Whatever Madonna wants, Madonna gets. But in the case of the adoption of Malawian orphan Mercy James, getting what she wanted did not come cheap because Madonna is reported to have donated $20million to the African state to fund orphan aid projects.
The Daily Mirror claims the money has been spent to fund six orphanages as well as paying for shoes, clothes, books and mosquito nets. One international welfare agency worker said: ‘It smacks of bribery. How can they refuse her requests when she gives Malawi so much?’ However Madonna’s lawyer Allan Chinula said: ‘It is a total fabrication to say that Madonna poured money into Malawi for the purposes of being able to adopt a child.’ It has taken nearly three years, but Madonna will soon be free to take Mercy for a new life in America.
The Supreme Court in Blantyre overturned a previous ruling that had rejected the singer’s petition to adopt the four-year-old girl. ‘I am ecstatic,’ Madonna said on hearing the news adding, ‘My family and I look forward to sharing our lives with her.’ The singer won custody of the Malawian orphan earlier this month, three years after first falling for the child on a visit to the African country. Madonna has already adopted another infant, David Banda, from Malawi and she plans to continue to travel to Malawi frequently with her adopted children in order to instill in them a cultural pride and knowledge of their country of origin.’ Madonna’s legal team is currently arranging a passport for Mercy and awaiting word from Madonna on travel plans for the little girl. Mercy will join Madonna and her three children at their main home in New York.
Madonna came across Mercy at an orphanage during her first visit to Malawi in 2006 with her then husband, Guy Ritchie. Mercy’s grandmother, Lucy Chekechiwa, has been unwavering in her resistance to the adoption. Lucy’s daughter, Mwandida, was Mercy’s mother. She became pregnant aged 14 and died from complications of childbirth days after Mercy was born. Mercy’s father, James Kambewa, claims he was told that Mercy too had died and only learned the truth after being tracked down by journalists in April. He now says he wants his daughter back. He told the Daily Mail: “She is not an orphan. She lost one parent, yes, but I am still alive and so she is not an orphan. Madonna has millions of dollars but that doesn’t make her a good mum. Parental love is more than money.” Vowing to fight to get his daughter back, he said: ‘I will win somehow.’ But now James Kambewa has dropped his fight to get the child back and had only one thing to say to Madonna: “My only plea to Madonna is that she should seriously look after the child.”
The Material mom has been phoning Mercy James every night since the adoption approval was announced. The Malawian orphan, four, speaks basic English and was told by Madonna: ‘Mommy is waiting for you across the seas’. Yesterday, Madonna and her three children sparking speculation that Mercy may be about to join the family. The singer arrived at Heathrow airport with Mercy’s new big sister Lourdes and brothers Rocco and David. The three were introduced to their little sister in April and were reportedly distressed to have to leave her behind when Malawi’s high court turned down the singer’s application because she was not resident in the country. Now, Mercy anxiously awaits her luxurious life with the Material Mom.