Earlier this week, Madonna visited the opening of Malawi's first paediatric surgery and intensive care centre. She brought 11-year-old Mercy James with her, alongside her other adopted children from Malawi, 11-year-old David, 4-year-old twins Esther and Stella and her son with Guy Ritchie, Rocco.
In her speech for the opening of the centre, which was funded by her charity Raising Malawi, she made a speech talking about the trouble she had adopting her daughter Mercy James (who the new centre is named after) almost eight years ago.
People reported that her moving speech discussed how she fell in love with Mercy James and David in their respective orphanages in Malawi, and the promise she made to keep them safe,
I met Mercy soon after I met my son David…Mercy was suffering from malaria, and David from pneumonia. And when I held each of them in my arms, I whispered in their ears, that I would look after them.
In her speech, she also discussed how she believes sexism played a role in that difficulty,
This time, the judge who was presiding said no. I was recently divorced, and she informed me, as a divorced woman, I was not fit to raise children and that Mercy James was better off growing up in an orphanage.
If you know me, you can imagine how I received this information. It's true, I am a freedom fighter. I am a feminist. I am a rebel heart. But I am also a compassionate and intelligent human being. And if you cannot give me a logical reason for the word 'no,' then I will not accept the word 'no.' I hired a team of lawyers, and I took my case to the supreme court, and it was not an easy battle.
In fact, it took Madonna about three years to finally take her daughter home and start their life together.
She noted that adoption laws in Malawi had not been reformed since the early 40s at the time of her appeals to the Supreme Court, ' So my argument was that women have been raising children for centuries, on their own … not to mention the fact that I was doing just fine raising my own three children.'
I fought for Mercy, and I won. It wasn't easy. And with the blood, sweat, and tears of so many people here today, we fought for this hospital-and we won. So I'm here to say: never, ever give up on your dreams. Never stop fighting for what you believe in. And finally: Love conquers all.
Mercy James also apparently gave a speech at the hospital opening, in which she called her mum 'the bomb' and ended with a dab.
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