Foster parents surprise children with adoption date during Disney trip
ORLANDO - A magical trip to Disney World became even more special for two children thanks to some wonderful news from Mickey Mouse.
Disney's mascot surprised Janielle and Elijah Gilmour with their official adoption date after they had been living with their foster parents, Courtney and Tom Gilmour, for nearly three years.
“I gave my parents a big hug because I was so excited to finally find out when the adoption date was going to be,” Janielle, 12, told ABC News. “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.”
The children, Janielle and Elijah, 10, had known they were going to be adopted but did not know the exact date.
“They were thinking 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?’” mom Courtney Gilmour, of Portland, Pennsylvania, recalled of the family’s trip to Disney’s Magic Kingdom in April.
When the family checked into their hotel, they were given buttons to write what they were celebrating while at the park.
“I got mine and my husband’s and we wrote were celebrating ‘adopting our kids,’ and the kids wrote, ‘being adopted,’” she explained. “I took a picture of the pins and posted it to Twitter and I hashtagged 'Walt Disney World' and within minutes they had gotten back to me asking if they could do something to make our trip a little more special. I thought honestly they were going to add dessert onto our meal.”
Instead, the park arranged for the children to have a special meet and greet with Mickey Mouse to get their picture taken and autograph books signed. But the kids had no idea Mickey also had another surprise waiting for them, revealing a sign to announce the date they’d finally become one big, happy family.
Janielle and Elijah broke down in tears at the news.
“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,” said Courtney Gilmour. “It was something they desperately wanted -- closure on the adoption date.”
“It feels amazing,” Janielle added. “I’ve been going through a lot and it’s amazing to be adopted.”
The mom posted the video of the surprise to Facebook on July 6 where it has been viewed over one million times.