Anastasia – The Perfect Child

The definition of happiness for Stacey, a five-year old South African girl, is to go to bed with a full stomach. Nothing more, nothing less.

This is a story about an amazing girl, Anastasia, called Stacey for short. Stacey grew up on the streets of Durban with her parents and brother, but lost her mother to AIDS two years ago. Her daddy took care of Stacey and her brother as best as he could, but without a job or a place to live, life was not easy. The small family slept in parks, pilfered garbage cans for anything edible and begged strangers for any coins they were willing to spare.

One stormy night, Nancy, a middle-class lady, saw the family sleeping under a tree in torrential rain. The sight was heart-breaking. The little girl with the big innocent eyes was drenched, dirty and malnourished. Not even a dog should live like that. Nancy gave the father money for the local shelter so that at least they could spend one night in a warm, dry place. And, half-seriously, Nancy told the father that if he ever needed help, she could take care of his children.

Early the next morning, Nancy’s doorbell rang, and the father handed over his daughter.

Eduardo and I fell head over heels in love with Stacey from the moment we met her. We can’t believe Nancy was so lucky to find her, we wish we had found Stacey first. She’s perfect, in every sense.


How could a girl growing up on the streets be so well mannered, intelligent and polite? She acts as she would have grown up in a strict boarding school. When we visited a restaurant, Stacey, on her own initiative, cleared the table. She speaks in a soft voice and always asks for permission before taking your plate, or reaching to look at anything, like your camera.

And you couldn’t find a happier child. Everything amazes her, and she is thankful for any gifts, however small. A balloon, bubbles, chewing gum, clothes. I’m sure she would even have been delighted to receive a pair of socks. At the Durban Fan Fest, watching the Ghana-Uruguay quarter finals, Stacey cheered and screamed, danced with some young English boys, and blew her vuvuzela a lot better than either Eduardo or I. She sings, when allowed, and dances as soon as she hears a tune. Eduardo and I would have a blast with her, as we would never stop dancing and singing and checking out new music.

Stacey is absolutely gorgeous. She has a glowing career ahead of her as a super-model, or any other career she would wish to pursue. She is warm and loving. She’s quiet, but not timid. She has an amazing sense of humor with quite complex jokes. And she cares and worries about everyone around her. At only five, she’s as mature as a woman, and as full of life and excitement as a child.

Stacey would be the perfect child for Eduardo and me to adopt. Unfortunately this will not be possible, but we will definitely always keep in touch with her to make sure she is given the opportunities she deserves so well.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mercy McCulloch Hasselblad
    Dec 29, 2014 @ 04:55:39

    Love your description! That’s so awesome! 🙂


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