Foster Care And What I Feared Most For My Own Kids

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Will it disrupt their lives?  What about birth order?  Will it take away from time our kids are owed by us?  Is this going to make our kids feel pushed to the side?  If you have had these, or other concerns, for your biological kids when it comes to stepping into foster care,  you are not alone!

This week we are wrapping up Season 9 of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.  Be sure to listen in as Mike talks with Jason Johnson, author of Reframing Foster Care: Filtering Your Foster Parenting Journey through the Lens of the Gospel.  Jason shares honestly about the fears, and will encourage you to reframe how you think about how foster care might affect your biological children.

Listen Now:

Notes and Quotes:

In your book, you talk about fears and concerns parents have for their biological kids when choosing to open their home to foster care.  Can you talk about that?

“As parents we are naturally inclined to want to isolate and insulate our kids from things that are hard…however…the essence of the book is about reframing our thinking…”

“Confirmation bias” is when we think through our own bias lenses, and then we gather pieces of evidence around us to confirm our own bias.”

“We think through a limited scope often and then we support our own limited thinking through our own gathering of information to support it.”

A good friend steps in and shows us our negative bias and challenges us to think differently.

Especially when thinking about starting this foster care or adoption journey we can get sucked into this confirmation bias and it might look like this:

  • “It’s going to have negative consequences on our bio kids and disrupt their lives and here’s all the pieces of evidence I can gather to support that claim.”

We need someone to step in and say, “Let’s look at that from a different perspective…Good, that is a good think to think about, but let’s also think better and grab more healthy thoughts about that.”

“We found that once we got into it, SO many of those concerns fell away. We were concerned about a lot of things on the front end that, once we got into, it proved not to be concerns at all.”

“I’m glad that they’ve seen those things and experienced those things…What a unique perspective on the world our daughters are being offered.”

“We want our girls to feel the weight of this, but we don’t want our girls to resent this.”

There’s a hazy line there somewhere, and it’s constantly shifting, and as parents we are constantly aware of it and trying to discern, “where is that?” We make decisions as best as we can from that.

“I used to be concerned about the effects that bringing kids from foster care into our home would have on our bio kids.  Now, after the fact, I’m more concerned about the effects NOT bringing them into our home.”

[shareable cite=”Jason Johnson”]This has given our daughters a gift, that we (as mom and dad) would have never been able to give them on our own.[/shareable]

“My kids have learned what compassion is, and what unconditional love is.” – Mike Berry

What about those who say, “Yeah…BUT…I’m still fearful!” ?

Practically, here are some things to remember and do:

  • You don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to do when you do foster care.
  • You can be wise and be a good steward when choosing what your family can handle.
  • Remember you are usually more capable of a little more than you think you are.
  • Start small.  Just start by getting to know some foster families a little better.
  • Watch some of your myths be debunked or clarified by watching others on the journey.

[shareable cite=”Jason Johnson”]So many of our questions and so many of our fears are answered and alleviated within the context of community.[/shareable]

  • Attend an event like Refresh Conference or CAFO Summit to begin surrounding yourself with community
  • You are not alone when prayerfully questioning, doubting, and thinking about beginning to do foster care.
What last words of hope and encouragement can you give our listeners when it comes to how foster care might affect their biological kids?

“We read stories in Scripture of regular people doing kind of strange things and of God producing really unbelieveable outcomes through them.  And we love them…but we don’t believe they actually can happen with us. ”

[shareable cite=”Jason Johnson”]We can just be regular people. We don’t have to be superheroes, or rockstars, or Saints.  We don’t have to be the Savior.  Not only do we not have to be, but we’re not even supposed to try to be.[/shareable]

“As much as I want to fix, and as much as I want to save, and as much as I want to snap my fingers and make all things right, I simply can’t.  I just need to free myself from the burden of trying to be that or do that.”

“That’s when God says, ‘Now that I’ve got you where I want you, let’s get some work done! Watch this!’

“He goes far beyond anything we could have expected.”

I’ll be honest, there have been times where my wife and I have said, ‘Let’s just be done with this thing…or let’s take a long break.’ And our kids have been the ones to encourage us to keep going.”

“Initially I was concerned about the effects it would have on them, only to find out they’re the ones that are pushing it the most.  For me, that is evidence of God saying, ‘Hey look, once I get you out of the way, I’m going to show you some things that you would not have believed had I told you before.'”

“We’ve seen God change our family, through foster care, and through the perspective shifting, heart changing opportunities that have been brought to our biological daughters and to our family.”

“Be free from the burden of trying to control everything. And be free from the burden of trying to save or to fix or to even be enough.”

“We can celebrate the fact that when we are finally in that place of freedom, that’s when God says, ‘Alright, buckle up. Watch this.’ It’s just really unbelievably beautiful ride when we’re able to get there.”

Resources and Links:

All quotes above are from Jason Johnson (unless noted).

Jason Johnson and his wife Emily became foster parents in 2012, they live in Texas and have four daughters. Following years of pastoral ministry and church planting experience, Jason now spends his time working with Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) equipping churches and encouraging families on their foster care and adoption journeys. Jason is also a speaker, coach, and blogs regularly at

Check out Jason’s books

Reframing Foster Care.

Everyone Can Do Something,

[reminder]What did you fear most about foster care before you were a foster parent? If you are just thinking about becoming a foster parent, what fears do you have? [/reminder]

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Foster Care And What I Feared Most For My Own Kids

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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!

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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.

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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.