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Angie Wieck, Published August 29 2013

Community's generosity overwhelms Fargo couple hoping to adopt from China

FARGO – John and Missy Porter are overwhelmed by the support the Fargo-Moorhead community has shown their family.

The couple held a yard sale last week to raise money to cover costs associated with adopting a baby girl with special needs from China.

The sale raked in $7,500, and Missy Porter said donations continue to arrive in the mail.

“I was just amazed by the generosity of our community and the surrounding area,” John Porter said. “It was just beyond what I could have imagined.”

Missy Porter is so grateful to friends for their help, but it was the generosity of strangers that moved her to tears several times throughout the sale.

One example was 80-year-old Cynthia Lamey’s donation of her extensive jewelry collection to the sale. After reading of the Porters in The Forum, Lamey spent the day organizing and pricing the collection. She didn’t want her donation creating more work for the couple.

Lamey said she was inspired to help because of her own adoption experience.

While living in Louisiana in the 1960s, Lamey and her husband, Art, tried to adopt a baby girl from China, but state law required that parents be of the same race as the child they adopt.

The couple eventually adopted a baby girl from Thailand and two young girls from South Korea after Art Lamey worked for the United Nations in those countries.

Missy Porter said she also appreciates her neighbors who donated more than $500 in proceeds from their own garage sale to the family.

Deb Kaul had never met the Porters, but she was moved by their adoption story. She was already planning a garage sale last weekend, so she talked it over with her husband, Kim, and they agreed to donate proceeds to the Porters.

“We just felt like this was a really great cause,” Deb Kaul said. “We just like to help people and feel like that’s what we’re called to do.”

The Porters also shared several stories of people who stopped by simply to drop off checks or to stuff $50 or $100 bills in the kids’ lemonade stand jar.

John Porter said it was so amazing to watch their kids’ faces when that happened. “It was such a great learning experience for our kids to see that type of community support.”

The couple estimate the adoption will cost $30,000 from start to finish, so they are excited to have made such a dent with the yard sale.

“The cost of international adoption is high, but it will all be worth it in the end when our daughter is in the arms of a family that loves her,” Missy Porter said.

The whole experience has inspired her to blog about their adoption journey. To follow their story, visit www.mommyslittlepeanuts.blogspot.com.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Angie Wieck at (701) 241-5501