Disneyland is said to be the “happiest place on Earth, ” and Elijah and Janielle Gilmour couldn’t agree more with this statement. The 10 and 12-year-olds were given a surprise and taken to Disney’s Magic Kingdom by their foster parents in April.
Elijah and Janielle were initially aware of the plans to go to the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, but when their foster mom Courtney saw that they had an opportunity to take the kids on their first ever trip to Disneyland, she knew it was a must.
After living with their foster parents, Courtney and Tom for three years, Elijah and Janielle knew they were going to be adopted at some point but weren’t aware of when. Courtney spoke of the opportunity to make the big reveal at Disneyland; she said “They thought they would get adopted after school got out at the end of the school year, but once we got the actual date I thought, ‘How awesome would it be to tell them there?’”
The Gilmour family finally arrived at their hotel in Disney, and they were given buttons to write what they were celebrating. Courtney recalled that she and Tom wrote on theirs “adopting our kids” while the kids wrote “being adopted.” The poignant nature of that moment was too special not to share, so Courtney snapped a picture and posted it to Twitter with the hashtag “Walt Disney World.”
Immediately after sending the post, Courtney received a message from Disney asking if they could help make the new family’s trip that little bit more special, but Courtney said she assumed it would be a free dessert. She was wrong.
Courtney was sent a message giving details of a meet and greet they were going to have with Mickey Mouse to take pictures and sign autographs. Upon meeting Mickey, the character was more than eager to meet the kids and show them some magic tricks, but he had something else up his sleeve. Mickey then revealed Elijah and Janielle’s adoption date, and they immediately burst into tears.
Janielle said of the special moment “It feels amazing, I’ve been going through a lot and it’s amazing to be adopted.” In response to her newly adopted daughter, mom Courtney said “I wasn’t expecting them to have that reaction. Usually, you know your kids, and it takes a little bit for something to click in for them,” She continued, “It was something they desperately wanted — closure on the adoption date.”
Courtney later posted the video of Mickey’s reveal to Facebook which received almost 2 million views and hundreds of thousand of shares. The Gilmour’s had no idea it would go viral but were overjoyed people shared their happiness. Janielle finally exclaimed, “It was amazing. They said it was going to be a magical day and it really was a magical day. I started to cry because I was so happy that we were getting adopted.”