18: Madison – ‘Start Saying “Yes” to Yourself”

We talk to Madison about being Pregnant at 19 and wondering on whether she is truly a MOM. Follow Madison as she shares about her journey with family and how kinship became the logical answer to Madison. Birth Moms sometimes think that “ We are “Bad Girls” because of the “shame” placed on us or accepted by us. In the end, Madison finds her “Voice” to Say “ Yes.


BMRT - Madison

[00:00:00] D. Yvonne 00:00:11

Good afternoon. My name is Dee Yvonne rivers. I'm your host for birth moms, a real talk, a platform with birth moms, share their journey, share their story, share what happened to them, what they experience when they became moms, you will. Surprise. Amazed love all the things that are happening in this adoption community.

[00:00:00] D. Yvonne 00:00:12

We share the real talk. I'm so happy to have with me today. Madison. Welcome back. Hi, thank you. Oh, good to have you, as we said, we're that platform that we'll share the real talk and the real story. And as we say, we have the commonality of all being birth moms, but our stories are different. And we want to hear a little bit about your journey.

[00:00:00] D. Yvonne 00:00:13

Madison, maybe begin with your childhood and tell where you grew up. How was it in growing up and your experience of becoming a birth?

[00:00:57] Madison 00:00:14

Okay. Well, I had a [00:01:00] pretty normal childhood. I grew up in a suburb outside of Kansas city. Um, I, both my parents, you know, I had a really, really good childhood, um, like looking back, I don't think I would change anything.

[00:00:57] Madison 00:00:15

We're a really close family. Um, we always have been, so, um,

[00:01:21] D. Yvonne 00:00:16

I was always really shy. I just have.

[00:01:25] Madison 00:00:17

W I just have one sister, but I have so many cousins, like very extensive, you know, we're all really close. So, um, yeah, and I, I was always very shy growing up. Um, I kind of just fell behind my sister. She was always very outgoing and loud and, and would just kind of talk for me.

[00:01:25] Madison 00:00:18

I was never very, um, outgoing or forward. I was always very in the background. Um, So whenever I became pregnant, it was kind of a shock because I was [00:02:00] never, you know, my sister was always the bad kid. The one that would get in

[00:02:04] D. Yvonne 00:00:19

trouble, can you say, let me stop you for a minute, Madison. It was a shock. And your sister was the bad kid is if now you called yourself bad.

[00:02:04] D. Yvonne 00:00:20

Is that what you're saying?

[00:02:17] Madison 00:00:21

I guess, you know, looking back, I think there was a lot of. Shame and getting pregnant at a young age. I would think I would say that, um, I mean, I, my parents are very, you know, strict Catholic parents and you don't go to church every Sunday. And my sister was kind of a rebel and I was just kind of, you know, I got really good grades and I just kinda kept, I never really made a fuss about a lot of things.

[00:02:17] Madison 00:00:22

Um, and that even continued into when I was pregnant, I was doing. Very reserved. I didn't really open up much to anybody during that time. Um, but [00:03:00] yeah, I think that there was like a sense of shame and just, you know, disappointing my.

[00:03:07] D. Yvonne 00:00:23

Right, right. How, at what age? How old were you then? How old

[00:03:10] Madison 00:00:24

were you? Um, I was 19, so I was, I had just started my sophomore year of college.

[00:03:10] Madison 00:00:25

I was in nursing school. Um, I have a family of nurses. My grandma was a nurse, my mom's a nurse, my older sister's a nurse. So I was just kind of floating on. And, um, I had been in a, a pretty serious relationship for about five years. Through high school. And then we had broken up right before my sophomore year of college.

[00:03:10] Madison 00:00:26

And so I was just kind of trying to figure out who I was and who I wanted to be with and who I kind of trying to find myself. Um, so, um, I actually was in denial for a long [00:04:00] time and I didn't find out I was pregnant until I was probably close to. Nine

[00:04:03] D. Yvonne 00:00:27

weeks. Wow. When you said denial immediately, you're seeing the signs, which you didn't want to confirm.

[00:04:11] Madison 00:00:28

Right. And I had actually taken a test. Um, I would, uh, I, it just, it was negative. Um, so I just kind of kept going about my life and I just, I had kind of had a regular cycles anyways. And so I just didn't really think much of it. And the birth father and me, we were never together. This was kind of, I don't want to say a rebound, but it was just somebody that I dated, you know, after this long toxic relationship, it was very toxic.

[00:04:11] Madison 00:00:29

The one that I had prior. So, um, I guess I thought that I kind of. I was like, why me? Why is this [00:05:00] happening to me? Like, felt really sorry for myself. I would

[00:05:03] D. Yvonne 00:00:30

say, who was the first person you told

[00:05:07] Madison 00:00:31

it was actually my mom. I called her immediately after I took the test. Um, and she has been, you know, she was my rock through it all.

[00:05:07] Madison 00:00:32

Wow. As much as I didn't, you know, felt bad about disappointing her. She took care of me. Like I was, you know, still a child during that time. Like I just couldn't even function.

[00:05:27] D. Yvonne 00:00:33

Do you remember the first thing she said to you when you told her,

[00:05:31] Madison 00:00:34

she said, I gotta call you back. She wasn't worried.

[00:05:31] Madison 00:00:35

She later told me she was with, she was with a doctor. And so she essentially. You know, all the blood drained from her face. And he was like, are you okay? Do you need to sit down? And she was like, yeah, I think she was kind of in shock too. Right,

[00:05:53] D. Yvonne 00:00:36


[00:05:55] Madison 00:00:37

Um, but I honestly, the first thing I S whenever she called [00:06:00] me back, the first thing I said, I asked if, um, it wasn't even a question I said is, can you call?

[00:05:55] Madison 00:00:38

And it was my cousin who had been trying for about five years to have kids. And, um, She hadn't had any kids yet. And so I thought maybe, maybe just maybe, you know, she would want to adopt. It was never.

[00:06:21] D. Yvonne 00:00:39

So your mind had went to, from the time you had the test and was positive, you call your mom and in between the time of you or you talking to your mom, if she called that you had thought about all of this.

[00:06:21] D. Yvonne 00:00:40

I did.

[00:06:35] Madison 00:00:41

Wow. The first thing that came to my mind was, you know, I don't think I can do this, but I know that. And I didn't in that, at that time, I didn't even, I just said, well, you call her, just call her and see, you know, what she will say. Okay. So we ended up having, like, I had to go confirm that I was pregnant, you know, with.[00:07:00]

[00:06:35] Madison 00:00:42

With the doctor and I, they did an ultrasound and they, you know, saw how far along I was. And then I, my mom made me call her and ask. Right. Which I think that it's funny looking back now, these things that my mom was. Try to push me to do. It's like I was technically an adult, but I was, I wanted her to take care of me.

[00:06:35] Madison 00:00:43

Like I was, you know, not in at all. Um, cause even though I was in college, I was, I lived really close to home. I lived off campus, but I was still close to home and I would, and thank God that I did them close to home. Cause I would, I ended up barely staying at the house.

[00:07:38] D. Yvonne 00:00:44

Wow. Wow. Do you believe Madison that this was your first big step into maturity?

[00:07:47] Madison 00:00:45

Uh, at the time? No, but looking back after I had him, I think, yes. I think that it did mature me more than which is a good thing. I think that, [00:08:00] you know, that's a really huge positive, cause I don't know how much I would've matured otherwise. Right. I was always very, very dependent on my parents.

[00:08:09] D. Yvonne 00:00:46

Okay. Okay. So after, so you called your.

[00:08:09] D. Yvonne 00:00:47

So I

[00:08:17] Madison 00:00:48

texted her and I just said, Hey, can I come over? I want to talk to you about something. Um, and she said, yeah. And so, um, I made my mom go with me and I

[00:08:28] D. Yvonne 00:00:49

was ask her,

[00:08:31] Madison 00:00:50

well, I was just like, I can't do this by myself. Um, so I went over there and her mom was there, so my mom's sister. And I was like, okay. So they knew something was going on.

[00:08:31] Madison 00:00:51

You know, I didn't. She was my oldest cousin. So we weren't super close in age. I think she was like 11. Uh, I think she's like, wait, how old is she? She's maybe like nine, eight or nine years older than me. So we were, [00:09:00] I have a lot of cousins closer in my age group, so I was never super close with her. Um, but when we were a close family, so, I mean, I would, you know, I spend a lot of time with her, but it wouldn't be like, like you and your best friend, it would be like, oh, she would watch me when I was

[00:09:21] D. Yvonne 00:00:52


[00:09:21] D. Yvonne 00:00:53

Oh, okay. So she knew when you reached out and said she wanted to tell you wanted to talk to her. She knew something was up. She just didn't know what, so she then called her mom to be there. Okay. Alrighty. She was getting, she was getting prepared with her mom and support just like your mom was there was support for you,

[00:09:40] Madison 00:00:54


[00:09:40] Madison 00:00:55

So, um, her husband was on a business trip, I think. And so I actually made my mom tell her, cause I couldn't even get the words out. It was almost like, I wasn't really real for me still

[00:09:56] D. Yvonne 00:00:56

to just

[00:09:56] Madison 00:00:57

even say the word I'm pregnant. Right. Um, [00:10:00] so then by the end of that, we were all crying and I just felt awful for even making my mom cry.

[00:09:56] Madison 00:00:58

Cause I knew that she was having a hard time too. And she just was like, I got to talk to my husband and I'll let you know kind of thing.

[00:10:16] D. Yvonne 00:00:59

So tell me back up a little bit and tell me what your mom's reaction was when you suggest that, um, for her to call your cousin, or you wanted to talk to your cousin about her adapting.

[00:10:16] D. Yvonne 00:01:00


[00:10:30] Madison 00:01:01

We had some time in between me meeting with my cousin and she kind of laid it out on them and table, like, if you want to raise this child, we'll support you like me and your dad are gonna support you regardless. Okay. Um, we never really talked about abortions. That was just like. Right. I didn't, I didn't want to upset anybody.

[00:10:30] Madison 00:01:02

And it wasn't something that I personally thought about at all at that time. Like I [00:11:00] never, it was never really even like a thought in my mind, so. Right.

[00:11:05] D. Yvonne 00:01:03

So what was your reaction when your mom said to her ear, she and your dad would support you to model what you decided if he wanted to raise her.

[00:11:14] Madison 00:01:04

I it's such a weird, like, looking back on it, you think I would have contemplated that more because I've always wanted to be a mom that's ever since I was little, that's all I wanted to be a mom so bad.

[00:11:14] Madison 00:01:05

And I think that even if that getting pregnant or two have happened to me in high school, I would have wanted to parent, I think I was at a point where I was. Just add this transition in my life where I was maybe a little bit more mature than I'm giving myself credit for where I was like, you know, I want, I want this baby to have everything that I had growing up.

[00:11:14] Madison 00:01:06

I want him to have two loving parents that can provide for him. [00:12:00] And. Have a mom that's completely reliant on her parents. Um,

[00:12:06] D. Yvonne 00:01:07

cause I heard you say in the very beginning you had a wonderful, close, loving family. And so you wanted to give your child that same thing.

[00:12:14] Madison 00:01:08

Yeah, I, not that, I mean, like I said, me and the birth father at that point, we weren't, we weren't together.

[00:12:14] Madison 00:01:09

And there was no plans of ever being together. Sure, sure. Okay. And not that you know, single parent households or. Bad. I just, I, I think that when I looked at this bigger picture of like, I'm so close to starting a real career for myself and I'm, but what am I going to be like as a mom in the meantime, like these two or three years until I start my career as a nurse, like, what am I, how am I even going to be involved?

[00:12:14] Madison 00:01:10

And how much am I going to rely on my

[00:12:57] D. Yvonne 00:01:11

parents? And I think Madison. [00:13:00] The decision at that particular time for where we are, you know, just as you said, when you're, if it was in high school that you wanted to be a mom and so forth, but at that particular time, that was where you were in your decision. So, yeah.

[00:12:57] D. Yvonne 00:01:12

Okay. So moving on that, how, how long between your cousin's husband came back and she, you heard back.

[00:13:25] Madison 00:01:13

I think it was probably two or three days. Um, and at that point, I had convinced myself that it was going to be a no from them because it just kind of the way that the, the meeting went. I just thought, you know, maybe this is weird.

[00:13:25] Madison 00:01:14

Like maybe this is too much. Um, and so at that point, my mom was like, you know, we'll, you know, we'll contact Catholic charities or whoever, like, it'll be fine. But then I remember having this feeling of if, if she doesn't adopt this baby, I [00:14:00] don't know. And I had told her at the time, I said, I'm choosing adoption regardless.

[00:13:25] Madison 00:01:15

But I remember thinking to myself, I don't know if I want anybody else to be his mom. Wow.

[00:14:13] D. Yvonne 00:01:16

You felt at ease or felt more confident for the fact that it was a, her cousin in the family.

[00:14:20] Madison 00:01:17

That, and I think, like I said, like, you know, she was somebody that if my parents would go out of town, she would watch me, like I think, and I would, I mean, I would go over to her.

[00:14:20] Madison 00:01:18

You know, for, you know, obviously in like bigger cousin groups. Um, but I wanted, I looked at her as almost a mother figure to myself. And even to this day, her and her husband treat me like I'm one of their kids.

[00:14:48] D. Yvonne 00:01:19

I see what you say. I see what you're saying.

[00:14:51] Madison 00:01:20

Okay. So I wanted to choose a family that I would want as much.

[00:14:55] D. Yvonne 00:01:21

Right, right. Yeah. Okay. So in two to three days, when you [00:15:00] heard back and the answer was

[00:15:02] Madison 00:01:22

w it was a, yeah, I stayed, she called me and, you know, it was like, Hey, will you come over? And I was like, she lives kind of like, kind of far. So I was like, well, this is a lot just to tell me no, but then she ended up. Um, you know, they both were there and they both said that they would love to, and you know, that they want to be as involved as I let them be during the whole pregnancy

[00:15:24] D. Yvonne 00:01:23


[00:15:24] D. Yvonne 00:01:24

Okay. Okay. Did you discuss how it would be, whether it be open or how exactly would work?

[00:15:33] Madison 00:01:25

So actually they had, um, been looking into adoption. They had just had just started the process before I came to them. Okay. Because they were having fertility issues. And I think that they just thought that that might be the way to go.

[00:15:33] Madison 00:01:26

And so they had met with a couple adoption agencies and they chose an adoption agency, not looking back. I mean, this was like the greatest blessing, but they chose an [00:16:00] adoption agency that focused on a lot of therapy for birth mothers. So they wanted, they want, they wanted me to have. Support from people that understood.

[00:15:33] Madison 00:01:27

And so they chose. Um, and so that's kinda how we started the process. We met with this, um, counselor and talked about things and she only did open adoptions at that time. Um, because she said that throughout her years of doing it, she had the most, the adoptees had the hardest time with closed adoptions because of just, um, You know, identity

[00:16:42] D. Yvonne 00:01:28

and cause what year was this for you?

[00:16:42] D. Yvonne 00:01:29

What year was this? 2015. Okay. Yeah. So I like to say we in the new age now, you know how it was back in the old age, when all they were work, clothes option wasn't even a consideration. So, yeah. Yeah. [00:17:00] Okay. So during that period of time, cause you were, you were how many weeks pregnant at that time?

[00:17:06] Madison 00:01:30

Um, I think I had.

[00:17:06] Madison 00:01:31

Probably 11 or 12 weeks. Okay.

[00:17:13] D. Yvonne 00:01:32

All right. So for the next, uh, uh, what, four or five months or whatever, how was it? And with your cousin or her husband being involved and how was it with you and balancing school and everything else? Tell me how your life was

[00:17:28] Madison 00:01:33

school. Actually, it was okay. Cause I wasn't going out with all my friends.

[00:17:28] Madison 00:01:34

I was staying home and studying. I got really good grades that semester. Um, so that's a plus all throughout the whole prenatal part of it. My cousin was at every single appointment with me. She would take me out to dinner after, um, cause I wanna, I mean I wanted her and her husband to be involved. Um, and I would say that me and my cousins friendship [00:18:00] grew so much during that time because we'd spent so much time together.

[00:18:04] D. Yvonne 00:01:35

Right right now, were you back on your own and your own place, or were you back with your family, your mom and dad,

[00:18:13] Madison 00:01:36

um, with,

[00:18:17] D. Yvonne 00:01:37

so you went back with your mom and dad?

[00:18:21] Madison 00:01:38

Uh, yeah, I was back well, I was living with them, usually I had them on the weekend, but for the.

[00:18:35] D. Yvonne 00:01:39

Okay. Okay. All right. I think we got a little static in damp, but I think we can hear it now.

[00:18:35] D. Yvonne 00:01:40

Okay. All right. All right. So just walk me through for us the next few months. So you're going to your appointments. So tell me about the day of the birth. Let's talk about that.

[00:18:51] Madison 00:01:41

So I had just finished up all my phone. For school. He was born May 18th on my sister's birthday. [00:19:00] Oh,

[00:19:00] D. Yvonne 00:01:42


[00:19:01] Madison 00:01:43

Okay. Yeah. So there are 24 years apart.

[00:19:01] Madison 00:01:44

That's you go then? That's just funny. Um, but it was, this was pre COVID time, so I could have a lot of people there. Um, and I went in that night before to get induced and I ended up not having to get induced. And so he was born in the morning and, um, we did skin to skin while they, you know, stitched everything up.

[00:19:34] D. Yvonne 00:01:45


[00:19:38] Madison 00:01:46

um, I, you know, that was my, that was my favorite memory was him was doing skin to skin because, um, after. After that they took him, you know, and they gave him to his parents and they had their own room, um, in the [00:20:00] hospital. And so it's not that I didn't see a lot of him, but I didn't see as much as I would have if they didn't have a room, if that makes sense.

[00:20:12] D. Yvonne 00:01:47

So during the time before you went home, you saw. The times

[00:20:19] Madison 00:01:48

I saw, well, I mean, I saw him other times, but I think that's the one regret that I have maybe through this whole process is allowing, cause I mean, you know, my entire family came and then they had their own room and he would sleep with them in their room.

[00:20:19] Madison 00:01:49

And that would be. You know, 48 hours that I could have been, you know, a mom. Right. And because, and I still to this day, um, I don't call him my son when I refer to him. And I, and it's a weird feeling when people say like, oh, like, [00:21:00] how's your son doing? I'm always like, what are they talking about? Like, I call him by his name and he calls me by my name.

[00:20:19] Madison 00:01:50

And I think that that's. Yeah. I mean, you just have to, you know, navigate a new normal, it's not normal, but you have

[00:21:14] D. Yvonne 00:01:51

to do that's it. And I think you said the word you're navigating a new normal, that's a good way of putting it. That's an excellent way of putting it. So when, so

[00:21:24] Madison 00:01:52

even though I don't outwardly say like, oh, this is my son.

[00:21:24] Madison 00:01:53

Like, I love him just as much. I just, I don't ever want to say or do anything that would make him feel uncomfortable. And he's at an age he's six now. So he, he understands, um, because he knew

[00:21:43] D. Yvonne 00:01:54

that you were his mom. He knows that.

[00:21:48] Madison 00:01:55

Right. But he doesn't necessarily call me like his birth mom. And I think that might also have to do with the fact that this is an inter family adoption.

[00:21:48] Madison 00:01:56

His mom is my cousin. And so, [00:22:00] um, I as a six-year-old. I don't think that that is something that is very easily,

[00:22:07] D. Yvonne 00:01:57

right. They don't understand, you know, that you are someone special, you know, whatever he might call you, see someone's special. So is it, is it open that you see him a certain number of times or are you free to see him whenever?

[00:22:07] D. Yvonne 00:01:58

Or how does that working

[00:22:24] Madison 00:01:59

well before? So they actually just moved, um, across the country. So I. Um, so they moved to like, at the beginning of the pandemic, I would say so almost. Yeah, it's been almost two years, I think. Um, and so before that I could, I would see him like once or twice a month, there was never a set number of days.

[00:22:24] Madison 00:02:00

They didn't live super close to me, probably 45 minutes. So not, I mean, it wasn't too far, but we would have to plan out our visits and stuff. [00:23:00] I think that my biggest adjustment after giving birth was all, all of the time. Like, I mean, I got so close with his mom and then all of that attention shifted to him.

[00:22:24] Madison 00:02:01

And so then I, I felt very, I don't know. I don't know how to explain it. I just, I felt like I lost a friend in the process.

[00:23:29] D. Yvonne 00:02:02

Because all the months you were spending time together, going to the apartments, getting even closer. And then your son comes in and not that he came between the two review, he became part of your

[00:23:41] Madison 00:02:03


[00:23:41] Madison 00:02:04

Okay. And does an inter family adoption in general is just hard to maneuver with other family members as well. And there's, I mean, there's definitely some boundaries that have to be set. It's [00:24:00] not it's every family event I'm going to be there and they're going to be there. So,

[00:24:06] D. Yvonne 00:02:05

so is it, is it unknown? Let me ask you Madison, is it sort of known throughout the whole family?

[00:24:06] D. Yvonne 00:02:06

So it's not like the whispers or people wondering what the issue.

[00:24:19] Madison 00:02:07

We had like announced to the family, um, which I, I told her, I think that was harder than telling my parents. It was just like, I don't know. I, I, it was just, it was one of those awkward moments where you're like, this family is not awkward, but at that moment it was.

[00:24:19] Madison 00:02:08

Oh, they didn't understand what was going on. Right,

[00:24:43] D. Yvonne 00:02:09

right. Right. Now, how, how are you dealing with, as you say, um, and I can understand what you just said is that your real, your bond was growing even tighter with your cousin. Now we've got sort of a distance. Um, it is you, the new [00:25:00] guy in town. Who's the star of the show right now as well.

[00:24:43] D. Yvonne 00:02:10

Other family members and me, and unless just face it, some, some people just don't know what to say. And they say anything, not really realizing how it may affect. So how are you navigating if there anything that comes up, uh, of that issue. Cause see that as you say, inter family adoption that that's, that's tough when I say it's tough.

[00:24:43] D. Yvonne 00:02:11

That's why I asked does everybody. Because unfortunately, a lot of times inter-family adoption happens and people don't know what's happening or don't recognize it's.

[00:25:38] Madison 00:02:12

Or some people think that because my cousin adopted him that I had some. Like he was taken away from me if that makes sense. So sometimes people are under the impression that I, um, you know, like a lost my parental rights to my cousin.[00:26:00]

[00:26:02] D. Yvonne 00:02:13

Right. Yeah. And there's always conversations.

[00:26:05] Madison 00:02:14

Right. And those conversations I'm comfortable having now because I'm 26 and I can, and I'm, you know, I'm about to graduate with my master's. So I was like, I can. Thank you, but I can, I can stand my own when it comes to like that. Because even though now I feel like I'm finally at a point in my life where I'm successful at that point in my life when I was 19, that all was I, that all I had, it was just something that may never happen.

[00:26:05] Madison 00:02:15

Right. Because you're 19 and you're pregnant and you're scared. Right, right. But no, My family has been great about it, but in the beginning it was hard because there's, I mean, there were times when he would be crying and I would be holding him and someone would, you know, be like, Hey, you know, he needs his mom.

[00:26:05] Madison 00:02:16

Like he's crying. Cause he, he [00:27:00] wants his mom. And that's something that you have to just, I mean, what do you say to that? I can't sit there and be like, well, I'm his mom, right? Because it's people around me that. And as much as that hurt in the moment, I understand it now because he had been with them for, you know, two months and gotten used to them.

[00:26:05] Madison 00:02:17

That's I guess those are where those boundaries came in, where I was like, okay, I'm not his Mo.

[00:27:35] D. Yvonne 00:02:18

Right, right. And that's, that's a good word of putting it good word or putting that there because I find that, um, that through the constellation of adoption, that means the triad, adoptees birth moms adopted more.

[00:27:35] D. Yvonne 00:02:19

And the people around them, a lot of times don't understand. Of the words that they say to me, and this is my own personal versus are [00:28:00] here. And maybe people say, well, you gave your child away. I placed my son. I did not give my son away. So it's like, and to me, I will tell you, and you've probably heard if you've been listening to the podcast, the mission of this podcast.

[00:27:35] D. Yvonne 00:02:20

Open up uncover the true issues of adoption and get the real story from people involved in it, because unless you're involved in it, you really don't know. And I really encourage people to listen to the podcast, like your ear against a glass window and listening to us talk about what the real deal is and the real talk then.

[00:27:35] D. Yvonne 00:02:21

Ken had that understanding otherwise, how can we expect them to understand when they had no clue they have no clue. Absolutely.

[00:28:49] Madison 00:02:22

Yeah. And I think that is something that I've learned even now. People will say things that I guess I just don't necessarily [00:29:00] feel comfortable with, but I don't have a problem.

[00:28:49] Madison 00:02:23

Correcting that

[00:29:04] D. Yvonne 00:02:24

I was going to ask you

[00:29:07] Madison 00:02:25

at the time, you know, I was so soft-spoken, I didn't want to, you know, make any waves. I just wanted him. I wanted to be able to see him. I would have done anything just to be in his life. I would never. I wouldn't say anything. If I was upset, I would never talk to his mom about it.

[00:29:07] Madison 00:02:26

I would just her, my cousin, you know, I would just, I would keep that all to myself. As I've gotten older. I think that being more open has made our relationship a hundred times better.

[00:29:07] Madison 00:02:27


[00:29:45] D. Yvonne 00:02:28

Yes. And I say, say that again, because when you truly share what your feelings are, that's where true intimacy and how you can grow even closer.

[00:29:45] D. Yvonne 00:02:29

If we stuff in high. And I go back to my time in [00:30:00] 1973 and being told, oh, just go on like your life. It never happened. How are you doing. You don't do that, even though people will tell you to do that. It's impossible. It's impossible. And recognizing is the fact that whatever your feelings are, are your feelings, you know?

[00:29:45] D. Yvonne 00:02:30

Um, and remember that you're in the open. So you see your son. But some moms don't see them or maybe, and don't see around holidays or birthdays. And we may talk about holidays today because we're approaching that, you know, and it may be certain traditions. You just mentioned what made me think of it while you were holding your son and someone was saying, well, give him to.

[00:29:45] D. Yvonne 00:02:31

His mom, and just being able to deal with that and knowing whether you're holding him or someone else's hold him, you know, the story, you know, he you're his history. I put it that way. You're his history. And that birth bond is never broken, [00:31:00] may live apart for, for me 45 years, but this never broken, it's never broken.

[00:31:06] Madison 00:02:32

And I think as he's gotten older too, It's been such a blessing, even though he lives far away. Now we will always have a bond. And I didn't know that at the time that we would have this unspoken bond between us, but I'll always have that with him. And he knows that I'm somebody that's special in his life.

[00:31:06] Madison 00:02:33


[00:31:30] D. Yvonne 00:02:34

exactly. That's what he, you're a special person. He may, he may not, he, he probably can't voice a word to it, you know, or he scribe it, but along the way, Yeah. Yeah. So.

[00:31:45] Madison 00:02:35

It's been an easier transition than I thought it would be when they first moved. Just because they've been so good at communicating with me.

[00:31:45] Madison 00:02:36

And I think that that is such an important thing for all adoptive parents. [00:32:00] Even if it's just to say, Hey, you're not going to hear from us for awhile. I think communication can really make or break a good open adoption relationship. I

[00:32:11] D. Yvonne 00:02:37

agree. I agree with that. I open relationship. I believe it also with plays a role in reunion.

[00:32:11] D. Yvonne 00:02:38

If there's a close adoption and the child. Once they go know the heritage that adoptive parents, it takes nurture in nature. You've heard me say it not 10 times, but it takes, it takes both nature and nurture. You can't, you can't have adoption without having both you can. I, do you, do you, do you find any similarities between yourself and your son?

[00:32:11] D. Yvonne 00:02:39

Do you sort of see yourself in him with any mannerisms out you look so, whatever, you

[00:32:48] Madison 00:02:40

know, I personally don't, but. His mom will text me. I mean, you know, she was there when I grew up, so she wouldn't be like, oh, he did this thing. And it was just like [00:33:00] to do, or he, I think he looks just like you or things like that.

[00:32:48] Madison 00:02:41

That really do make me feel good in the beginning. Obviously he doesn't look that much different than she does. We're all in the same family. So when he was. And she has blonde hair and he has blonde hair and I don't. So I was so a lot of people would just be like, oh, he looks just like you. And for awhile it would bother me because I was like, no, he actually looks like me, but then I wouldn't see it.

[00:32:48] Madison 00:02:42

And so then now that he's growing up and he's a little older. She'll send me a picture every now and then I'm like, oh, okay. Yeah, he does look like me, but it's okay that he doesn't look a hundred percent like me because he's his own person. That's

[00:33:50] D. Yvonne 00:02:43


[00:33:51] Madison 00:02:44

And at the end of the day, I, as much as I want him to be my mini it's.

[00:33:51] Madison 00:02:45

Okay. It's okay. That he's not [00:34:00]

[00:34:00] D. Yvonne 00:02:46

sure. Well, you know, just knowing that, that, um, I like to say we've got the same DNA that will never change. That will never change with that. So moving on to is we say we always cover a hot topic per se. You brought up something that, that same, uh, I say worthy of discussion of the time you're in the hospital.

[00:34:00] D. Yvonne 00:02:47

When you had to skin to skin, you were there for 48 hours or a couple of days. And. That Bondi now, uh, situations are different on whether it's close or open. I, um, and I see unfortunate. I wish I had that. Um, that was just not what they were doing with close adoptions. Is that the, that once I heard him, but I didn't see him until.

[00:34:00] D. Yvonne 00:02:48

Actually with the time that he was going to, uh, his adopted family, which was totally the later, but along with it in missing that, and just like [00:35:00] now that's been six years when you call back of wanting more of that. Talk about what maybe that would have helped to do, or what do you encourage, I've heard moms talk about, and you can just chime in on this, on how important it is to the time that you're in the hospital.

[00:34:00] D. Yvonne 00:02:49

One who's in the room. Who's there. Whether you get your own time with your child, even if the adopted parents are even there and I've heard different stories. So just tell me. Just what, how, how it was, you sort of explained some of it, but how would you, it worked with you and would help you heal or in speak about what, what healing process you mentioned you were started some therapy, right after you became pregnant.

[00:34:00] D. Yvonne 00:02:50

Did you continue on with therapy?

[00:35:50] Madison 00:02:51

I did. I did for probably four years after he was born. And I think that that really did it did a lot of good, um, it's funny. [00:36:00] Speaking on the therapy part, I would only ever go in one-on-one with her in may. And that was around his birthday. It was around mother's day. I was always had finals of some sort.

[00:35:50] Madison 00:02:52

And so I think that, and I had recognized, she pointed that out to me that mother's day was such a hard day for me. And it still is. I think that's the only thing right now that it's a hard. It's just hard for me. I don't, and I can recognize that and I can, you know, I anticipate that, but

[00:36:34] D. Yvonne 00:02:53

it'll never be before yourselves to that mother say, if you know, mother's day is coming up, what do you do for yourself?

[00:36:34] D. Yvonne 00:02:54

How do you, how do you manage?

[00:36:42] Madison 00:02:55

I honestly, I just, I just stayed busy. I think the past few mother's day. I just signed up for work. And then last, this past mother's day, I was actually with him in California. So that was nice. [00:37:00] Um, and you know, we celebrated his mom and that's okay. Um, and me and her don't really ever talk about mother's day.

[00:36:42] Madison 00:02:56

Like I always say happy mother's day, obviously, but it's just a weird day for me, because I don't know whether to. I don't know whether to respond to the people that are telling me happy mother's day or cause I'm like, I don't, I don't know. It's a weird day for

[00:37:28] D. Yvonne 00:02:57

me. Why don't you feel like you're a mom, even though you're not parenting your son?

[00:37:35] Madison 00:02:58

No, really. And that's really weird, but I don't feel. I don't feel like a mom and maybe that's why it's a weird thing for me, because if people do reach out and say like happy mother's day, obviously I'll respond and say, thank you. But I don't, I've never felt like a mom. Okay. Okay. I've always felt more of like a best friend kind of type of it.

[00:37:35] Madison 00:02:59

I mean, I would [00:38:00] take a bullet for him. Like I would do anything for him, but.

[00:38:04] D. Yvonne 00:03:00

I don't

[00:38:04] Madison 00:03:01

have that maternal and that, that does relate back to how it was in the hospital, because there was that, that line drawn, this boundary that was put up. Um, and I, and my mom did the best that she could in a situation that she had never gone through.

[00:38:04] Madison 00:03:02

And she was the person that I hid behind this entire pregnancy. And so she was the one who. Encourage them get your own room. Yes. He needs to stay with them. They need to bond with him. And I looked back at it and I've talked to her about this. And I was like, I just wish I would have spoken up and said, Hey, I don't want all of your family here.

[00:38:04] Madison 00:03:03

I don't want them to have their own room here. I want my time with. But because that was never [00:39:00] vocalized. I never, that's why I don't call him my son, because I don't, I don't feel like I got to be his mom.

[00:39:10] D. Yvonne 00:03:04

Okay. Period of time, you know, you brought up a good point Madison for as, as you, you had those stores, but you didn't vocalize it.

[00:39:10] D. Yvonne 00:03:05

And I truly believe that a lot of us are, many of us will don't have the voice, we'll lose our voice while we're going through that. Cause we were talked about for fours and whatever people may say or think, or the shame or whatever you want to call it. It's like stepping up to who we are. Because whatever happened is the fact that when we became pregnant, we became moms.

[00:39:10] D. Yvonne 00:03:06

We had, we went through giving birth that make, to me, this is me talking. God makes you a mom, but being able to step Intuit, just as you just mentioned, that's based on a lot of circumstances because if we're [00:40:00] not able to hold a lot, child. Or, uh, determine who's in the room and have control. I heard you mentioned about you felt as if you were not standing behind your mom and for us, because I heard you mentioned for us and wanting her to take care of view doing this and, and that's, that's so valid because you needed that emotional, nurturing yourself.

[00:39:10] D. Yvonne 00:03:07

Because that was the growing time for you to understand. And I say this with healing healing itself is based on you being able to come to terms with whatever has, has been. And there are many different kinds of trauma, but until we can, whether we wrap our arms around ourselves, whether we cuddle with ourselves, we swaddle ourselves in blanket to basically to meet at SIS.

[00:39:10] D. Yvonne 00:03:08

I love me. I love me, you know, and, and I know mothers, they are [00:41:00] very, it's very difficult for a lot of birth is, is for me. But I, I called my son's birthday. Mother's. So I just had mother's day and knocked over it. So I had, I had my mother's day in October, so I, and you know, all I self-care, I went to the water for three days and just sit beside the water, a deck.

[00:39:10] D. Yvonne 00:03:09

In other words, just soothe myself. Cause that was my time for me. That was my time for me. Of course, I went back 48 years, I guess it was back in the hospital, but that was my. That was my time. And so through this journey, I've always given to myself what I needed, whether someone else was going to do it for me or not.

[00:39:10] D. Yvonne 00:03:10

I didn't count. I knew I had to really do it for myself. Cause that's part of my healing, my journey, because the emotionals are, I mean the second roller coaster it's up and down and all of that, whether it's birthdays mother's day or could just be a day [00:42:00] and I'll speak very candidly Madison that I had to reschedule this podcast because I was having a date, the original time that we were scheduled and it was okay.

[00:39:10] D. Yvonne 00:03:11

I remember calling you Madison. I, I just can't do. I just, uh, get emotions and, uh, I'll cry the whole time. So let's reschedule and that's completely fine. Not apologizing for that whatsoever. And we all have to give ourself the time and whatever we need with that. We do. Let's talk about holidays coming up soon when we're taping this podcast.

[00:39:10] D. Yvonne 00:03:12

What about holidays? What's your holiday tradition? What do you know me doing? Huh?

[00:42:41] Madison 00:03:13

Well, like I said, I'm a nurse, so I work half of them. Um, this year he'll be in town the week before Christmas, so I'll see him then. Um, and I work Christmas, so that ended up working out really well, but I feel, I feel like [00:43:00] we're at a point in our adoption journey that I could any holiday that they're at home.

[00:42:41] Madison 00:03:14

Okay. I could take off and fly out there and she would be there. The whole family would be welcoming of that, which is good. They always get me a gift every Christmas. Um, I always try to get him something that he doesn't have, but he's the kid that has everything. Um, and he actually, they have a new addition this year.

[00:42:41] Madison 00:03:15

She ju she ended up, um, getting pregnant. Oh,

[00:43:35] D. Yvonne 00:03:16


[00:43:36] Madison 00:03:17

Wow. Which I think is, to me, it's such a blessing. I know that there's a lot of mixed, um, mixed feelings on placing, uh, um, a baby up for adoption. And then that couple, you know, being able to have their own. And I don't know if it's because she's my cousin, but it has been the greatest blessing.

[00:43:36] Madison 00:03:18

And I [00:44:00] think he's such a good big brother thing and yeah. I'm at a place now where it's, it's really great, but that doesn't mean that it has always been this way. Like it's, there's always been a rollercoaster of emotions. And I think you've talked about that before too, but, um, you kind of have to go with the flow and that's hard for me to do so

[00:44:23] D. Yvonne 00:03:19

it's a process.

[00:44:23] D. Yvonne 00:03:20

It's a process. Um, number one is lifelong. It is adoption is lifelong. It's not like, oh, the year 2023, this will be all be over. I know this is lifelong. And so that that's for me is that the processing will go the pace. It needs to go. Um, whenever it's holidays, birthdays or whatever we learn what works for.

[00:44:23] D. Yvonne 00:03:21

And to be able to do that because I say this and people may or may not agree with it. Uh, in [00:45:00] spite of our child, we have a life. Uh, I'll say that again. We have a life. So a child, whether a child is in our life or a part of a life, you know, we see them or whatever, but we have a life. And I emphasize that because I say this is that I want to be the very best me I can be for me, for my son.

[00:44:23] D. Yvonne 00:03:22

For everybody around me, because only then I can do what I'm here on earth to do. So that's part of me healing and giving myself when I need to be the very best I can be always there for my son in spite of. In spite of whether I hear from them or not, that that never, I never lose that never will lose that.

[00:44:23] D. Yvonne 00:03:23

Never going away. Never going away completely. So this podcast, yeah. Ah, this podcast.

[00:45:57] Madison 00:03:24


[00:45:59] D. Yvonne 00:03:25

this, [00:46:00] this is a lifelong journey. It's you have to live the life. You have to live your life. You cannot pause and, and just, uh, not go on and move on with your life. Look at you, you just finishing your master's degree in nursing.

[00:45:59] D. Yvonne 00:03:26

When, what, six years ago you were in with your sophomore year or junior year of getting your undergrad. Yeah. So you living your

[00:46:26] Madison 00:03:27

life, right? I don't know. And the place that I'm at actually, no, I probably wouldn't be had I parented and that's not a bad thing I think, but I don't like to look at like the, what ifs.

[00:46:26] Madison 00:03:28

So I want him to be proud of me and I don't. I want him to have as, as the least amount. Trauma right from this situation. Cause I always have to think now that he's his own adult. [00:47:00] I mean, he's just a tiny little adult. Like he's I want him not a lot of people speak up for the adoptees, but that has to be hard too.

[00:46:26] Madison 00:03:29

So I want to be here for him if he has any questions, but I also want him to know that I love him. I did this. I love it. I didn't, I didn't. Right.

[00:47:21] D. Yvonne 00:03:30

Selfishly. Absolutely. I think one thing you said about communication between the birth mom, the adoptive parents, and an adoptee, when they he's able to comprehend, that's going to be a big difference.

[00:47:21] D. Yvonne 00:03:31

It's going to be major. When they can have a conversation, everybody understood, understand, understands the whole scenario. It's the, it is the what ifs and a wonder this and a wonder that that can get people. I call stuck in the mud that you get on this, you start thinking, well, what about that? You cannot say wipe up, spilled milk.

[00:47:21] D. Yvonne 00:03:32

You cannot, you can only go with what you did [00:48:00] at that particular time. And it has to be okay. Has to be okay. And live your life. Uh, emphasize live your life. And I say, use the word, unfortunately, cause I've been in a lot of rooms and so forth even before I met my son and I see some birth moms and I just, just, I use a word stuck, stuck in well, you know, and it's like as best as you can to get unstuck.

[00:47:21] D. Yvonne 00:03:33

And that's the community

[00:48:27] Madison 00:03:34

car, so, right. Like it does define a lot of people. So you can't let that be your only, the only thing that defines you. It's a part of my story, but I have so much left to

[00:48:40] D. Yvonne 00:03:35

do. Yes. Yes. You have so much

[00:48:43] Madison 00:03:36

to say that I've been stuck at times too. I definitely think that him moving away, I don't love that, you know, do I don't get me wrong, but it kind of opened my eyes to how many things am I saying no to in the hopes of seeing [00:49:00] my son.

[00:48:43] Madison 00:03:37

What I could have been saying yes to

[00:49:05] D. Yvonne 00:03:38

that's a good way

[00:49:08] Madison 00:03:39

since he's been farther away and I can only see him every so often. I've, I've kind of, it's almost like a whole new, new world too, in life to kind of maneuver and figure

[00:49:20] D. Yvonne 00:03:40

out. Yeah. You know, I, I think you just did decided to title start saying yes.

[00:49:20] D. Yvonne 00:03:41

Start saying. Because as you say is we have a life and that doesn't, doesn't take from how much we love our child. That's how our children will always, um, I always speak for myself, understand that people may have different opinions, but always speak myself. My, my child will always be in my life. I have a life.

[00:49:20] D. Yvonne 00:03:42

He has a life. We live life together. And I am like doing all that I can to fulfill all [00:50:00] heart's desires and things that I'm placed on this earth to do. And that's where the jewelry comes in to help heal from the trauma. The grief healing to me is facing. Doing life and being so real and understanding and transparent as I shared.

[00:49:20] D. Yvonne 00:03:43

I mean, there are days I, I, there are days and I acknowledge, okay, this is one of those days. And I don't mind sharing with someone, you know, just as I shared with Madison is like, can you do to stay Madison? Just can't you got to send all the time. And it was okay. It was okay. You know, so get, give ourselves permission for it to be okay.

[00:49:20] D. Yvonne 00:03:44

Give ourselves permission to say yes. Instead of saying no. Yes. To ourselves. That's really what it is, is saying yes to ourselves. Any last thoughts Madison?

[00:50:57] Madison 00:03:45

No, I just thank you so much for having me on here. [00:51:00] And I hope that people can, I don't know if anybody can necessarily relate to everything that I said or, but.

[00:50:57] Madison 00:03:46

There is, we all go through a different journey, but we all have each other's backs and we know every, but we know what we go through. What was that? I

[00:51:23] D. Yvonne 00:03:47

like what you said, we have each other's back. We have each other's back. I like that. I like

[00:51:28] Madison 00:03:48

just because somebody doesn't, um, know the right things to say.

[00:51:28] Madison 00:03:49

Awesome. Isn't their fault because they haven't gone through

[00:51:37] D. Yvonne 00:03:50

it. Right, right, right. And about their experiences, you know, we can only know what we have experienced or have the capacity to experience because a lot of times people are just not capable and that's okay. If they're not capable, recognize.

[00:51:37] D. Yvonne 00:03:51

Recognize it, but thank you so much, Madison. This is a wonderful, every story [00:52:00] needs to be told. And a yes, your story will touch someone. Uh, no story touches everybody all the time, but these stories, I hear it in email. Comments, I'm getting, there are adoptees listing. There are adoptive moms listening. And I hear that the common factor is that we are all birth moms and the birth mom story, but they're all different.

[00:51:37] D. Yvonne 00:03:52

Well, I never thought about that. What was that? That situation? So it's just knowledge and healing. That's what this podcast is. So you've been listening to birth moms, real talk. I'm your host, Yvonne rivers, as we talk real about the story. Other people run away from what are we going to bring it to the surface.

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