By Shelby Mullis
INDIANAPOLIS — Less than 48 hours is all it took for a mother-to-mother letter to gain nationwide attention.
Concerned with the safety of her two-year-old son, Indianapolis mother Lindsay Hadley took to a pen and paper. In a one-page letter addressed to Theodore’s mom, best known as Ivanka Trump, daughter of President Donald Trump, Hadley asked the working 35-year-old mother to use her “influence within the administration” to consider toning down the rhetoric to ensure the safety of the nation’s children.
The letter Indianapolis mother Lindsay Hadley sent to Ivanka Trump. Photo provided by Lindsay Hadley.
But there’s a story behind Hadley’s motivation to write the letter.
When Hadley first discovered bruises on her two-year-old son’s legs, it was as though her worst nightmare had come true.
After rushing him to the emergency room, doctors completed a full body scan to check for bone damage, caused by suspected daycare abuse.
But after that moment, Hadley, an Indianapolis art director and Franklin College graduate, knew she had to find a new environment for her son, Milo, to feel safe in while she worked during the day.
Extensive research led Hadley and Milo’s dad to the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation’s Early Childhood Center.
“We finally felt like we didn’t have to worry about him during the day,” Hadley said.
For nearly a year, they found comfort in knowing their son was safe, but another nightmare caused that comfort to vanish.
The Jewish Community Center Indianapolis, just blocks away from Milo’s daycare, was one of several Jewish centers in more than 30 states targeted with a bomb threat earlier this week. The Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation’s Early Childhood Center sent an immediate alert to parents, making them aware of the threat and ensuring their children were safe.
But with a mother’s instinct, Hadley found herself fearing for the safety of her child, once again.
Due to the lack of funds available to support organizations she is passionate about, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, Hadley said she wanted to find another way to make a difference that didn’t involve anything but a few minutes and 49 cents for a stamp.
We have thoroughly enjoyed looking at photos of Baby Theodore in the White House. Our little boy, Milo, is just about the same age. He has piles of curly, red hair and he loves giraffes.
It was about this time last year that Milo was abused at day care. When we showed the ER doctors his bruised legs, they feared they were broken and ordered a full-body skeletal scan.
As you can imagine, that event shook us to our core. Milo’s bruises healed, and the state investigated the day care provider. But it took us quite some time to trust anyone to care for him again.
That is, until we found the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation’s Early Childhood Center. The night before Milo started his new school, I whispered in his ear, “Be nice. Have fun. Be safe. Feel loved.” I was confident of the center, but I cried from the parking lot to my office every day for two weeks.
I’m sure as a working mother you can appreciate knowing your child is in the best of care during the day. Milo loves going to school, and I know they love him. I knew he was safe until yesterday morning when the Jewish Community Center was evacuated because of a bomb threat. Milo’s school was rattled. Once again, Milo’s dad and I are worried about the safety of our little boy. Who would want to hurt a child? Any child?
From one mother to another, I’m begging you to use your influence within the administration to tone down the rhetoric that would inspire someone to hurt children. Please.
Thank you for your time, and thank you in advance for your assistance. We’re counting on you to help this administration rise to the occasion.
While Hadley admits that Ivanka Trump may never read the handwritten letter, people around the world are seeing it. After posting the letter on her Facebook, Hadley received more than 300 responses through likes, comments and shares. The letter has been posted to motherhood websites including Working Mother and Romper.
The envelope Lindsay Hadley mailed to Ivanka Trump. Hadley’s letter asked Ivanka Trump to use her position within the administration for peace. Photo provided by Lindsay Hadley.
“It was a letter that had emotion and meaning and purpose and it was short,” she said. “It’s important.”
Mark Walker, social media expert and Punchbowl Marketing owner, said the post is something personal and it’s topical — the two things that make a post go viral.
“You see it all the time, whether it’s a video or somebody holding up a letter their child wrote to someone in the public eye, those sorts of things catch people’s attention and you don’t have to know that person to relate to that story,” he said.
Both Ivanka Trump and President Donald Trump have issued statements denouncing the bomb threats made against the Jewish community.
As for Hadley, she just wants to ensure the safety of children like Milo, across America.
“My hope is that things get better,” Hadley said.
Shelby Mullis is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.