The Honestly Adoption Podcast

The Honestly Adoption Podcast, with Mike and Kristen Berry, is a podcast dedicated to being a real voice, bringing real hope to parents on the foster and adoptive journey.
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The Honestly Adoption Podcast



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Sep 16, 2021

In 2016, sensing an urgency to create safe space where foster and adoptive dads could connect with one another, Mike Berry, Andrew Schneidler and Jason Morriss, created Road Trip: A Mountaintop Experience for Foster and Adoptive Dads. They had one goal: create safe space where men could be open, honest, and vulnerable in without fear of judgement or criticism. To date, more than 400 men have journeyed up the mountain. In this latest episode, they share openly what Road Trip is, why it’s so transformational in men’s lives, and how dads can find connection.

A Little More About Road Trip...

Let's begin with what Road Trip is NOT. It's NOT a retreat, NOT a conference, and NOT a church men's retreat. It's a conversation.

Weird, right? What does that even mean? At Road Trip we're all about invitation. Simply attend a retreat, but you're invited into a conversation. And the best part? You can choose to participate, or just listen. In any case, Road Trip is safe space for foster and adoptive dads to share their greatest fears and greatest struggles, without judgement.  

In the midst of this conversation, you also get a chance to getaway and participate in fly fishing, hiking, exploring, napping (if you need it), micro-brewery trips, horseback riding, and much much more!

Sep 9, 2021

Disrupted attachment is a result of a child's trauma history. And depending on the severity of the trauma, the disrupted attachment could be great. Even knowing this reality doesn't change the fact that it's hard to be in relationship with a child who suffers from this. But there are answers. Deborah Gray has been a repeated guest and offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the area of attachment and play therapy. We are excited to have her join us for this episode of the podcast.

A Little More About Deborah Gray...

  • Deborah has a lifetime achievement award in 2015 from ATTACh, and was a Henry Meier Practitioner in Residence at the U of WA. She treats children and families in a specialty practice focused on trauma, attachment, grief, and parenting support. She was core faculty for the Portland State University Foster Care and Adoption Therapy Program. She is the author of the Attachment-Trauma Focused Therapy Program, now taught by ATTACh. Deborah authored: Promoting Healthy Attachments; Attaching through Love, Hugs, and Play; Nurturing Adoptions; and Attaching in Adoption. She co-authored Games and Activities for Attaching with Your Child.

Also On The Show...

  • BRAND NEW…Insight One Day Training is coming October 19th! After the enormous success of The Insight Virtual Conference this past April, the Insight family is growing with the debut of this brand new virtual one-day training event. We are excited to partner with Jessica Sinarski (LPCMH) and Dr. Laura Anderson to spend an entire day discussing trauma’s impact on the brain and behavior, attachment, and how to help your children heal. Registration is now open but tickets are limited to just 500. Click Here to save your spot!
Sep 2, 2021

Ira J. Chasnoff, M.D., an award-winning author, researcher and lecturer, is president of NTI Upstream in Chicago and Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He is one of the nation's leading researchers in the field of child development and the effects of prenatal substance exposure across the lifespan.  Dr. Chasnoff received his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and completed his pediatric residency at Children’s Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University.  He is the author of numerous research articles and fifteen books, which have received numerous awards. His most recent book, Guided Growth, has received international acclaim for its in-depth discussion of educational and behavioral interventions for children and teens with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and early trauma.

Aug 26, 2021

The need is great. These children are vulnerable to a big world that can turn cold quickly. How can we create permanency and continue to advocate for them? We are pleased to welcome Rita Soronen, President and CEO of The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, to the show to talk about this.

A little more about Rita Soronen and The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption...

Rita Soronen is the President and CEO of The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, which is the only public nonprofit charity in the United States that is focused exclusively on foster care adoption. Through its signature program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids®, the Foundation funds adoption professionals, known as recruiters, who are dedicated to finding loving, permanent homes for children waiting in foster care.

The Foundation works closely with child welfare advocates and policymakers, provides free resources about foster care adoption and raises awareness through social media campaigns, public service announcements and events.

Aug 19, 2021

Justin and Alexis Black are agents of hope. Against many odds, they decided to blaze a new path, and most importantly, they decided to blaze it together.

Justin and Alexis are award-winning, bestselling authors, speakers, and serial entrepreneurs. Together, they've created The Scholarship Expert and The ROSE Empowerment Group to support hundreds of young people. Now, with their new venture, Redefining Normal, they hope to continue the conversation on healthy relationships, mental health, and healing.

Aug 12, 2021

It seems like an impossible task. What if there was a way to rethink, and reimagine, self care in away that would allow us to take care of ourselves while we continue to care for our children, and our families? That's exactly what this podcast episode is all about.

We are pleased to welcome our good friend Carrie Blaske to the show. She is an expert in helping parents and caregivers care for themselves in the middle of this crazy parenting journey.

Aug 5, 2021

As a nationally syndicated Radio host, Speaker, and best-selling Author, Willie Moore Jr. has proven that innate charisma, abundant creativity, and a passion for empowerment can translate in the faith-based community and the general market.

Outside of entertainment, Willie Moore Jr. is an advocate for adoption and foster care. As the President of the WILFLO Foundation Inc. (named after his forever family, Willie and Flora Moore), Willie brings awareness to the adoption and foster care system through school programs, scholarships for foster children, faith based multi-media films and television shows. Each year thousands of African American families sign up to be foster parents and/or adoptive parents through these efforts.

Through his online ministry, entertainment, and comedy, Willie Moore Jr. continues to tour the world bringing inspiration through his innovative story-telling and comedic approach to speaking and music that’s transforming lives throughout all generations.

How to connect with Willie Moore Jr.

Thanks for stopping by this week! Don't forget to check out our latest resources, training content, and freebies over at

Jun 24, 2021

Understanding sensory needs in children who have a trauma history is crucial to building a healthy relationship, and a lifelong trust and connection. But how do you make sense of the need? More than that, how do you change your response? We are fortunate to be joined by Dr. Laura Anderson who gives solid advice and insight into this topic.

Jun 17, 2021

Often, when our children are agitated, irritable, or aggressive, we can default to a traditional mindset when it comes to their behavior. We mistake trauma-induced behaviors for selfishness, belligerence, and disobedience. But this comes out of a lack of understanding as to how a child with a trauma history can be triggered. In Part 2 of our special podcast series, Renewing Your Response, we not only walk through the signs of triggered behavior, but also how to respond.

Jun 12, 2021

Just 10 short years ago we were struggling BIG time on the parenting journey. One of the biggest things we struggled with was our response. When our children became triggered, or melted down, or were anxious, or dysregulated, we responded the wrong way. And frankly, that caused things to become worse. Fortunately, through a series of transformational events (trainings, readings, and research) we discovered a new way to respond. One that brought healing, connection, and began to repair broken attachment.

May 27, 2021

A little more about Dr. Anderson...

Dr. Laura S. Anderson is a clinical child and family psychologist who is licensed in Hawaii and California, and she has worked with youth and families for over twenty years. Her areas of expertise include school-based behavioral health, assessment, support for adoptive families, as well as support for LGBTQ+  youth and their families. Dr. Anderson is also an adoptive parent, and in trainings she shares concrete tips for parents based on decades of experience she has gathered from the vantage point of both her office couch and her family’s living room couch. She is the host of a new podcast  being released next month: Real World Parenting- Tips and Scripts For Families On Roads Less Traveled. Dr. Anderson enjoys working with kids, and families as they overcome barriers, build on their strengths, and thrive.

May 13, 2021

Have you heard of the Enneagram?

We're beyond fascinated by this. And if you attended The Insight Virtual Conference a couple of weeks ago, you heard Lisa and Melissa present on this very topic. We are honored to be able to share this special episode of the podcast all about the Enneagram.

You may know that the Enneagram is a system of personality typing that describes patterns in how people interpret the world and manage their emotions. But did you know that the Enneagram can greatly benefit us as caregivers, because it gives us unique insight into our personality types and how we interact with the world around us. You will LOVE this episode!

May 6, 2021

Simply stated...our interview with Ayden moved our hearts and inspired us deeply. As the youngest guest ever to be interviewed on the show, Ayden is already changing the world with her story of adoption, hope, and transformation.

A Little More About Ayden Lincoln...

Ayden is an 18-year-old Chinese-American adoptee who was abandoned at birth in China. After being found in a shoebox at a train station and taken to an orphanage, she laid in a crib almost 24/7 for the first ten months of her life. From that trauma history, she struggles with daily anxiety and ADHD, but despite a tough past and rough start to her new life, she would not change anything. Ayden believes her struggles from the past shape her into the person she is today.

Apr 22, 2021

We've spent the past 7 years explaining the brain, and how trauma impacts it, in a very simple fashion because, well, most of us are parents, and caregivers, not medical experts. That's precisely why we love the work that Jessica Sinarski is doing through BrainBrains and the books and resources she's created. This interview was enlightening, refreshing, and thought-provoking!

Apr 16, 2021

One of the things we LOVE about hosting this podcast, is the deeply valuable lessons we learn from our guests. We intentionally schedule guests who challenge us, inspire us, and motivate us. This discussion with Marcie was one of the most aw-inspiring and thought-provoking interviews we've done in the 5 year history of this show! You will love this ever-important topic of re-learning history! That's why we are excited to air this Encore Episode with Marcie Walker!

Apr 8, 2021

It's not so much a matter of what you can do, but what you can say. Our words have power. We don't have to tell you that your words have the power to escalate a behavioral situation because this has probably happened a time or two with your children. too! Don't beat yourself up. You're not alone and you're doing the best you can.

The good news is that our words also have the power to de-escalate behavioral situations with our children. When we know the right words to say, we can help our children re-regulate and return to calm quickly. That's what we're talking about in this week's episode...


Mar 26, 2021

You set the guidelines, house rules, and boundaries only to turn around and find your child disregarding them. It can be maddening. But what if we told you that their disregard may not be a matter of "won't" but a matter of "can't."

Mar 19, 2021

Believe it or not, your child may not be doing this on purpose. We know...hard to believe! But there's a simple explanation. Children with a trauma history often lack the ability to do simple things like carry out a task they've been asked to do. Same with favors, or chores you've assigned to them. You may find yourself repeating yourself a zillion times before they comply.

What is really going on?

Mar 11, 2021

If you've spent more than a couple of days on this journey, you know rejection is par for the course. Regardless of how hard you try to connect, build trust, reach out, or meet needs, your child rejects you. It can be soul crushing, and just plain exhausting. You're left feeling like a failure.

But you aren't. In fact, there's way more going on with your child than meets the eye. We know that behavior is a window into past trauma. Rejection is a by-product of this.

Mar 4, 2021

It's one thing to make that statement. It's another thing entirely to provide avenues for people to do serve, and give, whether or not they are active foster parents. We are excited to share the good work that the Isaiah 117 House is doing to provide support, and necessary resources for children entering into the foster care system. Their work is providing dignity and comfort during a very hard, and highly traumatic process.

We were fortunate to be able to sit down with Indianapolis Marion County Expansion Coordinator, Sarah McDaniel, to talk about what the Isaiah 117 House is, how it started, and what their primary focus is.

Feb 25, 2021

We are excited to welcome our friend, and fellow author and adoptive parent, Steve Disselhorst, to The Honestly Adoption Podcast. We had an amazing conversation on his book, the importance of community for parents, inclusivity, and why the end-goal is for vulnerable children to find permanency with loving families.

Feb 18, 2021

From Simon: I’d always kept my being adopted out of my work because I didn’t want to limit the people I helped. Late in 2020 I decided to bring my adoption story into my work and concentrate on coaching adult adoptees so they can T.H.R.I.V.E.

Transformation - releasing adoption trauma
Healing - repairing emotional wounds
Resilience - bouncing back from setbacks
Identity - learning who you really are
Vision - mapping out your future
Enjoyment - loving your life.

Feb 11, 2021

We are so excited to introduce our audience to Sandhya Oaks. Sandhya is a radiant human being, and we absolutely loved interviewing her. Sandhya is a consultant, advocate, ministry leader, writer, and speaker. Her remarkable story of discovering her pre-adoption name her orphanage gave her was featured in a TedX Talk

Feb 4, 2021

1MILLIONHOME is all about reunification. And our guest for this episode, Brandon Stiver, is helping to lead the way. Serving as the community of practice advisor, Brandon serving with 1MillionHome, has created a global collaborative network that is transforming orphanages to bring children back home and restore families. They envision a world where every child grows up in a loving and supportive family.

Jan 28, 2021

Author and memoirist, Nefertiti Austin writes about the erasure of diverse voices in motherhood in the critically acclaimed Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender and Parenting in America. Her work around this topic has appeared in the "New York Times", "Washington Post", “Huffington Post”, "MUTHA", “Gen Medium”, and many other publications. She was the subject of an article on race and adoption in “The Atlantic” and appeared on numerous shows/podcasts and radio programs, including "The Today Show", "1A with Joshua Johnson", and NPR. Nefertiti is the proud adoptive mother of two children and lives in Los Angeles, Ca.

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