It's almost Christmas. Presents, Christmas trees, visits to see Santa, dinners with extended family, piling in the family car to see Christmas lights at the zoo, and also potential disaster for those of us parenting kiddos from past trauma. Listen in to the newest episode of our podcast as we talk about keeping it simple and small during Christmas.
Shannan Martin knows firsthand how to keep it small and simple during the chaotic holiday season. As a wife and mother of 4 active children, it's her goal to keep the holidays memorable, but also sane. Listen in as Kristin and Shannan have a fun-filled and heartfelt conversation about life, living in the country, making lasting memories during Christmas, but also living life as small as possible.
The holiday season, specifically Christmas break, is often a dreaded time for foster and adoptive parents because it means a lack of normal structure for their kiddos. How do you navigate through this time successfully?
In this special Encore episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, Mike and Kristin discuss tips and tricks for maintaining a level of regulation during the chaos of the Holiday season with Licensed Mental Health Counselor and therapist, Ruth Graham. This was part of our 2017 special Holiday Podcast Series called "Holiday Survival Tips and Tricks."
Some of our children have gone through some really tough circumstances early in their lives. It can bring us to tears to even think about the darkness they walked through. But will they ever be able to live free of it later on in life when they are adults? Tune into the our latest episode to find out...
On today's show we are so excited to welcome Best-Selling Author, Anna LeBaron on to talk about the effects of childhood trauma and how she has worked to overcome them and live free. As a child Anna grew up in a polygamist cult and experienced horrific abuse at the hands of her father. Her story is one of hope and triumph and we know you'll find immense encouragement from her words.
"How do I know if I'm called to do this?" It's a common question, even for people who have already adopted, and are thinking about going on the journey again. On this week's podcast episode (and Season 11 debut), Mike and Kristin talk to author and speaker, Alison England about how to know if you're called to adopt.
If you think about it, it wasn't that long ago that you were asking this very question, and pacing the floor, looking to the heavens, wondering what the right answer was. Alison England has been there. She is an adoptive mom and the award-winning author of Tandem: A Devotional for Adopting with God in the Lead. Alison and her husband, Joel, have been together since college and have three children. She cofounded Momentum Adoptions, a licensed adoption agency and is a professor at Arizona State University. Alison’s passion to encourage adoptive parents extends through her Tandem ministry, including Alison’s blog and speaking engagements.
We work hard to connect to our children, because connection is the most important thing we can do on the foster and adoptive journey. But what happens when you have honestly exhausted all of your resources, and you realize you legitimately cannot care for your child anymore?
It's an unpopular route on the adoptive journey: relinquishment. However, in some situations, it's a reality. Certainly, not something a parent should rush into when the journey becomes difficult. A healthy connection, lifelong bond, and deep trust are always the end-goal and the overall target for parents who have adopted children from trauma. But in some extreme cases, it is healthier for both children and parents to part ways. Carrie O'Toole joins our show today to discuss this topic and offer wisdom and her best advice on this subject. Listen in now...
Your child will always have first family. And as much as possible, we believe you should work to formulate a solid relationship with them. After all, they gave your child life. But what if there's a possibility this will hurt your child in the long run?
It's a valid question: "Will visiting with birth parents, or having a relationship with them, hurt my child in the long run?" We understand where this comes from. But we also know that oftentimes, birth parents get a bad rep thanks to current news media, and unwarranted or unfounded fear. There are situations that are not healthy, yes, that's true. But, before you make a final decision on whether or not it's healthy to be in relationship, Mike and Kristin have some advice on how to connect in the healthiest way possible...
The disastrous car rides, the grocery store trips that abruptly end in fights, the movie nights that turn into tears. What do you do when one of your children continually causes all your children to be disregulated? How do you stop them? On today's episode of the podcast, we're answering this big question...
This one resonates deeply with us. We've stood helplessly by and watched all of our other children, who are just trying to ride to church, or school, in peace, move into a complete emotional tailspin because one of our children cannot keep their hands, or comments, to themselves. And the day is completely ruined! Ever been there? When we're talking about children from past trauma, we're also talking about impulsive and often frustrating behavior. Oftentimes, they can't even help it.
But that's not fair to your other children! How do you stop this from happening, or at least better manage it when it does? Listen in as we answer this question...
They are two hot topic words that can either bring a smile to a person's face, or make them grimace. Marriage and money! But they are both intimately connected and they both matter significantly. In this week's episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, you'll discover why...
Not that long ago, Brian and Cherie Lowe found themselves in $127,000 debt and on the brink of watching their marriage crumble. But then, after hard work, re-commitment to one another, and a belief in hope, they paid off every dime. Cherie tells their entire story through her 2015 book, Slaying The Debt Dragon. Now, through their new book, Your Money, Your Marriage, they are helping couples understand the intimate connection between financial freedom and intimacy.
On this week’s episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, we’re continuing our special series called “I Have A Question,” with a great question about how to better help our kiddos focus.
It’s a struggle that many foster and adoptive parents have with their children. How to help them focus? This is mostly spotlighted with things like homework, chores, and daily routine. And it can be extremely frustrating on a daily basis. In this episode, hosts Mike and Kristin Berry walk listeners through 5 key strategies that can change everything for you and your children.
It's a big question that many foster and adoptive parents have when it comes to their children- "What do I do with a child who just doesn't seem to care about anything, or anyone?" On today's episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, Mike and Kristin bring insight to this lingering question.
You've probably experienced something similar to this... it's Christmas morning and the entire family is gathered around the tree to open presents with joy. Except for one child, who has plopped down on the sofa in the other room with her phone, earbuds in, ignoring everyone. She doesn't care that it's Christmas (or at least it appears this way). How do you handle this? Listen in as Mike and Kristin give some practical, yet valuable advice...
On today's episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, we're taking you back, back, waaaay back to an episode Mike and Kristin hosted a few years ago with their good friend Nicole Goerges, entitled How To Love A Child Who Won't Love You Back.
It's an all-too-common tale on the foster and adoptive parenting journey- you love the child you've welcomed into your home deeply. You have given everything to them. You have committed to being their forever mommy or daddy. The connection you have to them is deeper than deep. But they don't (at least it appears so) feel the same way toward you. In this encore episode, listen in as Mike, Kristin and Nicole talk openly about this topic, and offer practical insights...
On this week's episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, we're kicking off a brand new season entitled "I Have A Question." We asked you to send us your biggest questions and we received a ton of great feedback. Today Mike and Kristin begin with "How Do I Help My Child Who Doesn't Have Services?"
Communicate, communicate, communicate! That's really what it comes down to when you're talking about a child you're caring for who doesn't need, or have, special services like an IEP (Individualized Education Plan), therapy, special medical services, a behavior plan, or more.
Will it disrupt their lives? What about birth order? Will it take away from time our kids are owed by us? Is this going to make our kids feel pushed to the side? If you have had these, or other concerns, for your biological kids when it comes to stepping into foster care, you are not alone!
This week we are wrapping up Season 9 of The Honestly Adoption Podcast. Be sure to listen in as Mike talks with Jason Johnson, author of Reframing Foster Care: Filtering Your Foster Parenting Journey through the Lens of the Gospel. Jason shares honestly about the fears, and will encourage you to reframe how you think about how foster care might affect your biological children.
It could be for an intense situation with a child displaying sexual maladaptive behaviors or maybe a child acting out with volatile anger and you are needing to protect other children in your home. It might be a very basic plan for protecting children who have experienced trauma but aren't displaying intense behaviors themselves. While the details and needs will vary, developing safety plans are a common need for many foster and adoptive families and we are talking about it today on the Honestly Adoption Podcast.
In today's episode you will get a chance to listen to a replay of a live training that our host, Mike Berry, recently gave at Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit (CAFO) in 2018. It may not be something you are looking forward to, but developing and maintaining a safety plan doesn't have to be a negative experience. Listen in for some tips and encouragement for getting this job done well.
While we all wish that every adoption might lead to a healthy, thriving family, the truth is that the challenges can sometimes be more than a family can handle. What happens when a struggling adoptive family comes to the place of deciding it just isn't going to work? Adoption dissolution, more commonly referred to as adoption disruption, is a topic that is often avoided and one we haven't covered before on The Honestly Adoption Podcast.
This week, Mike is interviewing Lori Word, a new friend he met at CAFO this year, to talk about adopting from disruption. Lori and her husband have been married for 29 years and have spent most of that in full time ministry. Lori and her husband have adopted 7 children from disruptions and now have a passion for helping to equip adoptive families to find resources to help adopted children stay in their homes and avoid disruption if possible.
Feeling isolated and alone? Have you found it hard to connect with other foster or adoptive parents in your area? Maybe there aren't many in your area. Even if you do have a great support system in real life, maybe you are looking for more training and resources to help you navigate this journey?
These are just some of the reasons we created Oasis Community!
Oasis Community is here to be your virtual support system that offers 24-7, 365 days a year online access to practical resources, relevant training, and parent to parent support.
Maybe your child(ren) don't have a noticeable special need or an official diagnosis and you've been wondering if you are just crazy, or if anyone else understands. When it looks "normal" to everyone outside of the home, the day to day frustrations of dealing with invisible special needs can make foster and adoptive parents feel isolated and judged by those who just don't get it.
Mike is interviewing Jamie Worley, adoption blogger at seejamieblog.com, which was one of Healthline.com's 2018 Best Adoption Blogs. Jamie is passionate about encouraging other adoptive families and helping to educate those considering foster care and adoption. Don't miss this opportunity to be encouraged with some practical steps and words of hope in understanding and dealing with the invisible special needs of adoption.
Season 9, episode 83. We hear it often: hundreds of thousands of children are without families and homes, all over the world. Whose problem is this? What does that really have to do with us and what can we do about it?
On today's episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast, we talk openly with Think Orphan's Phil Darke about why the orphan crisis is everyone's problem. If you've ever wondered how you can be involved, beyond or in addition to foster care and adoption, this is an episode you won't want to miss!
Season 9, episode 82. There is such a big need today for valuable and encouraging resources speaking the truth that children in foster care are dearly loved!
Mike and Kristin are so excited to welcome their good friend, Jamie Kaeb to this 82nd episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast. Jami is the director of The Forgotten Initiative and The Forgotten Podcast. She and her husband have an interracial family with seven children by birth and adoption, both international and from foster-care. Believing that "awareness leads to action," Jami and the Forgotten Initiative have just written a new book series to encourage children within the foster system to know that they are dearly loved and cared for. She hopes these books will bring awareness into churches and schools so that even more people can be equipped to help provide love and care for vulnerable adults and children.
For today's podcast episode we wanted to throw it back to this past fall when Mike was joined by his Road Trip Co-founders and leaders, Jason Morriss and Andrew Schneidler. You are going to want to listen in to this episode. Early bird registration is now open for 2018 but will be ending on April 30th. Visit our official Road Trip Page here to learn more!
"It was only three days, but it was life-changing." -adoptive dad and 2017 Road Trip attendee.
These are the words we hear all the time from Road Trip alumni. This is simply a can't miss experience for foster and adoptive dads! Can just three days truly be life-changing? Find out as Mike reminisces with Andrew Schneidler and Jason Morris about this past fall's amazing Road Trip for foster and adoptive dads. What makes this event unique and unlike anything you've ever experienced? Listen now to find out!
Season 9, episode 80. We know that the goal of foster care is reunification. But how do you successfully transition children out of your home and back with their families? In today's episode of The Honestly Adoption podcast, Mike and Kristin interview blogger, speaker, and foster care expert, Jamie Finn on the importance of having a transitional plan in place, and how to establish one that helps the children in your care transition as smoothly as possible.
Season 9, Episode 79. Welcome Back! We are kicking off Season 9 of the Honestly Adoption Podcast with an incredible episode! Brian and Cherie Lowe join our hosts, Mike and Kristin Berry, to talk about why eliminating debt can help bring peace to your home, your heart, and your marriage and share some practical strategies for how you can do this even in a large foster or adoptive family.
Stressed out about finances again? Wish you could save more money and eliminate debt? Is that even possible for families who have many children and are in debt from adoption, cars, or other major expenses?
Season 8, episode 78. We’ve been expectantly awaiting this week…
It's our Season 8 finale of The Honestly Adoption Podcast and today we're talking all things new book, and how the Berrys began this whole adoption process in the first place...
We are celebrating this week’s book launch of Confessions of an Adoptive Parent from our very own co-founder and host, Mike Berry. Guest hosting the show today is Matt McCarrick, who will interview Mike and ask all the questions you’ve been dying to know about the book, the launch, and where this all began.
Season 8, episode 77. That first real hug. Hearing "I love you mom," and knowing she means it. These are all things that most parents are accustomed to on a daily basis. But when your child has come from a traumatic past, these are moments you cherish more than gold.
In today's episode of Honestly Adoption we discuss this openly and share some practical advice on navigating the tricky waters of reactive attachment disorder. You're not alone! There is hope!
Season 8, episode 76. Fourteen years ago we began the adoption process for the first time. To say that we had no idea what we were doing is an understatement. We were clueless. We had more questions than answers. In fact, we wrote an entire book about this. It's easy to get lost in the process. A few years ago, Mike sat down with Julie Craft from The Adoption Support Center in Indianapolis to discuss the process and procedure couples will find in a private adoption agency. Later on we turned that audio into a podcast. In today's episode we're sharing an encore presentation of that podcast.