After 3 Years in Foster Care, Little Girl Gets a 'Star Wars' Adoption

She didn't care that Darth Vader was the bad guy. She wanted him at her adoption ceremony.

Little Zoe Pedicone wanted Darth Vader to come to her adoption ceremony.

And he did.

After three years in foster care, Zoe was formally adopted just before Christmas by the family that’s cared for her for as long as she can remember.

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Deena Pedicone asked Zoe, who is about to turn 5, who she wanted at her December 23 ceremony, thinking she’d choose Santa Claus.

But no, Zoe wanted Darth Vader, and all things Star Wars.

She doesn’t care that the breathing-challenged character is the bad guy.

"He’s not bad, he only makes bad choices once in a while," Pedicone, who admits she was terrified by the galactic man in black as a child, told Thursday. "That’s the way she sees it, and I’m not going to argue with her.”

The mom was able to secretly put together a Star Wars adoption ceremony with the help of the judge, and the local chapter of the 501st Legion, a fan-based costuming organization that provides characters from the popular film series as goodwill ambassadors.

So at Zoe’s Wilmington, Delaware, ceremony, there was Darth Vader, R2-D2, Chewbacca and assorted storm troopers.

And there also was Princess Leia, portrayed by Family Court Judge Barbara Crowell, who presided over the event.

Zoe was a bit spooked at first.

“She wanted me to hold her,” Pedicone said.

“Then she was dancing with R2-D2.”

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Darth Vader bestowed a lightsaber upon her, proclaiming, "the force is strong with you."

The Star Wars theme song played and family members told the court how much Zoe meant to them.

“I can’t imagine life without her,” Pedicone said. “She’s my kid, 100 percent.”

Zoe was only 22 months old when she came to live in the Pedicone home. Her stay was only supposed to be four to six months. Then a year went by. Then two years went by.

And Pedicone submitted a formal adoption request.

“I don’t think she ever understood she was in foster care,” Pedicone says. “We are in touch with the birth family. She thinks everyone has two moms.”

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