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Open Letter to Madonna

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Two single moms set her straight.


Rachel Sarah and Dr. Leah Klungness: Madonna, you're an icon. It's impossible to ignore the latest news about your family.

Both of us are all about supporting other mothers' parenting decisions. Of course, we're on the record at momlogic urging Nadya Suleman to place her babies in open adoption. We remain strong believers that no one should make the rules in your life but you.

But we can't help but wonder why you are adopting another child from Malawi.

To keep you up-to-date, momlogic readers, 50-year-old Madonna is trying to adopt an orphaned three-year-old girl named Mercy James.

Mercy comes from one of the poorest parts in this tiny African country. Her mother died aged 18, five days after giving birth to her, and her father hasn't been found.

Mercy's uncles live in mud-brick shacks that have grass thatch roofs. There is no electricity and they can't read or write. In fact, they'd never heard of Madonna until recently.

Madonna, if adopting another child is your strategy to divert attention from your complicated love life, it's not working.

All weekend, New York Daily News, W Magazine, and other media have been analyzing your fling with 22-year-old Brazilian hunk Jesus Luz -- and your rumored hookup with Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez. LINK

Unfortunately, your romance now seems to be playing a part in the legal proceedings.

"Our official policy is that we do not encourage our children to be sent into broken homes," a senior official from Malawi's Ministry of Women and Child Welfare Development said, noting your split from hubby Guy Ritchie.

Will this doom your wish to adopt three-year-old Mercy James?

Frankly, it's not your love life that concerns us. You deserve to have fun. But here's what troubles us:

Little Mercy needs to remain connected to her biological family and culture. Are you willing to do this?

In 2006, you adopted toddler David Banda in Malawi. When you visited Malawi last year with three-year-old David, his father says that he never got to see his son.

You're raising David according to Kabbalah, the mystic Judaism sect, and have said that you'll raise Mercy this way, too. We applaud you for your spirituality, but don't these kids also deserve a chance to stay connected to their African roots, too?

We're wondering how you are able to parent yet another adopted child? "Paid help" simply cannot take the place of a loving and present parent. Adopted kids who are suddenly transported a world away -- from everything and everyone familiar to them -- need extra attention.

You're a legendary entertainer and a fabulously wealthy woman.

But, as a mother, don't you face the same dilemma that the rest of us -- ordinary moms -- confront?

Your decision to adopt another child must mean that you are satisfied and confident that you are able to do it all.

We've been keeping our eyes on you as you've maintaining your jaw-dropping physique, evolved as a world-class performer, and managed the business empire you've created.

We are confident that you'll resolve the ongoing custody dispute about your biological children, David and Rocco, yes?

Please be emotionally and physically present in your kids' lives.

Your fellow mothers would dearly love to know how you do it.

Interested in connecting with others about adoption? Check out our momlogic community.

See Also:

next: Little Girl Eulogizes Her Dead Pet Fish
13 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jenn March 30, 2009, 1:50 PM

Is there a mother in the world that can look in to this little girls eyes and honestly feel she would be better off left in such a poor place, unsure of food, clothing or a future at all then being adopted by Madonna? Even if she is raised by a nanny? I find that hard to believe. I would consider it if there were other families lined up to take these children in but I can’t imagine that is the case.

Susan - also a single mom March 30, 2009, 1:56 PM

Are these women jealous? I know that if I could afford it I would love to adopt children who would benefit from being in a lovely family with other children in a home and country safe from poverty and disease.

>>Mercy’s uncles live in mud-brick shacks that have grass thatch roofs. There is no electricity and they can’t read or write.

Is this the cultural experience you speak of? Do you not think that Madonna will help David and Mercy understand where they came from and give them appreciation of African culture?

Get off your high horses. This little girl will have an amazing opportunity and life. Leave Madonna alone and go spend some time with your own kids!

single mom seeking March 30, 2009, 3:49 PM

Great points Jenn and Susan!

We simply hope that Madonna can come through in two ways:

With all of her resources and money, perhaps she can help more kids in Malawi (is there word that she might open a school for other kids there?).

And also, that she’d take David and Mercy home to visit once in a while, so they can remain connected to their roots.

That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Anonymous March 30, 2009, 4:21 PM

when a family adopts a baby from american do they raise it jewish because the birth mother was jewish (even if they are catholic)??….no. do they keep in touch with the biological family, no. do you think calista flockhart does all these things you are talking about….neither does joe blow that lives down the street. aren’t your adopted children just like your “biological” children? then why would you make them feel different than the rest of the family….”okay, we are going to be catholics, but you can’t, you have to be jewish because your birth family was” i don’t think so. i understand trying to teach them their roots when they get older and let them make their own decision of how they want to carry out their life…..just like our parents did with us.

Gigohead  March 30, 2009, 4:29 PM

Madonna has become the modern day Joan Crawford. I’m sure Madonna will provide her a nice home and an honest education, but I doubt she will be a mother to her. Madonna is very self-absorbed. This is about changing the wave of bad publicity.

Kellita March 30, 2009, 4:48 PM

I agree with Anonymous. I have three beautiful children who were adopted from Latin America. They are my children in every way except biology, and we are raising them in our family with our culture, as we would a biological child. And of course we celebrate their roots.
Please don’t criticize Madonna. She is doing a wonderful, loving thing for these children that otherwise wouldn’t have a chance. I don’t believe we should judge her motivation.
God bless her. I wish the best for her and her family.

anony  March 30, 2009, 4:49 PM

I pray that this child gets to be adopted by Madonna as I’m sure she will have a much better life with Madonna than if she were raised in a mud shack with no electricity and no education.

Danielle March 30, 2009, 6:09 PM

I couldn’t agree more with Kellita… It takes an extraordinarily giving heart to adopt a child. I don’t doubt Madonna’s love for her children or her desire to provide them with the very best. More kudos to her for proceeding with the adoption despite her divorce!

MayaB March 30, 2009, 7:12 PM

I cannot believe anyone would criticize Madonna for trying to adopt another child. Some people are so judgmental that it makes me ill. She’s not looking for publicity. However, her accusers certainly are. How dare you decide how anyone should raise their child? To actually state you will be watching her is pathetic.

jamie March 30, 2009, 7:33 PM

Ok this makes me really mad-I highly doubt that Madonna wants to adopt a child to divert press from her love life. She has the means to give this little girl a life FAR better than the one she was given. If the childs family really LOVED her they would let her go be raised out of poverty and with every oppurtunity in the world open to her. I applaud celebrities that want to open their hearts and homes to orphaned children who need a loving home and a chance. GOOD LUCK TO HER AND HER FAMILY!!!

Bec Thomas March 30, 2009, 10:02 PM

Would you still say these things to someone adopting a child from Russia? or China?

Why shouldn’t she raise these kids in her culture? They are going to be her children just like ton of adopted children all over the world. These kids are going to have a better life then most. If they stay in their country in the 3rd world conditions they currently live in chances are they wouldn’t even live to see adulthood, there is a high chance they would be sold into slavery, they would go without food, and many other things that no child should have to live through. We can’t save all children but at least Madonna can save another one.

karen March 31, 2009, 6:15 PM

Madonna is working on an academy for girls in Malawi and is doing amazing things for that beautiful country. If I had the money, I’d adopt every child I met over there while working in the orphanages last year. I’m going back again this year and cannot wait to give my time to these beautiful children. These kids have nothing and anyone who can give them a better life is doing a good thing, end of story. Anyone who is judgmental on Madonna’s motives needs to check themselves…or better yet, go work in an orphanage over there.

Chrissy March 31, 2009, 8:40 PM

Here’s my concern - Guy Ritchie, the boilogical father of Rocco and adoptive father of David. Is based on London. Rocco paternal family is on England.
Yet, a few months back Lourdes applied to attend the Performance High School in New York City.
So, yes I think Madonna should wait untill the custody situation of her current children is finalized BEFORE adopting another child.
Least not forget that the English press reported that Guy Ritchie was not on board for adopting a child when Madonna, alone went to adopt David.
Madonna ought ot consider her current family before considering adopting another child.

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