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PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

September 23, 1990|FRANKI V. RANSOM

Santiago Ulibarri, 45, has been a bus driver at night and a parent by day to more than 60 foster children over the course of nine years.

On most afternoons, Ulibarri coaches a Little League team, but his nights belong to the Southern California Rapid Transit District. Ulibarri works for RTD from midnight to 9 a.m.

"Days are hectic," he said. "I come home, help my wife get the kids ready for school, then baby-sit while she drops them off at school. I sleep, then in the afternoon I pick them up from school and take them to baseball and soccer practice, and then pick them up."

Over the years, Ulibarri and his wife, Dolores, have taken in abandoned children, as well as children of homeless or drug abusing parents. They now have two foster children in their home, a 10-month-old boy and a 2-year-old girl.

The Ulibarris, who live in Walnut, also have three natural daughters and three adopted children. Dolores Ulibarri, 43, said she quit work in 1981 when the couple adopted their first child and decided to become foster parents.

"We fell in love with the kids," Santiago Ulibarri said. "We felt bad when we saw so many abused and abandoned kids. We have had all colors and nationalities. We enjoy them a lot."

The average stay for foster children in the Ulibarris' home is three years. "We cry when they pick them up; it's like losing one of my own," he said.

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