Adoption Day: Fostering families, one child at a time |

Adoption Day: Fostering families, one child at a time

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Kyle Cavner, 7, of Carson City, tries to get in an oversized fireman's coat at the Children's Museum on Saturday during the Adoption Fair. Cavner's mother, Polly, was adopted and plans to adopt a daughter soon.

Families touched by adoption came together Saturday at the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada to celebrate the Rural Region Adoption Fair, on what Governor Guinn officially declared Nevada Adoption Day.

John Tyson of KOLO News Channel 8 and his wife, Carol, have been foster parents for nearly a decade, in which time they’ve hosted more than 100 children at their Rafter 7 Bar M ranch in Virginia City.

“For those of you who are contemplating being foster parents,” advised the journalist, “it ain’t for sissies. You take children from questionable and non-normal backgrounds and try to teach them normalcy. You’re not going to see the results overnight.

“But you will see them. And when you do, it’s well worth it.”

“It’s like doing a service that comes from a much higher source,” he added. “I don’t know anything in the world that is more rewarding.”

The sentiment was not unusual among those in attendance, whether they were already adoptive parents or were there looking to adopt.

Polly Cavner of Carson City was adopted as a child. Now she and her husband Brad are looking to adopt a little girl to add to their two biological sons, Kyle and Carl.

“My own experience has led me to adopt,” she said. “We have the means and the love to give,” she said, watching her two animated boys happily smacking a balloon high into the air, trying to keep it from hitting the ground – like a metaphor for adoption.

“And besides,” Cavner smiled, “they need a little sister to love. We need a girl in the house.”

Cavner says she will consider a child from any race or culture, and had considered adopting a child from another country.

“But there are so many children in the U.S. who desperately need a home,” she said.

Of course, she admits, the child will be absolutely spoiled.

Both of her young sons are looking forward to a little sister to take care of. Whenever they see a little girl, her youngest, Kyle, asks, “Can we have her?”

“They’re definitely excited,” she said. “We think the kids have to be active in the process. And they really are so excited.”

And so is she.

“The room’s ready and everything,” she said.

Cathy Adams has already adopted two lovable little girls. Meika is 2, and Ginny Mei is 6. It’s obvious from her smile, that the tooth-fairy has just paid a visit to Ginny Mei. She admits as much.

“My friend Annette saw a story on the news about adopting children from China,” she said. “I just followed through with it.”

She beams while watching her daughters construct apple turkeys out of marshmallows, raisins and toothpicks.

Watching their uncompromised smiles and hearing them call her, “Mommy” with unconditional love, the question of “why adopt?” quickly becomes its own answer.

Ricky Wylie was just adopted a few months ago, but already the 1-year-old seems to be at home with his new family. He plays with a pair of fireman’s boots in the museum, setting them neatly in front of his parents. He’s smart and seems to be outgoing for his age.

“Every 32 seconds in America, a child is abused,” Ian Hill, local author and former foster youth, told guests during his speech.

“Every four hours,” he said, “a young person commits suicide.”

Hill, who has two girls, Nia and Nadia with his wife, Gina, looks with an unlimited amount of love at the goings on around the room. Kids are intense in their play.

Hill knows what’s it like, bouncing around foster homes when he was a kid.

“If you don’t know what family is, how can you build one? If you don’t know what love is, how can you love another?” he questioned.

Hill said when he was growing up, he moved around a lot. He said the experience gave him a taste of many cultures, living with Christians, Jews and black families.

“I got to celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. It taught me a lot about life and made me a stronger person.”

“All children deserve to be part of a loving family,” he said.

“Look around: These are the real heroes of Nevada. These people, willing to open their homes and lives, willing to sacrifice and give their hearts for no other reason than to help out a child in need. I want to thank all of them on behalf of all the children out there.”

Contact reporter Peter Thompson at or 881-1215.