Just off of a plane from Santa Marta, Colombia, a group of children was swarmed by a crowd ready with hugs and handmade posters.

It is a warm welcome that the children hope will be the beginning of a new life in America.

They’re all 8 to 15 years old and have their hearts set on finding a forever family during their trip.

Melanie Taylor and her family will host a brother and sister who are 7 and 14 years old.

“It’s wonderful,” Taylor said. “I get a little choked up thinking about it. It’s a huge thing. It’s life-changing for the kids.”

Taylor, who adopted her son Malachi from Ethiopia when he was a baby, says the scene at Dulles International Airport hit home.

Kidsave, a nonprofit organization, is working to help 45 kids with no hope of adoption in Colombia. They want to help make the kids’ dream come true in the US through their Summer Miracles Program.

A total of 17 of those 45 children landed in D.C. for the summer on Thursday. They’re from Colombian orphanages and foster care, and part of a larger effort to help find homes for harder to place, older children.

“It’s really hard when kids who are older don’t find a family,” said Lauren Davis with Kidsave. “Anything can happen to them. They could end up on the streets they could end up homeless.”

The children will be in the Washington, D.C. area for five weeks. They’ll have weekend events with activities like art and crafts, and cooking. That’s where families interested in adoption can spend time and get to know the kids.

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