled half the courtroom on Monday, each being introduced to Judge Bill Maddox by their mother.

Courtney 10; Michael, 12; Tasha, 11; Hannah, 11; Bryan, 17; Kayla, 13; D.J., 8; Gabrielle, 11; and Mia 15. They were joined by Lorraine’s eldest daughter from a previous relationship, Beth 27, foster daughter Anahi, 2, and Tim and Lorraine’s birth daughter, Brianne, 19.

“They are the most amazing family that I’ve ever worked with,” said Cile Cogburn, with the Washoe County Department of Social Services.

Though it was her day off, Cogburn decided she couldn’t miss Monday’s ceremony. She has been working with the Vazquezes concerning Jose, Paola and Aimee since Dec. 23, 2006, when she called Lorraine to ask her to take the sibling group for two weeks. Cogburn said the foster home they had been in asked they be placed elsewhere for Christmas. Now, 366 days later, they’ve found a “forever home.”

“Tim and Lorraine are amazing parents, not only do they unconditionally love every child that walks into their home, they are able to meet each of their needs. She knows each of their strengths and weaknesses and she knows what each of them needs. What she can’t provide for them, she makes sure through another resource, she gets them.”

Married for 20 years, Tim is an officer with the Department of Alternative Sentencing, while Lorraine stays at home in Minden with the children. All of the children are homeschooled and they all participate in Kiwanis and 4H. Lorraine is chair for the Rural Children’s Mental Health Consortium.

Cogburn said what make Tim and Lorraine’s adoptions even more unbelievable is that, thus far, they’ve just taken on sibling groups.

“Those placements are few and far between,” she admitted.

When asked to speak in court, Tim’s emotions got the best of him. His eyes welled with tears and the words refused to come out. Jose looked up at his father with a smile that could go no wider.

In the gallery, immaculately dressed and behaving beautifully, were their children.

“Most people think that we’re saints because of what we give them, but what they give us -the blessings they are to us -doesn’t compare,” said Lorraine.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.