Former Caseworker Adopts 19-Year-Old Who Aged Out Of Foster System

No service is greater than a mother’s service to her children.

As Mothers Day approaches, many are planning surprises to honor their mothers and grandmothers, but there are some who wouldn’t be able to experience that.

Monyay, was desperate to have a mother in her life and was in the foster care system for years, waiting to be adopted.

The 19-year-old girl from Bradenton, Florida, did not have her own mother available when she needed her, but her case manager was.

fam(ILY). est 4/27/2021❤️

Posted by Leah Paskalides on Wednesday, 28 April 2021

For the last five years, Leah Paskalides was her mentor and worked as an adoptions assistant manager.

She was Monyay’s case manager, and this year, she became her mother.

But it wasn’t always so, as Monyay wasn’t fond of Leah at the beginning.

“She told me what she was going to be doing and helping me out with my case. I didn’t like her; she’ll tell you that,” Monyay said.

Paskalides could see that the smart young girl desperately needed a mentor in her life.

“My senior year when I went through like a, I didn’t want to do it anymore, I’m done, she, she picked me back up and told me, like, ‘I got you,’ pretty much,” Monyay explained.

ITS OFFICIAL 🥳🥳🥳 thank you Amy Sheplak Chamberlain for being our videographer, thank you Linda Griffin for helping us…

Posted by Leah Paskalides on Tuesday, 27 April 2021

“She was very motivated and she had aspirations for a future, and I wanted to help her continue to have that, and so I knew that she just needed support,” Paskalides added.

Because of Paskalides’ job as her caseworker, she couldn’t officially adopt Monyay which resulted in her aging out of the system.

Paskalides realized she could adopt Monyay as an adult, “She’d always said, like, ‘I wish you could adopt me, wish you could adopt me’ — couldn’t because of the job, and then I was watching a documentary where the person had been adopted as an adult, and I had never really heard of it,” Paskalides explained.

Posted by Monyay Paskalides on Sunday, 2 May 2021

They became mother and daughter on Tuesday and are sharing their story to give hope to others.

“ITS OFFICIAL,” Paskalides posted on Facebook on Tuesday. “[T]hank you, Amy Sheplak Chamberlain, for being our videographer, thank you Linda Griffin for helping us navigate the adult adoption world, and most importantly thank you Monyay Paskalides for giving me the gift of being your mama-bear.”

“You gotta know my story to understand why today was one of the biggest days of my life I still can’t find the words to express today but when I get out my feelings lol I will be sending out my thank you’s,” Monyay posted on her Facebook page. “I REALLY JUST GOT ADOPTED!!!!!”

“We’re so happy; we both wanted this for so long,” Paskalides said. both have something to celebrate.


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