Madonna Gets Candid on 'Complicated' Adoption Process: 'I Would Cry Myself to Sleep'

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Madonna is opening up about what it's like being a mother of six.

In an exclusive cover story with People, the 59-year-old singer details her "busy, rewarding life" as mom to Lourdes, 20, Rocco, 17, David, 11, Mercy, 11, and 5-year-old twins Estere and Stella.

MORE: Madonna Shares Rare Family Photo With All 6 Kids -- See the Pic!

Madonna admits that going through the adoption process with David, Mercy and the twins was not an easy one. When she first returned to London from Malawi with David in 2008, she was heavily criticized and felt hurt by what others were saying about her in a time that was supposed to feel special.

"Every newspaper said I kidnapped him," she recalls. "In my mind, I was thinking, 'Wait a minute. I'm trying to save somebody's life. Why are you all s**king on me right now?' I did everything by the book. That was a real low point for me. I would cry myself to sleep."


When it came time to adopt Mercy, she was dealing with her divorce from Guy Ritchie. She says Malawian officials told her she was "not capable of raising a child."

"The way I was treated -- that sexist behavior -- was ridiculous," she says. "I've had some pretty dark moments, but I'm a survivor."

"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," she adds. "It’s complicated, but it's so worth it."

So do her youngest children know just how cool their famous mama is?

"They don’t have a clue," she admits. "And that's a good thing. I'm just their mother."

Hear more on Madonna's precious family in the video below!