The natural mother of Angelina Jolie’s adopted Ethiopian daughter Zahara, 12, has made a heartfelt plea to the superstar actress telling her: ‘Please just let me talk to my daughter’, Daily Mail Online reports.
Poverty stricken Mentewab Dawit Lebiso says she is desperate to be part of her 12-year-old daughter’s life – and called for Jolie to get custody of her daughter in the bitter split with Brad Pitt.
Mentewab says she has had no letters, photos or money from Jolie since adoption. “I just want her to know that I am alive and long to be able to speak with her,” she said.
She dreams of one day meeting the girl she gave up as a tiny infant – but said she would settle for the chance to simply hear her voice.
“I just want her to know that I am alive and here and long to be able to speak with her. I do not want my daughter back but just to be in contact with her and be able to call her up and talk with her,” said Mentewab, who ekes out a living in Ethiopia.
Mentewab is the first to admit that the Jolie-Pitts have given her daughter everything she could wish for, adding: “Angelina has been more of a mother to her than I have ever been. She has been with her since she was a baby, but that does not mean I do not miss her.”
But she adds: “I miss her all the time. I think about her every day and long to hear her voice or see her face. I know when she has a birthday but I am sad because I can’t celebrate it with her. I would so much want to celebrate with her on her birthday and other special days. I long to be able to have regular contact with her.”
Daily Mail Online tracked down Mentewab to a town in central Ethiopia far from the capital Addis Ababa and tourist attractions of the African country.
During an exclusive interview Mentewab looked close to tears as she mentioned her daughter’s name and talks of her hopes of one day being reunited with her.
Even now, 12 years after giving up her only child for adoption the pain as she talks about Zahara is clear in her face.
She lowers her eyes, and speaking through an interpreter, says softly in her native, Amharic tongue : “I would like Zahara to know she has a mother who loves her as much as Angelina.”
“I know her life is with Angelina in another country and she speaks another language than me. She has a life that I could never give her, but I would still like to have some contact. I would like to see her face. She has grown into a beautiful woman and I am so proud of her. My heart bursts because I am so proud,” Mentewab says.
‘We all die sometime and before I die I would like her to know about me and that she has family here in Ethiopia. I would ask Angelina to let me speak with her. I do not think it is too much to ask.”
The 31-year-old has had no contact with Zahara since she was taken to America by Jolie when she was just six months old in 2005.
Mentewab has not received a card or letter from Jolie in past 12 years. Contact with birth mother is rare for adopted children growing up, however, they have a right to try and trace birth parents when they reach 18.
And despite her and Pitt’s combined wealth estimated at over $500m Mentewab has not received any financial help to escape the dire poverty that sees her surviving on less than $20 a month and living in a one room home with no running water or toilet.
“No money has ever been offered and that does not worry or disappoint me,” said Mentewab.
Angelina Jolie was told that Zahara was orphaned when she adopted her in 2005, and had lost her parents through Aids.
It is thought that she had no idea that Mentewab was alive until 2007, when she gave her first interview.
Mentewab is adamant she does not want to destabilize her daughter, nor is she after money. She simply wants any form of contact she can, although she acknowledges that there is no obligation for Jolie to get in touch.