Michelle Madrid-Branch


Michelle Madrid-Branch is an author, speaker, international adoptee, and global advocate for women and children; specializing in the areas of adoption, foster care, abandonment recovery, and identity reconciliation. Her mission is to ensure that the adoption community is heard, seen, valued, respected, and understood.

She is the Host of The Greater Than Podcast. By sharing real stories of individuals who have risen up over life’s disappointments and pain, the podcast aims to inspire and uplift those within the adoption and foster care community. Michelle shares diverse stories of triumph over challenge and asks: What is the internal drive that urges a person to move beyond struggle? And, how can we motivate and inspire one another to stand Greater Than the obstacles that have tried to keep us down? These themes are explored within a framework of faith, respect, inclusion, and love.

Michelle enjoyed a decade-long successful career as a television news anchor and investigative journalist, including an Emmy nomination while on-air with ABC-TV. She is the author of the award-winning children’s book, Coco & Olive: The Color of Love, Adoption Means Love: Triumph of the Heart, and Mascara Moments: Embracing the Woman in the Mirror. She is currently writing her memoir.

Michelle has been referred to as a “world-wide voice on adoption” by Adoption Australia. She was inducted into the New Mexico Women’s Hall of Fame in 2006 and honored with the Governor’s Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women by Governor Bill Richardson. An international adoptee herself, she is the recipient of the 2004 Congressional Angels in Adoption Award.

Michelle never steps down when it’s time to speak up on behalf of others, and does so with a natural poise, genuine curiosity, and deep respect for whomever is in front of her. Her international upbringing allows her to feel at home anywhere in the world. With a shared passion for adventure and service, Michelle and her family live and travel worldwide. Their current home is in Santa Barbara, CA.

Coco & Olive: The Color of Love

An Award-Winning Children’s Book Celebrating Family in all of its Glorious Shapes and Colors!

Explore the true color of love and the beauty of family diversity with Coco & Olive, a doggie mother and daughter pair, who come together through adoption. Filled with imaginative characters and magical illustrations, this is a story about finding home, not in a building, but within each other’s hearts.

Coco & Olive: The Color of Love is a 1st place winner of the 2019 Royal Dragonfly Award, recognizing excellence in children’s literature.

Children Without Families


Michelle is on a mission to empower and connect orphaned and foster children to the larger community in order to improve the lives of children, families and those who serve them.

UNICEF estimates there are 17,900,000 orphans worldwide who have lost both parents—and 153,000,000 who have lost one parent—living in orphanages or on the street today. When you add the number of children who are forced to enter foster care systems because their parents are unable or unwilling to care for them, the result is a staggering number of the world’s children without a family to call their own.

Michelle understands what it feels like to grow up knowing that your parents chose to give you away and the devastating consequences of abandonment that leave children wondering if they truly fit in anywhere.

It is vital to raise awareness and advocate on behalf of these precious children who often are invisible in our society. Collectively we’re only as strong as our weakest links, and orphans worldwide have not received the kind of attention they—and we—need in order to thrive as a whole.

Michelle is recognized as an advocate for orphans worldwide. She travels the globe speaking with children, adults, and social workers about the importance of freeing orphans from believing that they are unlovable, unworthy or inadequate in any way—issues that so many of us from otherwise intact families can also relate to. She believes that by building bridges between orphans and non-orphans, we can learn more about ourselves, connect across cultural and socio-economic divides, and make all of our lives better.

Michelle imagines a world where no child is left unseen or unloved—and she is passionately committed to making that vision a reality. Please join her so that, together, we can help unite more adoptable children with loving families to call their own.

Imagine, looking at your hands and seeing the hands of your mother. Imagine, looking at your eyes and seeing the eyes of your father. Imagine, when you can’t do this because you have been through so many temporary “houses,” “families,” “parents,” that you cannot remember the hands, the eyes, of the very ones who gave you life. Imagine not seeing yourself in anyone you know. Imagine not even seeing yourself at all.

I want to add my voice to this important dialogue and discover how to make a difference.

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Adoptee Empowerment Coach

Coaching for Adoptees & Adoptive Parents 

Michelle understands adoption from both sides of the experience. As a former foster child and international adoptee, she knows the struggles and questions that come with being adopted.

As a mother-by-adoption, she knows the blessings of adoption and the importance of honoring an adopted child’s full story.

The truth is: adoption is complicated and it’s beautiful. It’s loss and it’s gain.

It’s this dual awareness that allows Michelle to coach her clients from a place of thoughtful understanding.

She believes in the limitless potential of every adoptee.

As an Adoptee Empowerment Coach, Michelle is trained through the Institute for Life Coach Training. As a Platinum Partner with the Tony Robbins Group, Michelle has learned from some of the very best life coaches in the field.

She’s honored to advance this knowledge through coaching fellow adoptees who yearn for more in their lives, careers, relationships, and overall health.

Through Michelle’s coaching, she will:

  • assist adoptees in freeing themselves from the pain of abandonment.
  • help adoptees bridge the gap between their biology and their biography.
  • assist adoptive parents in understanding, more deeply, their child’s journey so that they are more equipped to stand as a strong and stable source of support.

Michelle views it as one of her greatest privileges to coach clients as they build a bridge to healing, thus empowering and transforming their lives.

The Benefits of Coaching 

Adoptee Empowerment Coaching is a co-creative equal partnership between coach and client.

This coaching is designed to improve and enhance the client’s quality of life.

It’s about where you are now, where you want to be, and how to get there!


Schedule Coaching Session

“Michelle understands adoption in ways that most others do not.” ~Adoption Now
“Michelle is an absolute gift. She draws you in with the warmth and welcoming heart of a trusted friend, while offering the wisdom and keen insight of a seasoned coach.” ~Leah Benjamin

Michelle’s Books

An Award-Winning Children’s Book Celebrating Family Diversity & The Power of LoveCoco & Olive: The Color of Love

Coco and Olive, a canine mother and daughter pair, explore the true color of love and the beauty of family diversity and adoption. Filled with imaginative and colorful characters, this is a story about finding home, not in a building, but within each other’s hearts.

Coco & Olive: The Color of Love is a 1st Place Winner of the 2019 Royal Dragonfly Award

Reviews for Coco & Olive

“This book speaks the pulse of an adoptive family by showing the deep rooted love and adoration a mom has for her child who came to her via adoption. It’s a book to read from start to finish with your child, and it can also be a resource to pause at various pages and discuss age appropriate details of your child’s unique adoption story with them. This book is a gem in the adoption community. ” ~Katie Finklea, Loving Well Living Well

“Adoption can teach us about so many things—from the importance of raising children to be comfortable in their own skin to the power of love in forming a family. Coco & Olive does those things and adds yet another lesson: the beauty of diversity in enriching our lives.” ~Adam Pertman, President & CEO of the National Center on Adoption and Permanency


Mascara Moments

Mascara Moments: Embracing the Woman in the Mirror is the perfect daily dose of inspiration for women. This intimate little ebook is an easy strategy for beginning the journey of self-growth and self-discovery. With intention and focus, it guides the reader toward who she really is, and how she truly wants to be seen.

“I love this book! It’s small, intimate, powerful, visual.”
~Rosemund C. Boles



Adoption Means Love

Adoption Means Love: Triumph of the Heart has been called, “a book for anyone touched by adoption in anyway,” by Adoption.com. Real and raw, the book explores the many experiences and emotions of adoptees, adoptive parents, birthparents, foster youth, and foster parents. Named a “Top 5 Inspirational Book” by Dolce Vita Magazine, this book is a virtual field of dreams on the topic of family building through adoption.


“We loved this book! It was very inspirational to read while waiting to become licensed foster parents.”
~Amanda Ballinger

“A read that will leave you with a tear in your eye and warmth in your heart.”
~Merrisa Milliner

Now offering free shipping.



Adoption Means Love: Triumph of the Heart recently reviewed on adoption.com.

I would recommend this book to anyone touched by adoption in any way.” ~Melissa Giarrosso



Women’s Day

“A woman answering her calling.”



Named “Adoption Means Love” a Top 5 Inspirational Book for 2006


City Life

“Adoption Means Love” listed under “Titles you don’t want to miss”

  RUBY Magazine

  “The Greatest Gift You Can Ever Give”
by Michelle Madrid-Branch

Online Media

Audio Interviews

Radio Interview on KJUC Radio/KCSB-FM (November 8, 2016)

Radio Interview, Elite Radio (March 2013)

Radio Interview, Mom’s Movement Radio (February 5, 2013, #25)

Radio Interview on BlogTalkRadio (with Cheval John)



Michelle’s reputation as a speaker is built on her ability to inspire, empower, and ignite possibility. She does so with compassion, honesty, and warmth. Michelle is an author, life coach, and
podcast host with the ability to reach her audiences on a level of deep self-discovery and healing.

If you are interested in scheduling an event, please submit your inquiry to:


“Can you name one public speaker who has changed your life for the better? Someone who changed the way you think about things, even if it’s just a little bit? For me, Michelle is one of those speakers. In 2018, I had the pleasure of seeing her speak at an Overcoming Odds event, Embrace Who You Are. I was intrigued by not only her findings on ways to love yourself unconditionally, but also her delivery and ability to engage with the audience. I can definitely say that I left the event more motivated to continue on with my day after hearing Michelle’s message. If you have a chance to see Michelle speak, please take the time to do so. You will not be disappointed.” ~Oleg Lougheed, TedX Speaker, Founder of Overcoming Odds

Speech Topics

These are topics that Michelle frequently speaks on. If you have another topic in mind for your event, please reach out and let us know your thoughts! Michelle is open to speaking on others topics as well.

Adoption: A Love that Knows No Borders — From the stories of her own journey as an international adoptee and mom-by-adoption, Michelle chronicles the resilience of the human spirit and the transformational power of borderless love. A love powerful enough to tear down the walls of race, judgement, and fear and bring the world’s foster children and orphans into the embrace of loving families.

Breaking Free from Negative Labels — Michelle’s journey of overcoming the negative labels of foster care and international adoption. Michelle shares how individuals can step away from labels that diminish their self-worth and step into the power of their true identities.

From Pieces to Promise — This is Michelle’s testimony on her Christian faith. It’s her story of becoming whole after abandonment, letting God guide her to transform pain into promise, and discovering how everything we need to heal and come alive is within us right now.


Find Michelle

A New Children’s Book Celebrating Family Diversity & the Power of Love

Coco & Olive Children's Book
Coco and Olive, a canine mother and daughter pair, explore the true color of love and the beauty of family diversity and adoption.


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