4-Year-Old Girl's New Mom Organizes Star Wars-Themed Adoption Ceremony
A young Star Wars fan’s recent adoption ceremony in Delaware was attended by some very special guests who traveled from a galaxy far, far away.
When 4-year-old Zoe Pedicone was officially adopted Friday by her foster mother in Wilmington, Delaware, she was surrounded by her favorite characters from the iconic franchise. As her name was officially changed, the family court judge touched a lightsaber to her forehead, Zoe’s new mom, Deanna Pedicone, tells PEOPLE.
“I wanted this day to be everything she ever wanted,” Pedicone told WPVI. “It’s only once in a lifetime that she’ll be adopted, and it’s the only time I’ll be adopting her, so I wanted it to be really special.”
Star Wars favorites like Chewbacca, stormtroopers, R2-D2, Rey and Darth Vader were present — all played by volunteers, Pedicone says. The judge even got in on the fun, dressing as Princess Leia.
After the formal proceedings, officials dimmed the lights in the Wilmington courtroom and played the Star Wars theme song, according to Wilmington News Journal.
Zoe was placed in Pedicone’s care in 2013, and Pedicone told the News Journal that she knew she wanted to make the little girl’s official adoption extra special.
“This is her day,” Pedicone told the paper. “She is old enough to remember it, and I want it to be as fun as possible.”
Pedicone tells PEOPLE she got Zoe just two weeks after being licensed as a foster parent.
“I describe it as the weirdest blind date ever,” she says. “They drop the kid off, they leave 20 minutes later and you sit there and wonder, ‘When is your mom going to come and get you?’ ”
“One of the challenges is their story already started, so you have to figure out what the plot is,” Pedicone says.
“It’s like the story is already moving and you come in at chapter 10 and you don’t really know what happened before,” she says, “so you start building that relationship and help them move in a direction that is more typical of a family: eating together at a table, sleeping in our own beds, taking a bath and not being frightened by that. … It’s a very thoughtful way to have to parent.”
Pedicone says she became specially bonded to Zoe after the little girl went through a medical crisis. Her adoption application was approved in October. “That’s when I cried,” Pedicone says. “I didn’t real how much I worried about her future until someone said your application has been approved.”
“The day they approved the application was the day I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about [Zoe] going anywhere,” she says.
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Zoe’s love for Star Wars is no secret, Pedicone tells PEOPLE. Her bedroom has a Star Wars wall sticker, an R2-D2 humidifier, a Storm Trooper teddy bear — and, of course, a Jedi lightsaber.
“Some friends had sent me this really sweet video of a girl who had gotten adopted with princesses coming to her adoption and said, ‘You should do this,’ ” Pedicone says.
“So I asked [Zoe]: If you could have anybody at your adoption hearing, who would you have? She said family and friends. I told her which family and friends were coming and then I said, ‘How about anybody else?’ She said, ‘Darth Vader.’ ”
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Zoe has a special place in her heart for the Sith lord.
“It never occurred to her that he is a B-A-D G-U-Y,” her mom told the News Journal. “It is Zoe’s belief he is a good man, so we don’t argue with that.”