Madonna and family land in Malawi set for new adoption
Madonna arrived in Malawi this weekend to start the adoption process for little Mercy James.
The Queen of Pop took her children, Lourdes and David Banda, along for support.
But no sooner than she’d landed (via private jet, of course), the criticism of her latest adoption plans started flying.
The 50-year-old singer hopes to meet with a judge today to be granted permission to adopt four-year-old Mercy James.
At the weekend Mercy’s uncles, her closest relatives, said they did not want her to go but had been persuaded by the orphanage where she lives.
Peter Baneti and John Ngalande claimed they had no idea who Madonna was and said they had been given no clear idea of what the future holds.
Mr Baneti, a fisherman, said: ‘We never wanted to let Mercy go. She is part of our extended family and our culture.’
But Mr Ngalande and Mercy’s grandmother, Lucy Cekechiwa, are expected in court today to sign off the adoption papers.
If the adoption cannot be completed, Madonna hopes a temporary custody order will allow her to take the toddler home to New York.
Madonna first met Mercy – whose mother died aged 18, five days after giving birth, and whose father denied responsibility for her – at a Children’s Village on her first visit to Malawi in 2006, the year she adopted David Banda from the country.
Madge refused to speak about the adoption as a five-car convoy whisked her from Lilongwe airport to the luxury Kumbali Lodge hotel, where Mercy has been waiting to be picked up.
Later, dressed in a Chanel tracksuit top and straw hat, Madonna walked through the village of Chinkhota, holding hands with Lourdes and urging her to say ‘How are you?’ to the locals in their own language.
‘Say “Muli bwanji”,’ the singer urged, while Lourdes did as she was told and looked happy to meet the excited local residents.