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.


10 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Bill Donohue

  1. Geez woman! I’m making you my official letter composer & defender against all evil in the world 🙂 You should really consider becoming a writer…

  2. Wonderful letter! I’m so thankful you took it upon yourself to not only defend your family, but so many other families who have been touched by adoption. Adopting kids is not nearly as easy a task as some are led to believe. Not only is there heartache in failed matches, but also in fostering children for years with seemingly no end in sight because of a broken system that doesn’t seem to have the resources to make the changes the children it has been tasked to protect. Again, thank you for being a voice for foster and adoptive parents everywhere!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I felt compelled to defend us all, as I felt we were all attacked. Those who treat adoption as some distant second choice, as some lesser form of parenting, must be educated.

  3. Michelle, my heart is touched by your very eloquent expression of the love adopting people have to offer. To minimize love from any source to children thirsting for it is to deny the very essence of what the Judeo/Christian ethic commands. It is hypocrisy at its’ finest.

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