Sometimes I try to wrap my head and heart around the experience of being a kid in foster care. I try to picture a childhood experience that would make it necessary for me to leave my family and live with strangers. Then what it would be like to be moved to an unfamiliar location surrounded by strangers. No matter how caring they are it must be such a jarring experience. My family has been involved in foster care for years. Seeing these precious children endure and often thrive despite heart wrenching circumstances is a glimpse of God’s redemptive work.
Recently I had the awesome privilege of using my love of storytelling photography at Disneyland with a group of amazing foster kids who were being reunited with their siblings for the day. Foster care so often splits siblings apart and this represented a day for them to just be kids together. I am grateful to the amazing work of Together We Rise for creating this day. Each group was matched with a volunteer photographer and the kids will all get a memory book of pictures. Together We Rise is involved in a variety of projects to help support kids in foster care. Check out their work and get involved if you can. Read more about them here. This day would not have been possible without the amazing volunteers who led groups and delighted in the kids.
I will be sharing many of the images from our day however, I will not be sharing any faces of foster kids. Please understand this is to protect their privacy.
To say they were excited to be together and be at Disneyland is an understatement. Many had stars in their eyes and a smile on their face all day.
Rides, rides and more rides, especially in Tomorrowland, were on the agenda. This meant lots of standing in line and trying to entertain themselves, which sometimes was just as much fun as the ride itself.
Churros and shopping also made an appearance. It was so fun to see what the kids picked with their spending money.
My favorite part of the day was the parade we stumbled upon. Watching it with them was like magic. The music, costumes, dancing and characters were truly something special.
Thank you Together We Rise for allowing me to use my love of photography to tell the story of this amazing day!