Photo exhibit spotlights kids who need homes

Karen Porter says fate brought her to Cieara.

Porter, a first-time adoptive parent, was enchanted by the 10-year-old girl’s personality when Heart Gallery NYC, a group to find homes for foster children, matched them up at a meet-and-greet.

Starting today with a new exhibit displaying 100 poignant photos of children awaiting adoption, the city hopes to tug the heartstrings of a few more people just like Porter.

The exhibit, “Heart Gallery,” co-sponsored by the Administration for Children’s Services, is in its third year. Traveling the five boroughs from November  (National Adoption Month) through 2011, the exhibit will hit foot-traffic hubs like Penn Station and the Bronx’s Concourse Plaza.

“When you place a child, I don’t think it gets any better than that,” said Laurie Sherman Graff, Heart Gallery NYC’s founder and executive director and adoptive mom to her 13-year-old son.
Porter, 47, a Brooklyn clerical worker, saw Cieara’s photo years earlier, while first pondering adopting, but hadn’t yet followed up until the event.

“I’m on my way out the door, and I see this little girl,” Porter said. At the end of the night, Cieara asked her, “Can you take me home tonight?”    

Becoming an adoptive parent requires training, visits and paperwork. But in June, Cieara became sister to Porter’s other daughter, 8.

“She was the child that was supposed to be in my life,” said Porter.



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