An Open Letter to Representative Alvin Holmes



Our family recently purchased a new television for our living room. I was amazed at the leap in technology televisions have made since our last purchase seven years ago. Our upgraded TV is said to have a billion more colors than older models. I have to admit that we are enjoying a much more “colorful” experience these days while watching our favorite shows. The progress that has been made in the television market is astounding!

Now Rep. Holmes, I write this letter to you today as a way to say thank you—thank you for igniting a movement that has brought to light another kind of “colorful” experience going on in our state. In the last month you have shown the state of Alabama and the rest of the nation the progress that has been made in what constitutes real family. It turns out that families these days come in a lot more colors, as well.

Let me take a moment to introduce myself to you. My name is Patrick Quinn, and my family is like many in our state. We are a transracial Foster Care family living in Montgomery, AL. When I am not busy being a daddy to my children, I am the Teaching Pastor at Frazer United Methodist Church. My wife and I, along with our three children, have been involved in Foster Care for the past three years, so I have become keenly aware of the number of children who need homes in our state. However, it was not until your comments about transracial families ignited this movement that I realized how far we have come as a society. You made me realize that, far from being an isolated exception, we are part of a great movement.

Rep. Holmes, your generation grew up in a black and white society watching black and white televisions. I do not blame you for thinking the way you do. Your picture of the world was formed in a different era. How could you know that a new generation is taking up the mantle of caring for orphans, regardless of race or ethnicity? How could you know that today there are hundreds of families like mine? Many of us live in the shadows of confidentiality due to the sensitive situations of the children in our care. Most of us are too busy with the quiet work of raising a family to be out in the public eye. You haven’t visited in our homes. How could you know that white children and black children are sleeping under the same roof all across this state?

This new generation of families is not “color blind.” My white children see that there is a black child living in our house. They notice that our black son has different hair and skin products, along with other differences. But they love him just the same. Their world is not color blind, it has become “color-full”.

I admit that before Foster Care my children lived in a predominantly white world. However the past couple of years have proven to be invaluable for my family and for me. The new colors in my life have enriched our world and enlarged our hearts. Like the billion more colors on our new television, our family is seeing the benefit of living in a world full of God’s beautiful colors!

So, Rep. Holmes, do you see what you have done? Unknowingly, you have given a voice to the voiceless! Foster and Adoptive Families could not have done what you have done for us. You have brought this issue out of the shadows and exposed it to the light. You have helped us bring awareness to the plight of the orphan, to the most vulnerable among us, our children. You have singlehandedly made this a state issue that has grown into a national issue. You doubted that families like ours existed; well, here we are, standing in the spotlight that you created!

Now it is time to finish what you started. March on to the finish line. You, too, can upgrade, from the black vs. white world of yesterday, to the beautifully multi-colored world of today. You can join the movement of this color-full new generation. Will you join us in the fight? Will you join the families that gathered on the steps of the State House? Instead of denying that we exist, will you now become an advocate on our behalf?

Speaking for many Foster and Adoptive families, we do not want your $100K, as helpful as that would be, we never got into this for the money. It might be better spent upgrading your TV from black and white to something more appropriate for today’s world. There are so many more children that need homes like the one we provide for foster children. Help us spread the word. Use your voice for love not hate. It’s not too late for you to see this world the way God sees it, in “full HD” with billions of colors. It is a beautiful world, Rep. Holmes. I hope you get to see it.



34 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Representative Alvin Holmes

  1. AMEN!! Very well said , such a great analogy
    I think most of us would agree that we don’t want the money unless it could be a new adoption fund for these children. Change the laws regarding adoption in Alabama, make it easier to adopt these children and give them a forever home that they all deserve!

  2. We’re originally a “white” family. Our family now includes bi-racial grandchildren and an adopted black grandson. ALL of our grandchildren contribute love, smiles, joy to our family. When I look at them I don’t see color, I see family. I’m grateful for each and every one of them. I’ve called us a “rainbow family” and I also love the description in this well written letter. Life in living color is rewarding!

  3. What a beautiful dialogue of love!! Thank you, Patrick, for your voice of what Jesus wants all of us to be, a world filled with love for one another!!!

  4. Beautifully written!!!! I agree with every word and thank you for sharing “all” of your family with us. Maybe one day Mr. Holmes will “get it”.

  5. “Jesus loves the little children. Red,yellow,black and white they are most precious in His
    Sight. Jesus loves the children of the world.” All you said reminded me immediately of this song I sung as a child ( I am 79 ) and I taught my children and my grandchild. And every word of it is true! And just as you said it! Thank you!

  6. Wonderfully written and right on the money (no pun intended). If all of our elected officials would care more for the children of this state, regardless of race, by strengthing our adoption and foster care laws and regulations not only would more families become colorful more people would come to see Jesus. He did afterall love everyone regardless of race, religion, sex, etc. etc.

    Let’s just pray that this lands on his FB page and he actually reads it.

  7. Well written. I hope Mr. Holmes accepts this challenge and continues his work with foster children and parents.

  8. Beautiful letter! Thank you from another bi-racial foster family in Nebraska, who are happily now a forever family.

  9. This is so beautiful, Patrick. It brought tears to my eyes. When I read Alvin Holmes’ comment I immediately thought about the beautiful multiracial families I see in Frazer’s atrium every Sunday. What man meant for evil God truly used for good.

  10. I have 2 beautiful colorful, adopted grandchildren and I think what was intended for negative has turned into an awesome response. Thank you Patrick

  11. I love to see Christians responding with love to hateful statements. Thank you for showing Jesus in your heart and in your life.

  12. Beautifully said. These adoptive families are allowing other to Jesus through them. Alvin Holmes spews vemon.He wears blinders and is so uninformed.Thank you Mr. Quinn for sharing your heart.

  13. Thank you to all those who have commented and to those who have shared this post with others. I pray that this post and others like it will continue to foster an environment for many more children to be fostered and adopted in Alabama. I also have great hope in seeing our state healed of the racial divisions that still exist today on all sides. Our children deserve better. I hope Rep. Holmes has a change of heart, my prayers are with him. Thanks again Faces of Families in Alabama for fanning the flame for our children!

  14. Well done. If he would only use his powers for good instead continually trying to stir the pot of dissention.

  15. Patrick,
    BEAUTIFULLY written! I , too, believe Mr. Holmes has done our families, our state, and our country a HUGE favor by his inflammatory comments. Let’s hope the WHOLE WORLD can see how COLOR-FULL this world is, and let’s all agree to LOVE ALL of our neighbors as ourselves.

  16. Wow, Patrick! Words well spoken or written! You have a gift with the use of words and you said this very well. I pray Rep Holmes will accept your challenge! Bravo to you and the rest of the Foster Parents in the State of Alabama and across our nation.

  17. You could not have written anything more beautiful. Isn’t is amazing how God will take a situation like this and use it for His glory. HE cares more about the precious unborn babies and orphans than anyone. You really spoke to Mr. Holmes in love and we can all pray that he would actually make a decision to use his platform for healing and progress. I really feel sorry for him because he has made so many statements that he surely regrets (just like we all have) and it takes courage to step up and say ” You know I found out that I might not have known what I was talking about” Come on Alvin, what a fantastic opportunity to really make a difference!!!!!!!

  18. What an amazing Godly Man! This letter is so incredible. Thank you Patrick Quinn for these words of wisdom to Mr. Holmes. It’s spoken just like God would had spoken to him, with a kind heart!

  19. Well said! Alvin has a habit of speaking,as an authority, on subjects he knows nothing about.

  20. Thank you Jesus for Patrick’s letter. We are not an adopted family. If we were 50 years younger we very well could be. But we do have a very colorful family. Two grandchildren are white, two are half white and half black, and one great grandson who is part white, part black, part Hispanic and possibly part native American. They are all precious and so are all the children we have ministered to in many cultures in the world. Jesus said; “Let the children come unto me.” He did not specify any specific color. Just come! Thanks Patrick. We are blessed by your letter.

  21. Thank you Patrick for showing the love of Jesus in the way that you live your life. Lydia and I have been blessed to be able to see what you and Rachel do on a daily basis, as we have witnessed the love extended to all the children of Frazer by both of you. I am so thankful for men like you that stand up for our belief and walk the talk. I so admire people who are willing to open their homes to foster care. Your letter to Mr. Holmes says volumes for all men to see the hearts of people and to open their eyes to a world of color and be fathers to all children. Well said brother.

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