“Its a Family Affair!! At the Opening of The Mercy James Center!! @raisingmalawi,” the Material Mom, 58, captioned the image with son David Banda, 11, and daughters Mercy James, 11, and 4-year-old twins Estere and Stelle.
The Vogue hitmaker has opened Malawi’s first-ever pediatric surgery and intensive care center, which she named The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, after her daughter.
At the opening ceremony on Tuesday, the proud mama recalled her emotional three-and-a-half year journey toward adoption.
“I met Mercy soon after I met my son David, but they were living in different orphanages. David was in Mchinji in Home of Hope, and Mercy was here in Blantyre at Kondanani. 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. And I promised them that they would grow up into strong and healthy adults,” Madonna told the audience at the Queen Central Hospital.
“I was granted permission to adopt David first. And some time later, I filed a petition to adopt Mercy. But 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,” she continued.
“If you know me, you can imagine how I received this information,” she added. “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.”
She added: “The adoption laws in Malawi had not been reformed since the early ’40s, and it had not occurred to anyone to change them yet. 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 never gave up,” the singer continued. “And I never backed down. And I believe that if you want something badly enough in life, the universe will conspire to help you get it. It may not be exactly when you want it, it may not come exactly when you think it’s gonna come. It may not come in the package that you want it. But if you persevere, you will win.”
“I fought for Mercy, and I won,” she concluded. “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.”
The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care includes three operating rooms for children’s surgery, as well as a day clinic and a ward with 45 beds.