Fantasyland came to Sonoma County this week when 27 kids with less than Disney-esque family stories dressed as princesses, Jedi masters, Little Mermaids, pirates and the like boarded a bus for the happiest place on Earth.
Many of the children had never been to the Magic Kingdom in Anaheim before. And some are so accustomed to adults’ unkept promises that until the coach pulled up to Sonoma County Children’s Village, they couldn’t quite trust that this dream of a spring-break expedition would really happen.
Of the youngsters who board the bus, 24 live at Children’s Village, created from the ground up as a place where kids in foster care can live in a loving, stable place and not worry about being separated from their siblings.
The Village’s mission had to change last year, when a new state law required stepped-up efforts to move foster children out of group homes and place them with family or foster parents.
One result: five brothers and sisters who used to live together at Children’s Village are now split up. Two remain in the Village, two live with one foster family and one lives with another.
As this week’s journey came together, a question arose: Would only the two siblings still living at the Village be included?
The answer: Of course not!
The guy underwriting the trip, Gene Crozat of G&C Auto Body, said he’d absolutely pay more to send all five siblings to Disneyland.
As they launched, each of the 27 costumed youngsters pulled a brand new roller bag with a personalized name tag.