DOB – March 1, 2008
Came under Tumaini care March, 2010 – the Sopinka and Gerling families are helping to support Liadi!
Liadi was afraid of me (a mzungu, or white person) when I visited his home before his mother’s death and we had quite a tough few days of adjustment after he came to Tumaini. Then, all of a sudden, I became his replacement mama. He attached and has never wanted to leave my side. Liadi is a VERY independent little boy who is bright, inquisitive and a bit precocious! He was the baby at Tumaini until his sister Nasma joined us in 2013, much to his chagrin; he knows he is adorable, and he plays all of us for MUCH love and attention!
I have dozens of stories about this little guy, from his discovering my baby powder, stripping himself naked, dousing himself in it and then parading around Tumaini House, showing off his new look or, asking for my 1.5 L bottles of Kilimanjaro spring water, almost bigger than himself, and insisting that, “I can do it, Mama!”, only to pour water all over himself! Liadi is a HAM for the camera; he has always been very afraid of cats, frogs, and almost any living creature, but he has slowly out-grown his fear. This mainly stemmed from the fact that his older “kakas,” Lohai and Raymond, used to torment Liadi by telling him they would feed him to the cows!
On a much sadder note, Liadi struggled whenever he would see his brothers or sisters after his mother’s death (all but the adult son have come under our care) struggling internally with wanting to be near them yet not wanting to return to the hardship of his former life. And, he missed his mother terribly.
One day I took Liadi to the market in Usa River to get some vegetables. His mother used to attend that market to sell her wares and often brought Liadi with her. Upon identifying the location Liadi began crying for Mama. Our driver told him, “Mama huyu hapa” (Mama is here), meaning me, but I was not who Liadi was looking for. He wailed and wailed for his mother, writhing in my arms to get away and go to her until, finally, I had to tell him that Mama was with God now; Mama was in heaven . . . Liadi collapsed onto my shoulder, completely deflated and quietly sobbed to himself. It was a tough, tough day all around.
On a happier note, one day Liadi escorted some of the children to the doctor’s office and a former neighbour of his mother’s saw us there and asked if indeed this little boy was Liadi . . . we assured her he was, at which point she exclaimed, “I could hardly recognize him! He has filled out so much and his skin has changed!” We were so very proud that day . . . for that is our mission: to raise our children in a safe, loving, healthy environment where they will not just survive, but THRIVE! A place where they will get a real chance at a quality education and a real future!
Update – May, 2018 – Ten year olds, Liadi is now in 6th grade, no less precocious and no less flirty! He has a sweet disposition (to go along with a rather unpleasant temper), and can be very charming. This little man is eager to please and loves the attention. It is incredible to see how far he has come, and we hope that all that is beautiful in this boy will continue to develop.