Malawi is a country with about 12 million people and there really are 1 million orphans. Constantly our Malawian friends are living with death; last week the director of Total Life Care lost his 6 month old daughter. 1 in 4 children really do die before the age of 5. Mother’s and Father’s really do wonder if they will have enough food to feed their families, HIV infected people really are as high as 1 in 3. Despite this Malawian people continue to inspire us with their human spirit, resilience and warm hearts.
As you know Madonna has put Malawi on the map, somehow though, we have found ourselves embroiled in media hype surrounding Madonna and adoption. So we thought it may be helpful to clarify a few things. We are at present going through the process to adopt a beautiful little girl, Jessica. This is something that, because of its personal nature, we have chosen to keep confidential until things were official and our family and organisation were informed. I guess it is no longer confidential. And we do apologise to those people involved in our life who are reading about such a sensitive and personal issue in the paper; like members of our family.
The article is not true and the quotes attached to Angela are also not true. My understanding is the “human rights charter for children” should protect their identity, so we are disappointed at the article and feel that it is a violation of Jessica’s rights. We did speak to a journalist, over the phone, but are upset that this is the slant they put on the article. In contacting us we were given the impression that because he heard of us adopting children, he wanted to highlight orphans and poverty. It was later he brought up our present adoption process, which we were quite surprised by, due to the confidentiality. Unfortunately we are being used to create a story and we naively went along with it, allowing pictures to be taken of our family. My understanding is they are using all people quoted to create a story.
We are not involved in a ‘tug of war’ with Madonna. During Madonna’s time in Malawi she did visit the orphanage were this little girl is currently being cared for. Jessica was one of many children that Madonna spent time with and she has no intention of adopting Jessica, but that’s about where the story begins and ends. We are very sympathetic to and supportive of Madonna and appreciate her desire to respond to the world she lives in. We wish her, her husband and her children all the best in their adoption. It is not an easy journey to decide to adopt or to travel the road to adoption and we are just thankful our lives are able to go on without the scrutiny of press she is subjected to.
Thanks guys for your continued support of us. Poverty is a chronic problem and won’t end overnight, please don’t tire of hearing about it, praying for it and standing against it. Our lives really do make a difference.
We are not giving any further interviews, as our commitment to these beautiful people in Malawi and our duty of care to our children is one of dignity, empowerment and uplift and not for manipulation for the sake of a story.
John and Angela Wilmot
(Michael, Shaun, Grace, Martha, Brian, Ruth and one day Jessica)