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Episode 78: Honest Questions about Foster Care and Adoption and Answers You Need to Hear

By September 23, 2019January 3rd, 2023Podcast

“We want to give an accurate portrait of what adoption and foster care are like. It’s beautiful. It’s awesome. But it’s also hard.”

Whether you’re just thinking about foster care or adoption and want to know what it’s really like or you’re in it and you need support, today’s guest, Mike Berry, offers a picture of the good, bad, and ugly. He’s passionate about sharing a realistic view of adoption and foster care, and he wants to answer your questions honestly. Listen in as we tackle a few of them, but then check out his new book, “Honestly Adoption,” for answers to even more. Friends, we are in this together! 


On Marriage + Foster Care and Adoption: What if you’re not on the same page as your spouse?

Mike didn’t start out with a desire to adopt or foster—mostly, because of his lack of awareness about trauma behaviors—but his wife, Kristin, wanted to adopt all of their kids. Twenty years later, adoption and foster care are not only part of their family story but also are part of their work! It was a transformation for Mike and one that he is grateful for.  If you’re in a similar situation, it’s important to be patient with one another. Start praying for your spouse, that God would make your next step clear. Find a trusted mentor or counselor to help you sort out your own feelings in this and encourage your spouse to do the same. 

Also, just because you’ve already fostered or adopted before, it doesn’t mean that you’ll continue to be in agreement about adding more children to your home. Before you add any children, whether it’s the first or the sixth, take a step back and evaluate. Sometimes, you do need to pump the breaks. You are not the rescuer nor the Savior of any children. As a team, you and your spouse have to be willing to listen to each other. Ask your spouse what it’s like for them and be willing to hear them out. Step back and discern what’s best and then trust one another. The bible doesn’t call you out by name to say you need to foster or adopt. You are not the only person that could care for this child, and maybe your role this time is to empower and encourage another family. Maybe you’re called to do something for someone else who should and could take this child.

On Being Authentic as an Adoptive/Foster Parent: Why should you be honest about adoption and foster care?

Honesty and authenticity walk hand and hand. We need adoptive and foster parents to be both because there is still a distorted view of adoption and foster care in our culture today. Adoption is still a punchline. Foster Care is a headline. We have to start reversing that, so it’s important to share the good, bad, and ugly as parents, being careful with our children’s stories of course, but letting people know what the foster care and adoption journey really looks like. The celebrity culture of adoption or foster care headlines are not the norm for families, but if we want people to see reality, we have to start sharing. There are dark moments, but there is a lot of hope too. This journey is beautiful and hard. It is hard when your child has a trauma history, and you have to learn how to manage the behaviors and care for all of your children in the midst of learning

On the Hard Moments: What should you do when you’re facing a hard parenting moment or difficult decision as a foster parent?

Above all else, you have to remain calm. It doesn’t matter if you’re facing something like finding porn on your child’s phone or if you’ve been reported and now are being investigated for a false claim as a foster parent. In any scenario, you have to take a step back and choose to be calm. Our instinct is to freak out when something hard comes along—or to put our jammies on and just go back to bed. But you can’t. You have to face whatever the situation is and develop a plan. It does get messy because you can’t control everything. But there are things you can controland you need to take the next step. No one has this thing figured out perfectly. If you are looking for a resource though, pick up Honestly Adoption, a new guidebook by Mike and Kristin Berry that tackles 101 questions about adoption and foster care, including answers to these two scenarios! We can do this thing together! Let’s learn from one another!


Honestly Adoption by Mike and Kristin Berry
Confessions of an Adoptive Parent


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We hope this episode has helped you wherever you are on your foster care journey. That’s the goal! If so, will you tell others?

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Meet Our Guest

Mike Berry is married to Kristinand together they have adopted eight children and cared for another 23 kids in their nine-year stint as foster parents. Mike is passionate about helping you navigate this world called Adoption and Foster Careand he does just that in the new book, Honestly Adoption: Answers to 101 Questions About Adoption and Foster Care.  

Foster Parents, check with your agency to see if listening to this podcast will count toward your foster care training hours!

Special thanks to Resonate Recordings for their knock-it-out-of-the-park podcast production services! If you have a podcast or want to start one, reach out to our friends at Resonate!

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