The caseworker was introduced to Monyay when she was just 13 years old and Peskaledis made a promise to her, “I made her a promise that I would find her an adoptive family… I just didn’t know that I would be the adoptive family.”
The two formed a close bond, but Peskaledis was unable to adopt the girl until she was out of the foster system. Mom and daughter are now trying to raise awareness and encourage others to adopt older kids and teenagers.
“I just wish that people that are open to adoption don’t look at an age and a picture and are just open to getting to know them as a person.”Leah Peskaledis
The teenager chose to not let her situation hold her back—she excelled in school and was able to graduate early, and she has received recognition for her volunteer activities.
Peskaledis told WTEN:
“Just knowing that when I turned 18 I was going to be by myself, that’s really what drove me to push myself to graduate early despite everything…”
“Most people believe that we’re in here because we got into some kind of trouble, but really it’s just the circumstance and, no, we don’t want to be in here either.”
The new mom and daughter duo are looking forward to celebrating their first mother’s day this weekend.
I’m not crying—it’s just allergies.