Is Every Person Called To Adopt?

It’s a common question in our society. We all wonder if we are capable of such a hard task. Those of us who are seasoned usually find out we most definitely are not capable at all because so much more plays into it. Outside our group, it’s phrased as more of an exclamation. “Not everyone should adopt!” It seems they feel judged and maybe that I think of them as less than for not doing such a “noble” task.

I’ve observed/know of/heard of many families who started the journey of adoption where it worked great. Most just worked, but maybe not great. I’ve also observed those that started the journey and then it didn’t work. Like all things went TERRIBLY wrong. There is no cookie cutter answer or family for this job.

Why Road Trip For Foster And Adoptive Dads Is A Can’t-Miss Event!

Season 9, Episode 81- The Honestly Adoption Podcast

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!

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What Do You Do When You Feel Like You Just Don’t Belong?

On Foster Care, Biracial Identity And More!

This is a guest post by our good friend, Natalie Brenner, who has also been a guest on our podcast, The Honestly Adoption Podcast. She is an adoptive and biological mother, as well as a blogger, and the author of the book This Undeserved Life. Make sure you check out her blog by clicking here.

We love stories that move our heart and challenge us to see the world around us in a brighter light. This story, originally appearing on Natalie’s blog, does both. May it move your heart as well…

You know. I often feel like I am the luckiest in the world, to have the friends that I do. When we moved to Portland, we had no idea the community that was in store for us. We had no idea the friends we would make, the relationships we would have for us and our kids.

I am humbled and blown away to be the one to share with you a sacred piece of my friend Christina’s story.

How To Help Your Child Process The Hard Parts Of Their Story.

There are aspects of this journey that take your breath away and cause you to grieve deeply. One of those aspects is helping your child process the hard parts of their story.

On an unseasonably warm night in February, we sit on our front porch with our children gathered around. Our objective is to assemble a new wagon we’ve just bought for our new farm (yes, we bought a farm!). There’s excitement in the air as this wagon will fit all of their toys, plus some of the pets, the neighborhood friends, and a few of their odd inventions.

What I Learned From My Visit To A Brothel

Sometimes we have to allow our hearts to break over the reality that many children in our world are vulnerable and highly susceptible to abuse, trafficking, and modern-day slavery. May these honest words spur you on and motivate you to love even deeper than you already do…

I saw them. I saw so many girls. Some boys too. I saw them at all ages and stages. I saw the under 21s. I saw the over 60s. I saw the ones who didn’t speak English. I saw the ones who were desirable to groups of people due to their size and even disability.

At one time they were children who didn’t have a family to fight for them and ended up in the sex industry. And dare I say, I saw my children in the future, except for the grace of God. Statistically, this is what the future would hold for children like yours and mine if they had stayed in the system and were only known as blurred out faces.

 

Most Americans who are victims of sex trafficking come from our foster care system. It’s a system that leaves vulnerable children to be preyed upon by pimps. Internationally it happens too. Orphans are prime targets to be trafficked. They have no one. No skills. No one to fight for them. Children have been known to vanish from orphanages. It’s easy for them to go unnoticed when there are no records. It’s as if they never existed.

This is who I saw at the clubs, porn convention and legalized brothels of Nevada.

I’m not saying all these women were trafficked. But 20% of the clients we served were. And that’s just the ones we knew about. Even if this was a path they chose of their own free will, not one child wakes up one day and says, “I want to become a sex worker when I grow up.” For various reasons, they have all been desensitized to this life.

The first time I visited a brothel, I scratched my head in terrified and horrified disbelief. What is a girl like me doing here? Then, what is a girl like that doing here? But the more I visited, the more I looked forward to it. What I found is that they really were very much like me. They were women. Moms. Some had custody. Some didn’t. Some of them were wives. We shared stories about our kids. There’s always a story to share there. And I felt like I was getting a break from my daily trauma momma life, yet still engaged with the population my heart ached for.

This organization I volunteered with exists solely to give value to these women. That’s it. We didn’t preach to them. We didn’t encourage them to get out. But we did let them know if they needed a dentist, a doctor, counseling or anything else, we could help get them those services. Regardless of what the world tells them, these women have value. We took our usual cupcakes, makeup and hair supplies and helped them get ready for their day.

One day, there was a lot of whispering and gathering of the girls as they anxiously talked with the social worker. Another worker’s boyfriend beat her up badly. And since she was beat up, she couldn’t work. Since she couldn’t work, she couldn’t stay there. She had no where to go. So she went back to stay at her boyfriend’s place. They knew she was in danger. They asked us to help. Several attempts were made to reach her, but she never returned the calls.

A couple months passed and I received a text. She died and it was being investigated as a homicide. I was shocked. I knew of many families with tragic circumstances surrounding the loss of their loved ones. But none because of murder.

So we made another trip, but this time, it was to give honor and value in a different way. We took pink balloons and our usual cupcakes and attended the memorial service for a precious life cut short. They shared stories, displayed pictures of her and planted a tree on the brothel property in her memory. There were 12 people who attended the funeral. The smallest funeral I’ve ever been to. The saddest funeral I’ve ever been to. No family. Only workers and other associates of the brothel.

At the end, one of the girls walked up to sing a song. I remember thinking, “I wonder what song she will sing?” I was thinking something secular or even unusual. And then these words rolled out of her mouth:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me. 

I once was lost but now I’m found,

Was blind, but now, I see.

And then the tears came. To me. It was the most beautiful version of that song I have ever heard. And not because she had a professionally trained musician’s voice. It was the song.

We’ve all heard the song. But you’ve never heard that song until you’ve heard a sex worker sing it at a sex worker’s funeral.

In that moment, under the big Nevada sky with the snowcapped mountains in the background, I was standing in an unlikely match, and yet here we were, all the same. We weren’t there to provide makeup or hair services or resources. We were just a group of people, all in need of grace. What started as the saddest funeral I have ever been to, ended up being the most beautiful funeral I have ever been to and one of the most memorable moments in my life.

We are ALL in need of grace. We are all considered wretched at one time or another in our lives. We have all been lost at some point in our journey. We all have been blind and can’t see through our circumstances. We all want this grace that is sweet, this grace that saves, this grace that finds us, this grace that makes us see. We All need that kind of grace.

So let’s continue to fight this fight and love big. Not as saviors. But as those who have received grace and now want to give grace.

Question: What are your thoughts or feelings after reading this story? Share with us in the comment section below. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Why You Shouldn’t Be Ashamed Of Your Wounds!

We desire to hide our deepest wounds. And rightfully so. We’ve been taught that wounds equal failure. As parents we fear the words “I told you so,” if we revealed our struggles on this journey. But what if our wounds didn’t equal failure? What if they did something bigger than we could imagine?

I know what you want to do, dear parent.

I know because I’ve sustained the same cold blows from this journey.

You want to hide.

How Do You Find Authentic Support On The Adoptive Journey?

Is it possible to find people who get it? How do I go about connecting with people who won’t judge or criticize me if I’m brutally honest? What about people who will love me and my children even when things get really bad? Where do I find people like that? We’ve had these questions, and more, over the years. Here’s where we’ve found answers…

I heard the bus pull up at the end of our driveway and glanced at the wall clock. My kids were home from school and I had completely lost track of time. I jumped up to unlock the door and smiled widely at my three youngest sons. My 8 year old hugged my waist, my 9 year old threw his backpack across the family room, brushed off my hug and stomped to his room, slamming the door behind him. My 10 year old rolled his eyes and I put my hand on his shoulder to stop him, “Ok, spill it.” He sighed, “Noah wouldn’t leave him alone on the bus. He kept asking about his ‘real’ brothers and sisters. We asked him to stop but he wouldn’t. Noah asked why his ‘real’ mom didn’t want him and then it was time to get off the bus so we all just left.” “Thanks for telling me, I’m sorry that happened to you guys,” I squeezed his shoulder. He smiled a half smile as he looked up at me, “It’s ok, mom, some people just don’t get it.” In our family, we have 8 children all of whom were adopted. We don’t look alike. That fact is usually lost on us until someone else points it out.

How This Whole Adoption Journey Began For Us

The Honestly Adoption Podcast - Season 8, Episode 78

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 will be finishing up Season 8 of The Honestly Adoption Podcast by celebrating this week’s book launch for our very own co-founder and host, Mike Berry. Guest hosting on the show today is Matt McCarrick, who interviews Mike and asks all the questions you’ve been dying to know about the book, the launch, and where this all began.

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