We're all weeping over a sweet video of Mickey Mouse telling 2 kids they're being adopted.

Being a foster parent is undoubtedly one of the hardest jobs on the planet.

It's also one of the most important, with some 400,000 kids currently in foster care in the United States. Children come to them from a variety of heartbreaking and stressful situations, and it's the foster parents' job to provide not only food and shelter, but love and parental guidance.

Then, if the time comes for the children to be adopted, foster parents sometimes have to let them go. Unless they decide the children's forever home should be with them.


When the foster parents of 12-year-old Janielle and 10-year-old Elijah Gilmour decided to adopt the pair, they wanted to make it a moment to remember.

They took them to Disney World, where Mickey Mouse himself offered to deliver the news.

In a moving video posted to Facebook, Courtney Gilmour (the kids' foster mom) captured the incredible moment Janielle and Elijah learned the exact day their foster parents of over three years would become a part of their permanent, forever family.

(Skip to around the 3:10 mark to get to the good stuff: Mickey directs the kids' eyes to a sign that shows them their official adoption date. Also, bring Kleenex.)

Disney offered a special meet and greet with Mickey so he could let them know their adoption date. The kids had no idea any of this was happening. They just thought they were getting their books signed. This went better than we had hoped. They were beyond shocked and we were beyond emotional. We were very lucky to have Aunt Vicki there to film it! *side note* have tissues when watching PURE DISNEY MAGIC! #adoption #Disney Tom Gilmour Vicki Marz

Posted by Courtney Gilmour on Thursday, July 6, 2017

The kids already knew they were being adopted, but being able to put a date on it somehow made the whole thing finally feel real.

"They were beyond shocked and we were beyond emotional," Gilmour wrote.

GIF via Courtney Gilmour/Facebook.

She told ABC News, "It was something they desperately wanted — closure on the adoption date," adding that the whole idea was conceived over Twitter, of all places, after the couple posted a hashtagged photo and Disney responded.

The video has since gone viral, and over 2 million people are, well, totally weeping over it.

"My heart is full of happiness and my eyes are full of tears," reads one of the top comments on Gilmour's post.

Same, dude. Same.

Best of luck to Elijah and Janielle as they join their new family, and congratulations to the Gilmours on an important job done well.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

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Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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