PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — For Emily, the trip to Disneyland 26 years ago was very meaningful.
“It was the first time I got to be a kid,” she recalled.
Emily was a part of a group of foster children KOIN 6 News anchor Jeff Gianola took on a trip to Disneyland. She was a 12-year-old girl, waiting to find an adoptive home.
“What made it even better for me is that I at least felt really safe,” Emily said. “There were always people around and you always made me feel very comfortable and very safe.”
They went on rides, shopped and bonded in the theme park. But there’s one memory Emily clings to that Jeff didn’t remember: A dance Jeff shared with a different girl.
“You danced with her in the middle of the street, and I remember thinking I want a Dad like that,” Emily said. “I want to have a Dad that will dance in the street with me, and I want to enjoy it like the little girl did.”
Emily eventually did find that adoptive family and Dad. And now she has her own family. She has three kids: two daughters and a son. And as for that trip down Disneyland’s Splash Mountain?
“We had a great time,” she said.
No one can take memories away from you, and 26 years later, Jeff said he’ll always remember little Emily and their trip to Disneyland.