The Force Was With 4-Year-Old at Her Adoption Ceremony

Zoe Pedicone's 'Star Wars'-themed event even had a judge dressed as Princess Leia
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2016 8:47 AM CST

When 4-year-old Zoe Pedicone, whose bedroom is adorned with Star Wars paraphernalia, was asked for a guest list for her adoption ceremony, she named family, friends, and … Darth Vader. And thanks to her adoptive mom's efforts, the Sith lord was there Friday in a Wilmington, Del., courtroom, as were a slew of Stormtroopers, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and even a family court judge dressed up like Princess Leia as the Star Wars theme song played, People reports. "I wanted this day to be everything she ever wanted," new mom Deanna Pedicone tells WPVI. "It's only once in a lifetime that she'll be adopted." The News Journal details the mother and daughter's path to becoming a family, starting when the unmarried Pedicone started out as a foster parent a few years ago. Just two weeks after getting licensed in November 2013, a nearly 2-year-old Zoe was placed with her.

Their bond grew so great that Pedicone decided to pursue adoption, and her application was approved a few months ago. She says she was inspired to make her daughter's Star Wars-themed dream come true by a video of another little girl's adoption that featured a bevy of princesses. Pedicone recruited a local Star Wars costuming group and filled Judge Barbara Crowell in on her plans, and Crowell was happy to oblige, even dressing up as Leia Organa and touching Zoe's head with a lightsaber as she announced her official name change. Now Pedicone says she and Zoe can concentrate on their future together, something they were never fully able to do when Zoe was her foster child. "There are no more strings. … No more case workers. No more attorneys. It is just us," she says. (Carrie Fisher finished filming the next Star Wars movie before her death this week.)

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