Madonna & her four adopted kids cover People Mag: ‘I’m just their mother’

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Madonna and four of her kids cover the latest issue of People Magazine. I’ll admit that I had actually forgotten that she adopted twins Estere and Stella, and I had also forgotten that little David Banda is not so little anymore! David Banda is 11 years old! Lourdes and Rocco did not participate in this cover, possibly because they managed to get away from Madonna Dearest to some extent – Lola is in college and Rocco spends more time with his dad in London now. Anyway, this People Mag story is a surprisingly soft-focus piece about Madonna’s life as a mom and her work in Malawi. There’s no mention of the years of controversy around her “charity” Raising Malawai, of the millions of dollars that disappeared, or Madonna’s inability to really organize that charity for years. But sure. She seems like a good mom and she just opened a hospital in Malawi.

Madonna may be the highest-selling female artist of all time, but at home she’s just Mom — or “Mambo,” as the four youngest of her six kids call her. For this week’s issue, the pop icon, 59, offered a rare glimpse inside her private world, inviting PEOPLE to join her in Malawi on July 11, when she opened the Mercy James Centre for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, the nation’s first children’s hospital. A month later, at her home in London, she opened up about her emotional adoption journey, why she’s dedicated to helping the children of Malawi — and her busy, rewarding life as mom to Lourdes, 20, Rocco, 17, David, 11, Mercy, 11, and 5-year-old twins Estere and Stella.

Already mom to Lourdes (with former flame Carlos Leon) and Rocco (with ex-husband Guy Ritchie), the singer first saw son David Banda at Home of Hope, an orphanage in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital city. He was a baby battling pneumonia and malaria at the time, and feeling an instant connection, she began the adoption process. But when she brought him home to London in 2008, the reception wasn’t anything she’d imagined. “Every newspaper said I kidnapped him,” Madonna says. “In my mind, I was thinking, ‘Wait a minute. I’m trying to save somebody’s life. Why are you all s—-ing on me right now?’ I did everything by the book. That was a real low point for me. I would cry myself to sleep.”

Madonna met Mercy James around the same time as David, and adopting her was even more difficult. Because she had recently divorced Ritchie, Malawian officials told her “I was not capable of raising a child,” she says. “The way I was treated — that sexist behavior — was ridiculous,” adds Madonna, who successfully challenged the refusal in Malawi’s Supreme Court and brought home Mercy in 2009. “I’ve had some pretty dark moments,” she says, “but I’m a survivor.”

In February, the star brought home Estere and Stella, orphaned twins whom she met at Home of Hope 2½ years ago. Last summer, she again began the adoption process, which she says was just as rigorous: “Because I’m a public figure, people don’t want to be perceived as giving me any kind of special treatment, so I get the hard road.” Adds the proud mom: “It’s complicated, but it’s so worth it.”

After seven months, Estere and Stella are acclimated. “It’s like they’ve always been here,” says Madonna of the precocious pair, who have become the stars of her latest Instagram posts. Moana and Sing play on loop at her home, but when “Holiday” came on during dinner and David told the twins it was one of Mambo’s hits, “they were like, ‘Huh?’” Madonna says. Of the fact that their mom is the Queen of Pop: “They don’t have a clue,” she says, “and that’s a good thing. I’m just their mother.”

[From People]

People said Madonna kidnapped David because she actually didn’t follow Malawi’s existing foreign-adoption rules. People said she got special treatment from the Malawi government because SHE DID. She greased palms, spread around millions of dollars and had to go to court repeatedly to bend the rules for her adoptions. I’m not saying that she’s a bad mother or that she doesn’t love her kids. I’m saying that a lot of the criticism lodged at Madonna was justified, and it was an education for any person looking at foreign adoptions: unless you have a lot of money to spread around, you need to follow the existing laws and foreign adoption protocols.

🍕 🍕 =. Pure Joy!! 😍😍! 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻💘💘

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Cover courtesy of People, additional pic from Madonna’s Instagram.

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32 Responses to “Madonna & her four adopted kids cover People Mag: ‘I’m just their mother’”

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  1. stinky says:

    BLIMEY! Madge!!! jeebus . . .. ..

  2. minx says:

    I honestly didn’t know she had 6 kids now.

  3. slowsnow says:

    So much for the poster yesterday saying she never shares info or photos of her kids. You can tell me all the possible tales you want but I really feel sad for these children with a frozen faced mum who loves to be authoritarian.

    • Jayna says:

      TWist my words much, that I said she never shares info or photos of the kids.

      . I said I go on her Instagram to see the cute photos and videos of her children and their activities. You came back like it was awful. I came back with she posted photos of Mercy and David just here and there, but post more of the twins, and that most of her Instagram is about herself for her pop fans. The snippets of videos do share info. David is an equestrian. David and his team in NYC with soccer. David loves to dance and is taking guitar lessons. A video of Merci doing a piano recital. A video of Merci giving a really poised speech in Malwai for the opening of the pediatric surgery center. A photo of Merci winning medals for gymnastics. A lot of snippets of videos of the twins playing or learning new things.

      What I did say was that Madonna’s kids are not hounded and papped daily, and go to school and activities without being papped by the paparazzi., that Madonna does a good job of protecting them from all of that in their daily lives, except for the occasional pap catching them out in NYC.

      But, hey, nice twist of my words saying I said she doesn’t post photos. I said the opposite. And I don’t like Madonna anymore, haven’t since about 2012, with so many of her narcissistic antics.

      I do think for all of her mega fame her she’s doing a great job with her kids, though. Education is important and they seem grounded.

      • slowsnow says:

        For someone who doesn’t like her – since 2012 mind you – you sure have a lot of info!
        You do crack me up 😂

    • Sabrine says:

      She’s a good mom and should ignore the negative comments from jealous naysayers. Her kids look like they’re bursting with contentment and happiness and they all obviously adore her.

  4. huckle says:

    I feel like in any country if you want to adopt it helps to have money to spread around. In any adoption, I would think the parent(s) need prove financial liquidity/stability anyway. Not sure why Madonna should be singled out.

    • emma33 says:

      What?! No, you should not “have money to spread about” to be able to adopt, because another word for that is “corruption”. Developing countries have enough problems with corruption as it is, and that is precisely why the laws around international adoptions are so stringent, to prevent people going in and tossing money around to get what they want.

      You need to be able to provide financially for the child, but nothing more.

  5. BJ says:

    She started the adoption process in Summer 2016 and she brought the twins home in Feb 2017.Is that typical?
    I’m curious why she keeps shaving those girls hair.I see pics of them all the time and it is obvious every month or so their hair is shorter.Maybe it’s a cultural thing but she didn’t shave Mercy’s hair when she was 4 and 5 years old.

    • jwoolman says:

      They’re old enough to get some decision-making rights about their hair, or at least significant input. So the girls probably just like it that way. Might have been the style back in the Old Country.

  6. Grandjen says:

    Why People? All this happy family package stuff …I mean this is not Madonnas usual modus operandi…why is she trying to appeal to Jen A’s crowd?

    Is this her “answer” to son Rocko’s “I want to live with my Dad”? Does she feel she has to compensate in the tabloids for that? “Look what a perfect Mom I am”…?

    Maybe I’m reading too much into it

    • Jayna says:

      This is the full article below, which is more about what she is accomplishing in Malawi. than about her kids I am glad to see she turned around her crapfest of a charity that flittered away millions because of the corrupt board she put together from her charity and from Malawi, that squandered millions of dollars, and instead has now partnered with someone reputable.

      I think this Mercy James Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care Center is something that benefits the whole country, and is also a teaching hospital. Half the population are children in Malawi. This is something that will improve the lives of so many children. Not just more surgeons and state of the art equipment than the existing small surgery center has,, but now an intensive care facility for after surgery. So she finally got it right over there.

    • jwoolman says:

      Just wait until David and Mercy become full-fledged teenagers…..

  7. lucy2 says:

    I had forgotten that she had adopted more children. They are all adorable kids, and if they are loved and well cared for and happy, that’s awesome, but come on, we all know she got special treatment because of her fame and money.
    This People mag cover story is a weird PR move for her. I don’t get it, and it always seems unfair to kids who are too young to understand privacy and all.
    Her face though…

  8. Loopy says:

    Mambo thats like ‘whats up/how are you’ in my language.

  9. Char says:

    Angelina adopts, “omg, she is a saint”; Madonna adopts, “omg, she is kidnapping kids”.

    • Jessica says:

      Both AJ and Madonna had shady adoptions but I think Madonna’s kids seem happy and I love that all 4 kids are from the same country so they share a bond. Angelina said she was going to adopt an Ethiopian child for Zahara but never got around to it.

  10. Morgan says:

    I think I could run into Madonna on the street and not know it was her.

  11. Green Is Good says:

    Madge got some new project she needs to shill for?

  12. sage says:

    I like to believe she is a good mom. Save for Rocco, the rest of her kids look happy. I wonder if Guy is an active father in David,s life.

  13. Beth says:

    Mambo? I remember the dumb song Mambo Number 5, about a guy being with tons of different ladies. I just call my mother Mom

    • jwoolman says:

      Kids do come up with weird nicknames. One kid starts it and the others pick it up. We used to call my aunt “Anti” once we were old enough to know what the prefix anti meant… I suspect my older brother started it and I tagged along. She put up with it somehow.

  14. Artemis says:

    She’s such a whiny selfish narcissistic lying bore. Is this her new era where she acts like she too feels pain? I would say to dry the tears with your money but lord knows she needs to hold on to every bit of hydration.

    Her adoption of David was not legal, they (Madonna and Guy) bought the father as he pretty much said as much and it also explains why the father gets to see him on a yearly basis as that is the promise they made him so he would support their adoption in court. No person can waltz into an orphanage, feel a ‘connection’ with a child and start the adoption process and finish it within months. Impossible. Especially in a country where there is no robust framework for adoption.
    I could pick examples throughout the years but this explains everything about the kind of mindset she justifies her actions with: I’m trying to save somebody’s life.
    White Saviour Complex. Her interviews back in the day highlight it even more but she hasn’t changed so why bother digging so far back.

    All of her adoptions were processed quite quick which (un?)fortunately isn’t the case for regular people who cannot bribe the system. Her saying she gets the ‘hard road’ just shows how absolutely ignorant she is. Adoption isn’t supposed to be an easy road! Taking a human being out of their culture, country, living environment is a huge deal which does get exploited even with rigorous policies. It’s an industry where trafficking is rampant so why should Madonna think that she got it hard because it took longer than she wanted? The entitlement of this woman.

    I’m glad Rocco humbled her ass by running away, I’m sure he isn’t an easy kid but for once Madonna was told ‘no’ and had to give in. I’m sure it was the first time since she got famous that that happened. He paid the price of public embarrassment but it must’ve been worth it.
    I also feel very uncomfortable knowing that this white privileged woman who has on more than 1 occasion shown her racist side and thrown black men under the bus has been enabled to adopt black children.

  15. thaliasghost says:

    It’s an interesting concept when rich people adopt children from underdeveloped countries saying they are ‘saving lives’. They could just as well build schools, hospitals or support families and adopt older children from their own countries. But where is their savior complex satisifed then I guess.

    • sunshine gold says:

      It always makes me sad for US kids when celebs do this….of course African kids are deserving too, but there are so many US kids that need help, not to mention the need for schools and clinics right here. All she needs to do is look at Mississippi – the amount of good she could do if she directed some of her vast wealth there.

  16. Sylvia says:

    Her face! OMG! She doesn’t even look like Madonna anymore… granted it’s been awhile since I’ve actually looked at a photo of her, but the lady in this people cover is unrecognizable to me. Wow.

  17. CharlieBouquet says:

    My hubs and I were both adopted through foster care. There is no reason to differentiate or state adopted children in the title. It implies a difference, less than gentic offspring. I literally have had multiple peeps tell me I could bang my brothers “since we’re not really related” barf. Just because we are adopted doesn’t mean we aren’t family. Just a peeve of mine, most of us don’t want the distinction of being adopted, we just appreciate someone loved us enough to do it.

  18. Tammy says:

    This shit rubs me the wrong way. Even when I think about how Tupac said she was obsessed with having HIS children. White women adopting Black children from Africa as if they are the newest handbag. Shit is weird and occult-ish.