Caseworker becomes mother to teen who spent years in foster care

BRADENTON, Fla. (WSVN) — A 19-year-old girl who spent years in the foster system finally has a family to call her own, and it is all thanks to her very own caseworker.

Monyay Paskalides was finally able to enjoy the embrace from her new mom, Tuesday.

“With my signature, it is official,” Judge Teri Dees said amidst applause and cheers via Zoom. “Happy adoption day.”

As she grew up, Monyay excelled in school, graduated a year early and even volunteered to help foster children in similar situations.

In the past, Leah wanted to adopt Monyay but was unable to due to a conflict of interest with her job. It wasn’t until Monyay aged out of foster care that Leah learned she could still adopt her as an adult.

“It was important to me that she knew that she was wanted by somebody, that somebody loved her,” Leah explained. “I could say that as many times as I want, but actions speak louder than words.”

“Being told ‘no’ so many times, to hear that ‘yes’ and to hear them pronounce her as my mom, it’s something that’s like, oh my gosh, this is for real,” Monyay laughed.

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