5 Things Adoptive Parents Want Teachers To Know About Trauma.

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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Along with providing content that enriches the lives of adoptive, foster and special needs parents, we want to be proactive about creating resources you can pass on to professionals, like a teacher or coach. So when our friend Michele asked us to make a video explaining trauma to teachers, we jumped at the chance!

We jumped because we’ve been there many times in the past- Sitting in IEP (Individual Education Plans) meetings that looked more like a sinking ship than a proactive plan. It wasn’t that the teacher was unprofessional, or rude (although we’ve experienced that), it was a lack of understanding. Most of the children in their classroom did not come from traumatic pasts. Most were not abused, or removed and placed in foster care. Most were not malnourished or left to fend for themselves before their adoption. Most had a forever home from birth.

To try and explain why my 10-year old son believes he’s starving because he lived in a homeless shelter as a newborn and did not receive proper nutrition, often fell on deaf ears. Many times, we walked out of those meetings defeated, frustrated, angry and wanting to yank our child out of school altogether.

However, we discovered a much better way. When we started talking, patiently and calmly, about the facts of trauma and how it manifests itself in our children, things changed quickly. In this special video, Kristin and our good friend Nicole, share 5 key truths that adoptive parents want their children’s teachers to understand about trauma.

Make sure you get access to our special page that includes the video link + sample letter. We’ve made it easy peasy to share this valuable resource with your child’s teacher. Click here to get access!

Here’s a quick list and synopsis of the points that Kristin and Nicole shared in the video:

  1. Communication is key. Everything that is happening in your classroom could be a direct result of our child’s traumatic past. You must proactively communicate every day with us.
  2. We’re not being mean. We are working on helping our children understand logical consequences.
  3. We’re working on a bigger picture. Our children were traumatized at birth because of separation, but they’ve also experienced secondary trauma in entering our family. Therefore, we are actively working on establishing trust, a healthy bond, and attachment with our children.
  4. Trauma changes the brain. Our children suffered immediate trauma when they were separated from their birth mother at birth.
  5. Our children’s information is private. We often do not share the details of our children’s past openly out of protection for them.

Resources You Can Share.

We want you to be able to pass this on to teachers and school administrators so we’re providing the link to a special landing page with both the video and a sample letter we recommend sending along with the video link. Remember- the goal is not to drive home a point, or even prove a point with your child’s teacher. That was our approach in the early days and it didn’t work. If you go in guns blazing, belligerent or frustrated, your child’s teacher and/or principal will not capture the facts. They will not become educated on trauma. They will think you’re crazy.

The letter should include…

  • A cordial introduction.
  • A brief explanation of why they are receiving this letter.
  • A synopsis (not full explanation) of your child’s story.
  • An explanation of the YouTube link (or other resources)
  • An expression of wanting to work with the teacher

Then include the special page link (you can get that by clicking below) and adapt our sample letter as needed (also below).

As we often say in our posts, and emails- we hope that the content we share enriches, encourages and lifts you up on this sometimes difficult journey. We know what you’re going through on a daily basis. We know the battles you fight, with your children, but also for your children. We’ve been in that trench.

Remember…you are not alone!

What are some other resources that you’ve found helpful in helping teachers and school administrators understand how trauma has affected your child? Share with us.

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.