Orphans arrive from Taiwan for 5-week foster program

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Seven foster children from Taiwan are settling in with their potential new families. They met for the first time this afternoon at the Salt Lake International Airport.

The kids seemed excited but overwhelmed. They don't speak English and their foster families don't speak Mandarin. But the two agencies making this happen -- For Every Child Adoption Services, and Kidsave International -- think it will be a success.

Orphans arrive from Taiwan for 5-week foster program

For these families, it's all about the missing pieces.

Foster parent Didi Burton said, "I've been ready for 15 years." Her husband, Vaughn, said, "I think she's more ready than I am."

Vaughn and Didi Burton have three grown children, and still, Didi says she's not done being a mother yet. So they, along with six other families, waited to meet the children they'll foster for the next five weeks. And when they arrived, there was some hesitation and tears from both sides.

"I was about ready to cry," Didi said. "I've been waiting a long time."

They don't speak the same language, but with the help of translators, they do the best they can. At the end of the five weeks, families decide if they want to begin the adoption process. Organizers say it's a chance for both sides to begin facing the challenges of adoption.

James Trinnaman, with For Every Child Adoption Services, explained, "These kids are age 5 to 11. You take on all new issues, attachment issues, some learning disabilities."

But today, it's all about getting to know one another and making plans for the next five weeks and possibly forever.

Nine-year-old Elizabeth said, "Football and baseball, and we're going to go bowling with him."

The two agencies also teamed up last year, matching seven foster children with families. All were adopted.

E-mail: sdallof@ksl.com

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