Dear Frustrated Parent, There’s Hope For More!

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There are days when you may struggle to believe that your child is ever going to be able to make it on their own, do the right thing, or even make safe choices. But I believe, there is hope for more!

Can I just be honest for a second. This past Sunday I’d had it with my child. HAD it! I was beyond frustrated with the behaviors. We had finally made it to church after weeks of not being there, and I plopped into my seat in the back row, hopeless!

It didn’t matter that we were singing Joy To The World. It didn’t matter that we were lighting another Advent candle. It didn’t matter that everyone was saying Merry Christmas and smiling. Nope. All I could think was my child was completely dysregulated, out of control, and making everyone around him miserable. He was poking his older brother (which is never a good idea!). He was dipping his sticky finger into my wife’s fresh cup of coffee when she wasn’t looking. And he refused stop making growling noises, particularly in between songs, when the soft-spoken worship leader spoke.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Our church shares a renovated building with a local micro-brewery and I was seriously considering ditching service and heading next door for an early communion. Not kidding!

Now I know, my child can’t help this behavior. He has an FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) which causes [sometimes] extreme behaviors. I know this because I teach this all year long, across the country. I know this because it’s my job to help parents understand. I know this because, well, he’s my child and I know him. This was anxiousness brought on by some kind of trigger that happened before we pulled into the church parking lot. Believe me, I was walking myself through those key questions we teach parents to ask themselves just as much as anyone!

And I know this isn’t him. This isn’t his heart. Can I just say that right here? I love this kid deeply. There wasn’t a moment this past Sunday when I felt a lack of love for him. Not once. But my frustration and weariness were clouding up my perspective.

“Get me out of this place!” was all I could think. I didn’t even care that I hadn’t been to church in several weeks. I just wanted to retreat to my house where at least the world couldn’t see this 3-ring circus.

And in that moment of complete and utter hopelessness, something flashed through my mind. It was a picture I had taken a few weeks back while in Tlaxcala, Mexico with my daughter’s school choir. It was the picture you saw when you opened this post. You probably wondered why in the world I would post a picture of an unfinished roof in a post like this right? Allow me to explain…

As we drove back and forth through the streets of beautiful Tlaxcala, we kept noticing that most of the buildings had roofs like the one in the picture above. Unfinished with rebar sticking up into the air. Even really nice buildings looked like this. To be honest, it was kind of tacky. It kind of detracted from the gorgeous landscape surrounding the village. A few other chaperones and myself commented on this and wondered why in the world so many buildings were left “unfinished?” And then one night, after the students were with their host families, several of us sat in a restaurant with a local woman who had lived just outside of the downtown area for several years. She explained something about the “unfinished buildings” that moved us deeply.

“Some people would see the rebar sticking up out of roofs and think it was a waste,” she explained. “But to us, it means there is hope. By leaving the rebar exposed, the owner is saying they believe there is hope for more!”

There is hope for more. The work isn’t finished. There’s still much left to build and grow! How perfectly, beautifully, and amazingly accurate is that when it comes to our children? There is hope for more. Their story isn’t finished yet. What is happening with them now, doesn’t define their future. Our child’s behavior isn’t the end of the story, there is so much more to come.

Yeah I was pretty frustrated with my child this past Sunday. I felt hopeless that his behavior was ever going to improve. But I had to remind myself that he suffers through past trauma that often renders him helpless in anxious situations. More than that though, I had to remind myself that he has amazing amounts of hope. Hope for a very bright future. His story isn’t over. He’s not finished growing. At times I may feel hopeless, but that does not mean it’s true. I must believe there’s more.

I have hope for more!

Have you struggled to believe there is hope for your child? Share your story with us in the comment section below.

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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.