Stagecoach couple formally adopts two great-grandchildren |

Stagecoach couple formally adopts two great-grandchildren

F.T. Norton
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer

By the time Serenity and Timothy Durbrow got into the Carson City District Courtroom on Tuesday, they were over it.

The adoption hearing that would make their great-grandparents, Annabelle Younger, 64, and Wayne Gooch, 67, their legal guardians was supposed to start at 11:30 a.m.

That was already cutting it pretty close to nap time for the 2- and 3-year-old brother and sister. When the hearing didn’t begin until shortly after noon, their patience had worn thin.

Once inside the courtroom, Serenity cried loud echoing sobs that drowned out everything else. Timothy turned around in his chair and insisted on looking into the gallery instead of at District Judge Jim Wilson, who was performing the first adoption ceremony in Carson City for the year, and his first adoption ceremony since he took the bench in January.

But seemingly ever-stoic Wayne and Annabelle were not phased by the commotion.

Their quiet life had changed dramatically in February 2008 when they took their grandson’s children out of foster care in Washington and brought them to their Stagecoach home.

Annabelle explained that her grandson and his young wife were too immature to properly care for the children. Child Protective Services caseworkers would make unannounced visits and find the young couple asleep and the children unsupervised.

That pattern repeated itself until the state took custody of the babies. Serenity was just a few months old, Timothy just over a year.

They had been in foster care for six months before Annabelle learned of their fate.

The couple had already been taking the steps to become foster parents, so immediately Annabelle and Wayne realized the kids belonged with them, she said.

Annabelle said raising the children has given her and Wayne more of a purpose.

On Tuesday, over the din, Annabelle introduced supporters sitting in the gallery ” among them members from her group the Carson Valley Weavers and Spinners and the children’s daycare provider.

“They say it takes a community to raise a child,” she said. “This is part of my community.”

Afterward Judge Wilson said that during his short time on the bench, he’s mostly seen people at the lowest point in their lives. But Tuesday’s hearing was different.

“These are people here for a good purpose,” he said.

And as the crew made their way out of the courtroom” newly appointed a legal family ” Wilson watched in amusement as the children behaved like children and Nana and Papa took it in stride.

“Good luck,” the judge said.

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