An Open Letter To An Apprehensive Pre-Adoptive Father

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

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I am unashamedly a domestically-challenged housewife and homeschool mom. Most mornings, I remain in bed with my eyes closed until the littles demand food. I do the "Mombie" walk to the coffee maker and pray that I didn't forget to buy Keurig cups, so I don't have to try to count scoops with all these kids talking at me, before my eyes are all the way open.

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 even talk about the possibility of bringing a child into your home through adoption is, well, amazing! So, kudos to you.

Secondly, let me say that, I know. I know what has been racing through your mind every single moment since your wife suggested that you adopt. “How in the world could I love a child that’s not my own?” That thought has plagued you like the flu hasn’t it?

You find yourself waking up in the middle of the night with this thought. And if that wasn’t enough, your mind is betraying you by flushing other thoughts in like, “What will people think about us?” “This is not the way I saw our lives going!” or “How the heck are we gonna pay for this adoption?”

I say I know because I’ve been there. Once upon a time I was an apprehensive pre-adoptive father just like you. I remember the night my wife suggested that we adopt. I was probably more resistant that you are right now. I pretty much put my foot down and proclaimed that “In our family we got married to good looking people and made pretty little children that looked just like us!” That was final. Boy oh 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 really 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, and feeling resentment. Or worse, no emotion at all for them. I bet you’re nodding your head right now, aren’t you?

Let me pause and encourage you with this truth- those are all real fears. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for feeling or thinking them. Nearly everyone who begins the adoption process has these fears at one point or another. I had them BIG TIME! Remember, as I said earlier, I resisted. I want you to be encouraged in knowing that you are not alone. Because you kinda sorta start to feel isolated when you have these thoughts, especially if your wife or other family members are jazzed about the idea. 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 Ooo La La part 9 months earlier.. 🙂

If you have children biologically you essentially would be loving a child that wasn’t “your own” or that you did not “create.” Think about that. Interesting, isn’t it? My wife made that point last week and it intrigued me.

Lastly, let me speak from my heart and say this- in-spite of all of your fears, or hang-ups, or apprehensions, or resistance, or what-ifs, or 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 a late winter snow on a warm day!

As I look at my life, nearly 12 years after we first adopted, I couldn’t write our family’s script any better. It’s perfect. 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 some day.

So, stay the course. You can do this. I know you can because I did and I used to be the biggest self-centered jerk in the world! I’m not kidding. Ask my wife if you don’t believe me. 🙂

As a man and a father who has gone before you, my prayers will be with you and, as always, my email address (or the comment section of this post) are open for you if you need some additional perspectives!

Adoptive fathers: what else would you add?

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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.