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Madonna arrives in Malawi with her three children as she faces judge today to adopt their 'sister'


Madonna arrives in Malawi with her three children as she faces judge today to adopt their 'sister'
By Jo Clements and Natalie Clarke
Last updated at 8:09 AM on 30th March 2009
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Madonna flew into Malawi yesterday on her second 'shopping trip' to adopt an African child.
The newly- divorced star took her children along to help her expand the family.
But even as her private jet landed, criticism emerged of her mission to find a sister for David Banda.
Madonna, accompanied by 12-year-old daughter Lourdes, Rocco, eight and three-year-old David, hopes to ask a judge today for permission to adopt four-year-old Mercy James.

Family values: Madonna, accompanied by her 12-year-old daughter Lourdes, arrived in Malawi yesterday to collect her daughter Mercy
If the adoption cannot be completed, she hopes a temporary custody order will allow her to take the toddler home to New York.
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.

Meeting the locals: Madonna and daughter Lourdes, 12, meet residents in the impoverished village of Magwelo on the outskirts of Lilongwe, Malawi
'My mother, my brother and I all said no three times to the orphanage, which was pressing us on Madonna's behalf.
'Now we have been persuaded that Mercy can have a better, healthier life somewhere else in the world with this rich white woman.'
They said they would agree to the adoption only if Mercy could be returned to them once she had completed her education and had a career.
If David's father is to be believed, that seems unlikely. Yohane Banda is still waiting to see his son since Madonna adopted him.
He said: 'I can hardly believe this is going to happen because Madonna promised me I could stay in close touch with my son and yet I have not seen him since she took him away.'

Learning English: Madonna hopes to ask a judge today for permission to adopt four-year-old Mercy James
When Madonna adopted David, human rights groups said that a foreigner should not be allowed to take a child from their country.
Her plans for Mercy have proved equally controversial, with children's charities asking whether Madonna's life is stable enough since she split from husband Guy Ritchie last year.
With David's adoption, officials were accused of skirting laws that ban non-residents from adopting. These laws are being reformed, however.
Madonna, 50, refused to speak about the adoption as a five- car convoy whisked her from Lilongwe airport to the luxury Kumbali Lodge hotel.

Later, dressed in a Chanel tracksuit top and straw hat, she 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 ordered, while Lourdes mumbled the words and met the excited residents.
Mr Ngalande and Mercy's grandmother Lucy Cekechiwa are expected in court today to sign off the adoption papers.
Staff at Kumbali Lodge  -  where Mercy has been staying for a few days and learning some English  -  have been told to prepare a 'party date' so David can meet his new sister.
A table with child-friendly crockery and cutlery was laid out in an alcove overlooking the lodge's forested grounds.
The singer met Mercy at a Children's Village during her first visit to Malawi in 2006. Mercy's mother died aged 18, five days after giving birth. Her father denied responsibility for the baby and cannot be traced. 

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2009 Mar 30