I met Levi within the same week we adopted Sebastian on an errand trip to Ithemba Lethu. Thulebona Buthelezi arrived at the Children’s Home when he was just a few days old, and lay quietly in his little Moses basket, placed on the dining room table. He was a tiny, sweet little baby boy, with soft curly hair forming a natural mohawk on the top of his head. As with all new-borns, he gazed around him in awe of his new surroundings. There was a sense of vulnerability in his very small frame, and he had handsome, fine features, which I thought were quite unusual for a new-born baby. I thought he was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen! As we had just adopted Sebastian, our next baby was the furthest thing from my mind! However, when I went home that day, I told Eduwardo all about him, and thought that if we were ever to adopt again, I would adopt a little baby like him!
It was around a year or so later, that the opportunity arose to adopt Levi. We approached this adoption with caution, as we knew there would be some issues we would have to deal with, and at times, it seemed as if it was almost impossible to adopt him. On many occasions we came close to giving up altogether, and had it not been for the constant support of Ithemba Lethu and of one particular volunteer, Maria Criticos, who helped nurture and mother Levi from day one, we would not have had Levi as our Son today.
We really are grateful for the care, which Maria bestowed onto Levi. We believe that this has helped him a great deal in forming strong, confident relationships as he has grown. Like all babies, he needed a consistent, nurturing relationship, which Maria provided selflessly in the first year or so of his life.
In December 2010, we finally went to court, and Levi was officially adopted into our family.
Almost 6 years have passed, and Levi has settled well into being our sunshine boy! He is full of life, wit and seems to have incredible insight into the world and people around him. His Zulu name, Thulibona, means ‘Keep quiet’, and for those who know Levi, that is almost impossible for him to do! I really felt that we needed to call him Levi, which means to ‘connect’ or ‘join’. Well, if there is one thing Levi does exceptionally well, it is to connect! He has no problem making himself heard, and is a very smart, determined and confident little boy fully at ease with himself. He easily makes friends, and has a knack of crawling into the hearts of people he meets with his sweet little smile and lively personality! He loves attention and being in the limelight, often giving us little performances, standing on a chair, proudly presenting ‘Ladies and Gentleman….’ We have recently sent him to drama lessons, and considering all of the above, it is no surprise that he has been chosen to audition for a little weekly morning show on a local radio station, 94.7 Highveld Radio! Well done Levi!
What a pleasure to share our journey with this very special, talented and gifted little boy! Thank you to Ithemba Lethu and their incredible team of volunteers, without your tireless support and effort, our family, and so many others would not be full of the richness, love and hope that it is today!