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Published August 21, 2013, 10:40 PM

Couple from Fargo use yard sale to help pay expense of international adoption

FARGO – John Porter says he and his wife, Missy, have always known adoption or foster care was in their future.

By: Angie Wieck, INFORUM

FARGO – John Porter says he and his wife, Missy, have always known adoption or foster care was in their future.

That future is now for the couple who have three biological children – Mickey, 12, Jeffrey, 10, and Mary Beth, 8.

After extensive research, they decided international adoption is right for them.

To offset some of the associated costs, the Porters are hosting a yard sale from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Friday at their home at 1518 10th St. S. in Fargo.

Their children are getting in on the fundraising by operating a lemonade stand and bake sale alongside the yard sale.

Costs add up

The couple say international adoption is expensive. Nearly $6,000 goes to an orphanage to cover the baby’s care before adoption. Another $4,000 is needed for the required home study. The placement agency also collects a fee.

“There is a fee for almost every piece of paperwork you submit,” John Porter said.

The Porters also need to budget for travel to and from China to bring their baby home.

Missy Porter is quick to say cost should not deter families from considering international adoption.

“I want people to know there are different options and avenues they can go down to raise money to do it,” she said.

She got the idea for an adoption rummage sale from reading blogs written by other families who have adopted internationally.

Decision to adopt

Deciding to adopt was the first in a long list of steps on the Porters’ road to adoption.

Next, they poured over the adoption costs and regulations for several countries before settling on China.

Although they normally would not care about the sex of the baby, they agreed they wanted to adopt a baby girl to give Mary Beth a sister.

The couple also decided to adopt a child with special needs. They then needed to define what that would mean for their family, and let the placement agency know what needs they could meet.

John Porter, special education director for South Valley Special Education Unit, which covers 11 school districts in Sargent, Richland and Ransom counties in North Dakota, said he has always been drawn to children with disabilities.

“I think we’ve always had a special place in our heart for children with disabilities or special needs,” Missy Porter said. “I think this is perfect for us.”

The Porters are waiting for approval from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to include in the required adoption dossier. Once complete, the documents will be translated and sent to the Chinese government for approval.

The long adoption process has been frustrating for their children, who have been ready to hop a plane to pick up a new sister since the couple brought the idea up.

If everything goes as planned, the Porters hope to welcome their new addition in the spring.


Address: 1518 10th St. S., Fargo.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Friday.

Featured items: Kids’ clothes and toys, adult clothes, furniture, home décor and more.

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