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3 Taiwanese orphans adopted by U.S. couple

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Three orphan sisters flew yesterday to the United States to begin new lives with their adoptive parents, a couple from Texas who have shown their love for the disadvantaged by taking them all, despite their ages — 14, 16 and 17 years old, respectively.

A day earlier, Shiao-hua, Shiao-yi and Shiao-ping (all nicknames) spent their last night at the privately run Chung Yi Orphanage in Taipei City, which they have called home for 10 years since their mother died.

According to orphanage staff, Shiao-hua is the eldest and will soon turn 18. She has attended to her younger sisters since their mother became ill, they said, noting that she continued to do so even after they were taken in by the orphanage.

Shiao-hua did not want to be separated from her sisters, even though it would have been much easier for them to be adopted by different families. She had even said she “would rather die than be separated from her sisters,” they recalled.

Because of Shiao-hua’s insistence, the three sisters stayed at the orphanage until George Lee and his wife Deborah received an e-mail that had been making the rounds on the Internet, the Chung Yi workers said.

George, a Taiwan-born American, said at the orphanage that he and his wife spent just five minutes discussing the issue before deciding to adopt the trio.

“Society needs more public welfare and good hearts, not just indices suggesting economic growth,” he said. Besides, he went on, their own children have all grown up.

According to the Chung Yi management, it is a “miracle” that the trio was adopted by one family, because since 1995, only nine of 40 Chung Yi children successfully put up for adoption have been older than 6.

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