An Open Letter to Bill Donohue

Yesterday, the Catholic League tweeted the following:

Today, in defense of adoptive families everywhere, I sent the following letter to the Catholic League’s President, Bill Donohue:

Dear Dr. Donahue,

I will admit, upon viewing yesterday’s ill-conceived tweet by the Catholic League, I felt a rising anger and disbelief that such ugliness would be so publicly displayed. As both an adoptive mother and an advocate for equality, I take such attacks very personally, and it was, no doubt, an attack upon us all. Married, single, gay, straight, you disparaged each of us.

Rather than the “normal” nine months, my husband and I waited a long, painful, heart-wrenching seven years to meet our beautiful, sweet son. Does this somehow disqualify us as parents, or, on some scale unknown to me make us lesser parents? Is there a blood-link bonus not granted to those of us brought together by adoption? My son grew in my heart rather than beneath it—did that leave me in some way less qualified to love, nurture, raise, or protect him? Will my son live his life wishing for a life he never had, a biological link we do not share?

Perhaps the Pharaoh’s daughter should have simply left Moses in the bulrushes? Or maybe you feel Mary and Joseph were insufficient for the task handed to them by God himself.

And while we’re on the subject, I’d love you to explain an anti-abortion and anti-adoption stance, as I am completely baffled. A child needs love and security, whether from a mom and a dad, two dads, two moms, a single parent, or grandparents. Love and stability are not the exclusive domain of a husband and wife. To think otherwise is not only archaic fact-denying, but pure foolishness and bigotry.

These angry thoughts occupied my mind for much of the afternoon, until a sudden and blissful feeling of serenity washed over me, replacing my anger with sympathy. It was when I realized that an organization so blinded by vitriolic dogma, so wrapped in anger and disdain, is missing out on something beautiful. For you will never know the overwhelming joy of reaching out and grasping that which has been beyond your reach. Without this struggle, and simply having a child “of your own,” you will never comprehend the desperate longing to be a parent; your arms stretched out, your lungs burning from the effort of chasing that dream, until that magical day when finally you cradle a beautiful child in your arms, your heart swelling with pride and a love like no other as the family you were meant to have is realized. You cannot appreciate great fortune unless you’ve first suffered misfortune.

Yes, I feel sorry for you. You tilt at windmills, choosing to spend your time attacking the transgressions of silly and forgettable movies that, most likely, no one will watch, as though a girl in a bikini is somehow a bigger threat or insult to your faith than its hierarchy’s systematic, organized cover up of decades of the most hideous child abuse by your .02%.

You attack us all for a thoughtless comment of one. One wouldn’t think a man such as you would need a reminder on scripture, but it would seem a lesson is in order.

 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. –Psalms 68: 5-6

 I hope you can find the humanity, charity, and spirit of Christian faith which seems so sorely lacking in your actions and words.


Michelle E. Reed

I will update if I receive a response.

Getting A Little Obsessed

It’s funny, the thoughts that occupy the minds of preschoolers. I can’t speak for all of them (I only have the one, after all), but my son goes through obsessive phases. They can last days or weeks, becoming his primary interest.

Right now he has two:




the Tooth Fairy:

An odd, yet awesome combination, no?

Whenever we’re in the car, Elvis is his first—and only—choice. He runs around the house singing The King’s greatest hits. He grabs his Phineas and Ferb guitar and rocks out. He’s working on his “Thankyuuuuu, thankyuuuverymuch,” and I find myself asking if he’s busy TCB (he always is).

With Elvis, it’s pure fandom. The Tooth Fairy, on the other hand, is something else entirely. He saw a children’s show a few weeks which dealt with Ms. Fairy and her role in the lives of children. As the excited cartoon child placed their tooth under their pillow and fell into a peaceful slumber, things went south. Seeing the arrival of Ms. Fairy, kiddo clamped his hand to his mouth and screamed “WHY WOULD SHE STEAL MY TEETH???”

Oh, boy.

I explained that she does not steal teeth. It is merely a business transaction. In exchange for your tooth, she gives you cold hard cash. Capitalism!

He remains unconvinced. And to be fair, having some strange magical woman float into your room while you’re sleeping and make off with your teeth is a bit…weird.

He now keeps in his room a letter he had me write. I was merely the secretary, taking dictation as he issued his Tooth Fairy Directive, which follows:

I can’t wait to see what obsession he comes up with next.