How a single mom adopted a teen boy and inspired her community

In honor of Mother's Day, "GMA" surprised Lesley Hemphill with breakfast in bed and highlights the work that she is doing for her community.
8:12 | 05/11/18

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Transcript for How a single mom adopted a teen boy and inspired her community
mother's day is on Sunday and we want to say happy mother's day to all the mothers out there. Happy mother's day to all the mothers in our studio 24 morning. And what we're about to do is one of our favorite things to do every single year. Surprise a deserving mom somewhere in America with breakfast in bed. All of them are so deserving. We chose to honor this year an amazing story. She is a young, single mother whose remarkable selflessness, love and faith totally transformed other's lives. Rob Marciano is there setting it up all morning with the help of ree Drummond. Now, it is time for the big surprise. Rob, take it away. My gosh. We're excited, George. I'm not going to lie. It's one of my favorite states, Oklahoma. Ree's home state and here to celebrate an incredible mom who is a big fan of the pioneer woman. That's one of the surprises. Let's do this. Let's do it? Hide behind these bushes here, just behind this corner and we'll knock on the door of Leslie. She is a pastor at a local church and typically off on Fridays. Let's do this. She should be home. She thinks she's going to breakfast with a friend who is coming to pick her up right now so she should be ready. It's a beautiful day here in Oklahoma. Windy. The wind is whipping down the plains. Hi. Hi. Leslie. Yes. I'm rob Marciano. "Good morning America." Nice to meet you. You have been chosen. We want to honor you for "Good morning America's" break breaking news. Come on out here. I'm going to put a microphone on you. No idea what's going on. No idea. Mike her up. So we get nominations from all across the country for this every year and your S just stood out to us, the way you've mentored the boys at the foster home. What you've done with Dakota is absolutely incredible and we have been talking to a lot of friends and family here. In your home state and we know that you're a big fan of this young lady. Hi, Leslie. Hi. How are you? Good. Great to see you. The pioneer woman, ree Drummond. Did you ever think you'd meet her? No. I love your shirt. Now, ree, tell Leslie why you wanted to be involved in this. Well, Leslie, I'm just so honored to be here and just to give you special thanks and gratitude for all the selfless sacrifice you make and for really answering the call of motherhood in such a wonderful way. So I'm just so proud to call you a fellow oklahoman and thank you for all you do. She knows something about being a nom. She has four herself. We've been here all week talking to family, friends and members of your church and said awfully nice things about you so have a look at this. At 15, Dakota had just about given up hope of being adopted. Growing up lost, in the system without a home or a family. I was more depressed and scared than anything. My biological parents just lost rights because of abuse and other things that had happened in our lives. Reporter: A resident of the Tulsa boys' home he said he lost all faith. He goes, got either doesn't care about me or doesn't exist. Reporter: Dakota wanted a sign someone cared. Dakota said, okay, god, if you're really out there, give me someone that cares in a week. Seven days. It was on the seventh day that Dakota was introduced to his entore Lesley in the cafeteria. Lesley was a volunteer mentor. She asked what my favorite subject was and I said gym and so she said that's not a subject. Reporter: Over the next few months Lesley devoted herself to mentoring Dakota. Day in and day out and spin spending these incredible hours with Dakota. Then one day he asked if Lesley could adopt him. I remember Lesley telling me I want to be Dakota's mom. I want to advocate for this young man. She felt like she didn't want him to fall into the cracks. Reporter: The adoption took some time. She was willing to do the work and prove she was the best mom for Dakota. Once you say yes and invite a person to become a part of your family, yes is yes. Reporter: In August of 2015 the adoption was finalized and Dakota finally had a mom. There was tears. There was laughing. It was just the sweetest moment. They were doing this the first time together. Just like you would as a first time mom with a brand-new baby. His new family brought a lot of firsts. One was my first dog being on my first flight to Florida which was our first vacation. She's a gem. And a jewel and joy and light. Just seeing the parent she is teaches me the parent I need to be one day. Teen adoption is rare. Adopting troubled teens from an institution even rarer. Something amazing happened after Lesley adopted Dakota, others followed. Since his adoption, we've had more placements in the last three years than we had the 20 years previous. It's just blows my mind to see that, just that one little momentum you can get from somebody opening up their heart and their home. The way she fights for her child is just breathtaking. I want Lesley to know that she's broken the mold. She's a pioneer and this place of motherhood, she's stepped out and said I can do this. She's really an angel like a for real one. Reporter: This morning "Good morning America" salutes a mother, her son and the gift of their example. Surprise. Surprise, Lesley, yeah, hope we got you good. Happy mother's day. So much love to you, Lesley. You're the best mom in the world. Of course, Dakota was in on that as well. George, Michael, robin. This is just amazing. So many of us are in tears here back in New York and I want to say to Lesley, bless you, yeah, I know, we're doing the same thing, ree. Can you, Lesley, somehow gather your emotions and what you're feeling at this moment seeing what everybody said about you. How they feel about you. Robin asked what are you feeling right now? You're emotional, of course, but can you gather what you're feeling inside and put it into a few word. I'm just -- I'm overwhelmed but I'm just so thankful and so -- I mean, Dakota, he's helped me more than I ever possibly give him so just extremely overwhelmed and thankful. And, of course, Dakota playing a big role in this. Tell us your feelings this morning, Dakota. Obviously this has been a long time coming. This is mom now. This is home. This is your family. What is life like for you now? I mean, life is better than it ever has been before and I can't ask for a better mother or a better family. So -- It doesn't get any better than that. Much more coming up. Michael, I'll toss it back to you in New York. All right, thank you, rob and what a story. Like you said, representing motherhood to the finest. Absolutely. Congratulations to that family and glad they found each other.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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