Have a Heart: Meet Madison

Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 3:38 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Loyalty and unconditional love are very important qualities to our featured ‘Have a Heart’ child this month.

Madison is a young woman who loves boxing and cheer leading. She also loves math, especially algebra.

More than that, she loves her freedom. But as it stands now, she’s too free in one aspect.

“I think finding her forever home, that has been her goal for several years,” said Laura Osterman, Madison’s caseworker.

However, Madison is losing faith.

“I am turning 18 soon.” she said. “So I just feel like it’s pointless to do this, because nobody’s gonna want to adopt an 18 year old. Nobody wants a teenager.”

At 13-years-old, Madison suffered a major betrayal that left her jaded, and admittedly it is hard to find a family willing to adopt a teenager.

“And that, that I think is is part of our problem is that our children need and deserve families,” Osterman said. “And families don’t end at 18. She still wants somebody she can call and talk to and spend birthdays and holidays. And, you know, when I get a flat tire who do I call? You know she needs that extra support.”

She does have a lot of support within the foster system, but ultimately those supports are just systems.

“That’s not a family,” Osterman said. “That’s not where she gets her emotional support from.”

Madison says having a family commit to and support her would help her succeed in her goals.

“I want to study social work, and go into TMCC,” she said. “I’ve been on the other end and I have experienced to help other kids like myself.

And Osterman agrees.

“I think that just having that sense of security, you know, having a sense of of belonging and somebody who accepts her. I think that will help her to thrive in our community.”

Madison is available for adoption through the Washoe County Human Services Agency. You can learn more by visiting Have a Heart Washoe, or by contacting Tawnya at

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