The mother of four children adopted at birth â€“ Diego, Braeden, Haven and Jagger â€“ Kathy Polston-Dalton has chosen adoption as her platform as the representative of Kentucky and will promote the cause during the Mrs. United States pageant this summer in Las Vegas.
â€œI plan on being a huge advocate for adoption throughout my year as Mrs. Kentucky and for many years to come,â€ Kathy said. â€œMy mother and father were older when they had me and I was an only child. They had talked about adopting but didnâ€™t do it. I just wanted to adopt my first child and when we adopted Diego itâ€™s like, weâ€™re definitely going to do this again.â€
Only 10 percent of the 6,800 children in the Kentucky Foster System were adopted last year. Thatâ€™s why Kathy is emphasizing both the benefit and importance of giving a young child a chance at life.
Sheâ€™s also working hard to dispel the myth that adoption is a grueling, lengthy process.
With an accredited, experienced adoption agency and the right lawyer, she said, a couple can complete the process fairly quickly and pain-free.
â€œAdoption was, and is, the greatest experience (my husband and I) have both ever known,â€ Kathy said. â€œWe went through an agency through (another state). It was easy for us because we did not specify gender, we did not specify race. Whatever God placed us with, we were thrilled. It can be as easy as you want it to be if you are accepting and go through a reputable agency and reputable lawyer.â€
In addition to child adoption, Kathy is also passionate about the pet population and has become involved with L.I.F.E. House for Animals, a no-kill canine and feline adoption facility.
She is the owner of 10 dogs and 10 cats, many of which would have no home otherwise.
â€œI keep animals that no one wants,â€ she said. â€œI do adopt them if I find a home that would work for the pet.â€
As if that werenâ€™t enough to keep her busy, Kathy is also a supporter of the American Heart Association and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, by which she has been nominated Woman of the Year.
A pharmacist by trade, Kathy said sheâ€™s considered a possible political career in the future, as well.
â€œ(Mrs. Kentucky) has probably been my favorite (pageant) and maybe even had I not won it,â€ she said. â€œItâ€™s not all glamorous; youâ€™re giving your time freely. Itâ€™s work but also very rewarding. Iâ€™ve had a lot of fun. I canâ€™t wait to continue, and I feel like it will make a difference in my life afterwards.â€
Photos Courtesy of ANDREW KUNG