The 19-year-old from Bradenton, Florida, invested most of her life– consisting of all her teenage years– in the foster care system.
As it turns out, she wont be alone for long.
Monyay entered a group home when she was 11 years old, and she said that transitioning to a life without the assistance of a grownup was challenging and lonesome.
She prepared herself for a life of self-reliance when she aged out of the system last year. She accepted that she would never ever have a mama or papa, so she pressed herself to master school.
Spending your developmental years without your moms and dads brings numerous challenges. Sadly, its a scenario that Monyay Paskalides understands all too well.
YouTubeMonyays efforts entered fruition when she finished early and got recognition for her volunteer work.
Thats because her previous caseworker, Leah Paskalides, has formally adopted her!
Monyay and Leah hope that their story motivates other families to consider adopting teens in the foster care system.
Leah viewed as Monyay got closer to the sad reality of turning 18 and aging out of the foster care system. Sadly, this happens to kids who turn 18 years of ages without being adopted.
Leah desired to adopt Monyay while she was still in the system, she could not do so due to a conflict of interest in her role as a caseworker.
” I still cant truly explain the way I felt because moment. It was beyond words,” she stated. “Thats the something Ive wanted my whole life, to have a mom.”
” She stated she didnt think she d live to see the day,” Leah stated.
Its what Monyay has actually been waiting on all her life.
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Leah stated she saw a great deal of herself in Monyay.
” I hated watching [Monyay] feel like she was neglected in the states eyes,” Leah stated.
She connected to Monyay with the concept and asked her if it was something she would desire, and the teenager said yes.
” I wanted to make certain she understood that she had someone who enjoyed her and who would have done this years earlier and still would as an adult,” Leah stated.
Around their 17th birthday, the nonprofit companys independent living team starts talking with the kids in the system about what their alternatives are once they turn 18.
When she was assigned as her caseworker for the not-for-profit company Safe Children Coalition, the 32-year-old first satisfied Monyay 6 years earlier.
Even Leahs 90-year-old granny called her to state that shes delighted to be a great-grandmother.
Facebook” She now refers to her adoption day as her birthday, so she has two birthdays each year,” Leah stated. “We were constantly close, however now when she calls me, it means something even more to her. Its legal, and that implies the world to her, since for so long she didnt actually have a mom.”.
Monyay has actually called Leah “Mom” considering that the age of 16, but it has become more substantial now that its “legal.”.
” As quickly as I put my hand on her shoulder, I lost it crying,” Leah said of the emotional minute.
The teen has also formally changed her surname and will quickly get a new birth certificate proving that she is now a Paskalides.
And less than 6 months later, Leah and Monyay sat side-by-side as the judge in their adoption hearing declared that they were now officially mom and daughter.
Leah, who is now the adoption assistant supervisor for Safe Children Coalition, stated that she watched a documentary last year about a man who was adopted as an adult. It was an option she hadnt even thought of up until then.
Leah stated that her child has actually been invited with open arms into her household. Monyay eagerly anticipates taking a trip to New York quickly to fulfill all of them personally.
” Once she trusted me, we simply clicked,” she said.
It was beyond words,” she stated. “Thats the one thing Ive wanted my whole life, to have a mother.”
Click on the video below to find out more about this mother-and-daughter duos inspiring story.
Leah served as the teenagers case supervisor for 3 years prior to becoming her mentor, somebody Monyay could depend on for help and guidance.
Facebook” She now describes her adoption day as her birthday, so she has 2 birthdays each year,” Leah said. “We were always close, now when she calls me, it indicates something a lot more to her. Its legal, and that means the world to her, due to the fact that for so long she didnt actually have a mother.”.
” A great deal of individuals have presumptions about us, however were okay kids. We require love, too, similar to the younger kids,” Monyay said.