It's a Mercy Madonna's new child is flying high

MADONNA'S new daughter, Mercy James, 4, arrived in Britain yesterday to be reunited with the singer.

She was flown from Malawi to Heathrow in a carefully orchestrated operation.

Madonna, 50, had flown into Britain from New York with her three other children hours earlier. Their meeting was thought to be the first since she travelled to Malawi in April, when her adoption bid was rejected before then being approved this month.

Malawian police arranged for the airport terminal in Lilongwe to be shut so Mercy and her new nanny, Joanne, could leave privately on a six-seater Cessna Citation.

They went to Johannesburg, then flew first class to Heathrow, landing at 6.30am. Earlier, Mercy was said to be filled with excitement at leaving Kumbali Lodge in Malawi.

One staff member said: "She was running around, singing to herself and telling everyone how she would be flying for the first time."

She said goodbye in her native language, telling staff: "I'm going now, I'm going on a plane, I'm going up to the sky." 

The orphan will join big sister Lourdes and brothers Rocco and David Banda, another adopted three-year-old Malawian, to live in New York.

The singer won custody of Mercy this month, three years after falling for the child on a visit to the African country.

Madonna's other children were introduced to Mercy in April and were reportedly distressed at leaving her behind when Malawi's High Court rejected the singer's application because she was not resident in the country.

This decision was overturned by the Supreme Court.

It has been reported that Madonna has just splashed out $25 million on a Georgian-style townhouse in New York's Upper East Side, a 26-room home said to have 13 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms.

Rights groups claimed the Government gave Madonna special treatment and said foreign celebrities would now think they could adopt Malawian children at will.

Mercy's alleged father, James Kambewa, said Madonna, who is dating Brazilian model Jesus Luz, 22, should not be allowed to adopt Mercy. 

But there is little he can do - the Supreme Court ruling cannot be challenged.


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