A Letter Of Encouragement To A Fearful Pre-Adoptive Father.

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

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Fourteen years ago I was a wide-eyed, headstrong, and terrified pre-adoptive father. The start of a new journey was exciting to me, but there were so many things I was afraid of. In the middle of it, though, I found hope. If only I could go back in time and whisper to my 25 year old self. Instead, here's a letter to any other man who feels the way I felt 14 years ago...

Dear Pre-Adoptive Father,

Let me begin by congratulating you. It takes a lot of guts to even consider doing what you are about to do. To be willing to simply talk about the possibility of bringing a child into your home through adoption is, well, amazing! So, kudos. Second, let me say that, I know. I know what has been racing through your mind every single moment since the idea of adoption came up…

  • “How in the world could I love a child that’s not biologically mine?”
  • “What if we bring a child into our home and he or she is completely out of control?”
  • “What if the birth mom changes her mind and takes her baby back?”
  • “What if our families won’t accept this?”
  • “How in the world are we going to find the means to pay for this?”
  • “Am I really ready for this?”

The list goes on and on!

I bet these thoughts, and many more like them, have plagued you like the flu.

You find yourself waking up in the middle of the night wondering…worrying…fearful! And if that wasn’t bad enough, your mind just won’t leave you alone! You’re bombarded with other thoughts like, “What will people think about us?” or, “This is not the way I saw our lives going!”

I know because I’ve been there. Once upon a time I was apprehensive and worried just like you. I remember the night my wife suggested that we adopt. We were in college. I was probably more resistant that you are right now. I pretty much put my foot down and proclaimed that “In our family we get married, get a good job, find the perfect little house, and start making mini-me’s! End of story.” Boy was I self-centered and arrogant!

It wasn’t that I was against adoption. I just didn’t understand it. I grew up in a family that had all of their children biologically. Bringing a child into my home that I did not “create” was…well… a foreign idea to me. Besides, I really did fear that I would end up detached emotionally and affectionately from a child that was not biologically mine. I feared one day looking at this child, and then looking at my biological children (if we had them), and feeling resentment. Or worse, no emotion at all. I bet you’re nodding your head right now, because you’ve been in that trench!

Let me encourage you with this: Those are all real fears. Don’t let anyone tell you you shouldn’t think them. Nearly every man wrestles with stuff like this when they first begin the journey. I wrestled with them times infinity! Remember, I resisted. I want you to be encouraged in knowing that you are not alone. The truth is, you start to feel isolated when you have questions like the ones I shared above. You especially feel this way if your wife or other family members are excited about the idea of adoption, and you’re still searching. I get it. And I share this openly because there’s healing in discovering others struggle the same way.

But let me also encourage you with this: If you are a person who has the ability to love, you will love any child, whether they are biologically yours or not. And, think about this- even children that are biologically related to you, or children you may someday have biologically, are not “yours” so-to-speak. As a man you really do not have anything to do with “creating” a child. Your wife does all the work. Except, of course, the….eh-hem….moment 9 months earlier!

Lastly, let me speak from my heart and say this: In-spite of your fears, your hang-ups, your apprehensions, your resistance, your what-ifs, or your questions, nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is better than holding that precious bundle of joy in your arms for the first time. Nothing is better than feeding her or rocking her to sleep. When you look into her glowing eyes for the first time, all of those fears or hang-ups melt away like snow on a warm day!

As I look at my life, nearly 14 years after we first adopted, I couldn’t write a better script. It’s perfect. Actually, it’s perfectly imperfect. I look at my 8 children, all of whom came to us through adoption, and I could not imagine life without them. Even on the bad days. I promise you will feel the same way. So, stay the course. You can do this. I know you can because I did and I used to be pretty self-centered and clueless! I’m not kidding. Ask my wife if you don’t believe me.

Open your heart. Even if you don’t have all the answers, open up your heart. You’ve been given a great capacity to love as a human being. When do this simple act, you’ll be amazed at where your heart will take you. As a man and a father who has gone before you, my thoughts and prayers will be with you. I’m in your corner and…friend, I’m cheering for you!

Current adoptive fathers, what else would you add?

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
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.