Meet Nisha Kaur Weber, the 21-month-old who is lighting up the life of actor Sunny Leone and her husband, Daniel Weber. The baby girl from Latur, Maharashtra, has been adopted by them, and Sunny says it was love at first sight.
What does parenthood feel like?
Sunny: Right now, it’s all so brand new because it has just been a few days. The moment we got the picture (of Nisha); I was so excited, happy, emotional and [experienced] so many different feelings. We literally had three weeks to finalise everything. Usually, people get nine months to prepare (laughs).
Daniel: Our life is always so crazy. There are no nine months for us. For me, it has just been lots of paperwork for two years and then one day, that’s it. You get an email that you have been matched with a child. It’s so crazy.
When was the decision to adopt taken?
Daniel: We applied almost two years ago, when we went to an orphanage. Those people are doing amazing work. But we thought it would be great to help. Of course, you want to help them all but you can’t. Maybe, one at a time, and that’s how things may start.
Sunny: I truly believe that Nisha chose us, we didn’t choose Nisha.
Daniel: Never in my life did I think that I want to adopt a child. [People] doing such amazing work at the orphanage changed my mind.
What made both of you have a baby at this particular point?
Sunny: We didn’t decide. The Indian government and Cara agency decided when we were ready (smiles). We didn’t know that you don’t get to choose the ashram or orphanage that you adopt from, the ministry chooses for you.
Daniel: There is no right time if you are in the entertainment field because you are always on the road. So when are you going to find nine months or a year to have a child? If someone wants a day of shooting with Sunny, I say, ‘Okay, let me find one hour in the next four months.’ Why we’ve adopted is a different reason but we were ready almost two years ago.
Sunny: I don’t know about everybody else, but for us, it didn’t matter even for a second whether it was our child or she not being our biological child. For us, it was about starting a family and I might not [have a biological child] because of our schedules and so many other things but we both thought, ‘why don’t we just adopt?’
Who thought of the name, Nisha?
Sunny: We didn’t do that.
Daniel: That was her name. They told us that we can change and we had our minds filled with names but she is who she is. Every time, we called her by other names, it just didn’t fit her.
Sunny: We like the name. Her name is Nisha Kaur Weber. It’s Kaur since I am Punjabi, as my real name is Karenjit Kaur. I always wanted that whatever names we choose, the middle name be Singh or Kaur. When I looked up the meaning of Nisha, it’s the Hindu goddess of night.
How was your first meeting with your daughter, Nisha?
Sunny: The day we picked her up, she was great in the car; dancing and having fun.
Daniel: She must have thought she was on a road trip or something or that it’s one day at the circus. Nisha had an eight hour trip (from Latur to Mumbai) and she was perfect. I thought, ‘wow, this child is amazing.’
Sunny: When she came home, I think that’s when it dawned upon her, ‘oh, wait I am not going back.’ But we have read up and consulted our friends about how to cope with her at this stage, and we have accepted that it’s going to take her some time to adjust in this new environment.
Daniel: We are trying to introduce things to her every hour but it’s overwhelming for any human to have new things as until now, she was raised in a different manner. But we have been told that it’s an easy age to be programmed because kids’ minds at this age are like a sponge.
At the orphanage, she was spoken to in Marathi. So, English must be an alien language for her?
Daniel: Till now, she has only been spoken to in Marathi so I think that also needs to be reprogrammed. I am sure whenever I speak to her, she must be thinking, ‘Dude, what are you talking? Speak some legitimate words.’ I can only imagine that.
Sunny: A few days back, she learnt her first English word which was bye bye (smiles).
Would life — on a day-to-day basis — change from now on?
Daniel: We will still be busy (laughs).
Sunny: Of course, we are going to have to adjust a lot of different things but I do believe that God brings people in your life and does things for you only when you are ready for it. She has come to us at 21 months, so she is mobile, can function, and going to be able to communicate with us. Also, we have a great network of people and family around us. She is still a tiny baby right now, so we can structure our lives and figure out how we are going to move forward with projects.
Daniel: You know, we didn’t know that Nisha was coming to us so Sunny’s schedule was completely planned till the end of the year. But it is okay, so now, Sunny has to go to London, and though I would have liked to go with her but I will stay with Nisha here.
Sunny: Well, she doesn’t have her travel documents yet but until that happens; we are so blessed to have this moment.
Do you guys ever feel, ‘it’s a huge responsibility’…
Sunny: It’s a responsibility for the rest of our lives. But we have been ready for that — physically, mentally and financially. We were working really hard because we wanted to start a family, and this is the way it’s going to start, so it’s amazing.
Daniel: We don’t do anything through the normal route or in an orthodox manner. When people ask, ‘why did they adopt?’ our counter is, ‘oh, why not?’ That’s normal for us.
Sunny: We were not brought up here but certain things, on an everyday basis, breaks your heart. While going to the airport, you cross this overpass and see little kids with no clothes, no shoes or no food, and it’s heart-breaking. Maybe, we can’t save every child but can do it for one little girl. They (the ashram) gave her everything that they could but she is still underweight, and still needs a lot of care. And we are ready. Also, we have great people around to help us with everything. I don’t know what her struggle was, and I don’t think I ever will, but I know she was probably starving at some point, and maybe there wasn’t enough food.read more