Family grows by four on National Adoption Day |

Family grows by four on National Adoption Day

by Maggie O'Neill
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Pictured from left, counterclockwise, Joey, Allie and Jason Anthis, all 5, Carolyn Anthis, 3, James and Roberta Anthis, and Mackenzie, 13 months old.

This Saturday will be the first day ever that foster children Allie, Joey and Jason, all 5, and Carolyn, 3, officially have a permanent mom and a permanent dad.

This Saturday will be the first day ever Roberta and James Anthis, 36 and 38, officially become parents.

This Saturday is National Adoption Day, and although Roberta and James have always considered Allie, Joey, Jason and Carolyn their children, their worries about the youngsters being returned to birth parents or relatives will be gone.

“We were willing to take the risk of fostering-toward-adoption,” Roberta said. “We decided to take the risk, provide a home and roll with the punches.”

After Saturday’s adoption ceremony, Roberta and James plan to bring their children to the Children’s Museum in Carson City for a National Adoption Day Ceremony, scheduled from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Speakers at the ceremony include John Tyson, a foster parent, and Ian Hill, a former foster child and now an author.

“People are coming from all over the rural counties who have adopted children in the last year,” said Division of Child and Family Services adoption supervisor Nancy O’Neill. “There will be families who are wanting to adopt and children who are free for adoption and waiting for homes.”

Allie, Joey, Jason and Carolyn came into the Anthis’ lives soon after Roberta picked up a framed Bible verse about children from a Christian book store.

“For this child I prayed and the Lord has given me my request which I asked of him,” Roberta read. “Also I have lent him to the Lord and long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.”

She put the framed verse in the hallway of their Dayton home in 2000.

“One week to the day after putting it up, here comes my Allie and that was it,” she said. “All those years of waiting were gone and we felt like a family that very first day.”

Not long after Allie joined the family, the Anthises took in a 22-month-old boy named Joey. Along came Carolyn, at 3 days of age, in September 2001.

And Jason, Carolyn’s half-brother, joined the family in January 2003. The Anthises also foster parent a 13-month-old girl now, who they eventually plan to adopt if all goes well.

Ultimately, Roberta and James hope for a family of eight.

“We believe we’ll continue to take foster kids in even after that,” Roberta said.

Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at mo’ or 881-1219.


What: National Adoption Day at the Children’s Museum, 813 N. Carson St.

When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

Cost: $5 adult admission to the museum, $3 children.

Contact: The museum at 884-2226 or the Division of Child and Family Services at 687-4943.


Foster children are sometimes overlooked during the holidays, according to foster parent Roberta Anthis, but they don’t have to be. The Sierra Association of Foster Families offers a way to remember foster children this holiday season.

The organization, which serves which more than 360 families in Northern Nevada including Carson City, is seeking toys, cash and $25 gift cards for foster children.

“When you do foster care, there are no baby showers,” Anthis said. “No one comes along and says let me give you something for Christmas.”

Contact Cindy Johnson at SAFF at 359-5685 or e-mail her at Gifts can be sent to P.O. Box 11112, Reno, NV 89510.

Top 10 reasons to adopt a teenager

1. No diapers to change.

2. They sleep through the night.

3. They are ready to move out sooner, but can still visit.

4. You don’t just get a child, you get a friend.

5. They you keep you up-to-date with the latest fashion.

6. No more carpools. They can drive you places.

7. No bottles, formula or burp rags required.

8. They can help you out around the house.

9. They can learn from you.

10. They will teach you how to run your computer.

– Source: Oklahoma Department of Human Services