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Finding Happiness in Family and Career

Las Vegas Raiders storyteller shares her own inspiring story

Walking into the house of Carrie and Justin Roper tucked away in Summerlin, with their two boys, two dogs, cartoons playing in the background and a pool ready to jump in; it’s the picture-perfect image of the ideal family. Their road to getting here, however, was not so traditional.

Carrie Roper, a Las Vegas native, has had quite the journey to becoming both a mother and a successful female powerhouse. Roper’s career began as a result of being a “gamer” on The Ellen DeGeneres Show; a gamer is a contestant who plays one of Ellen’s games on stage during a taping. 

Carrie held on to the contact information from the employee of the show who gave her the paperwork to fill out before playing the game. After reaching out on a whim, with the hope of an internship, Carrie got her break into the entertainment industry. Driving back and forth between Vegas and Los Angeles for an unpaid role, serving as a senator at UNLV for the journalism department, being a full-time student and eventually meeting her now husband, Justin Roper; Carrie had a full plate.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show opened a lot of doors for Roper, even sending her to Australia to help lead international casting efforts for audiences of more than 10 thousand people. This led to a continued career in reality television, freelance producing and eventually landing a role that brought her back to her hometown of Las Vegas.

Carrie has done more in her 13 years of work experience, than some people do in a lifetime. But her biggest milestone was about to come to fruition. 

The Ropers knew they wanted to start a family one day, and Carrie always thought in the back of her mind that she would adopt being that she was adopted as a baby. This was not something her husband, Justin, necessarily thought about, but he was open to the idea of it. Carrie signed them up for a class through the Clark County Department of Family Services in February 2019 and the couple committed to nine weeks of training, three hours a week.

Despite not telling anyone about the classes, Carrie received a call from a former sorority sister that could not have been more timely. She had just called about a work question, and it came up in conversation that she was fostering two young boys. The friend mentioned that she was going to have to “disrupt,” which in fostering terms means give the boys back. Carrie had just learned what the word truly meant and when she told her friend that she and Justin had just finished up the course, it was as if the stars aligned.

They were sent a photo of the boys and Justin says, “It’s very much like that movie Instant Family - once you see the kids, that’s it.”

They met the boys at Downtown Container Park. London, 7 and Christopher, 5, stole their hearts right away. Carrie and Justin looked over the paperwork and read through their story and descriptions of their personalities (which matched their own almost identically). 

“We walked away, and both looked at each other and we said… those are our kids,” says Carrie.

Within 48 hours, Carrie’s mom and brother flew down from San Diego, decorated their new rooms, they tucked the boys in their beds on a Wednesday night and they never left.

As if Carrie already didn’t have enough going on in her life, she started her own multimedia company and took on a handful of new clients, including Red Rock Lifestyle. Then, an opportunity with the Las Vegas Raiders presented itself. Carrie recently joined as the manager of video production bringing her knowledge of entertainment and lifestyle programming to Las Vegas' first NFL team.

Her most important title, however, is Mom. And even though Carrie joined the Raiders organization, she is still able to prioritize her life at home After years of hustling and sometimes not making it home to dinner until after 9 p.m.; Carrie has shifted her priorities to be the best mom she can possibly be.

With tears in her eyes, Carrie says,

“They may not have been born from my belly, but they were born from our hearts. Family can be anything you make of it.”

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