“I’ve Failed Over And Over And Over Again”

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

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The caregiver journey is often characterized by failure, disappointment, and loss. It leaves us feeling hopeless. But what if that was leading us toward success in some small way?

It may seem odd to talk about caregiver success on the foster and adoption journey. Mostly because, we don’t really know how to measure success do we? What we do know how to measure is failure, or at least the failure we often feel as caregivers. Our child’s behavior is out of control = failure! We lose our temper and say some things we can’t take back = failure! We are up to our ears in bad behavior and we think it’s because of us = failure!

We absorb failure into our body and brain to such a degree that we stop believing we can be anything beyond it. We concede that our circumstances will never be better than they are now. Can I get an amen?

If that’s you, let me just say, I get it. Totally. 100%. Been there a gazillion times over the past 20 years.

As I was thinking about the struggle we have as caregivers, and helping some of our one-to-one coaching group members understand how their failure does not define them, I came across this iconic quote from Michael Jordan..

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.” ~ Michael Jordan

My first thought was, it’s MICHAEL JORDAN for crying out loud! Arguably the best basketball player, and maybe the best pro athlete to walk the face of the earth. Why in the world is he talking about failure? Better yet, HOW in the world can he talk about failure? He’s the epitome of success in every way, shape, and form!

But then, as I typed up this quote in an email to some of our members, I re-read what I was typing. And that’s when it hit me. Success has everything to do with getting up and moving forward, even when you’ve failed. That’s what Michael Jordan is saying through these words.

What if success was more about the recovery than the original action?

What if it was found in how we seek forgiveness, and forgive, when we blow it, or things erupt in our house?

What if it was about getting up and moving forward after a big fall out with our child?

Michael Jordan is a sport’s legend. You don’t get to that place by never failing, and you certainly don’t get there by never moving past failure. He’s failed over and over and over. And yet, he’s the poster of success. How? I believe he achieved this by choosing to get up, when he was down. By choosing to not let failure stop him from becoming great. Through deciding that he was not going to be defined by mistakes.

Yes, dear caregiver, we have failed. We’ve made mistakes as numerous as the stars in the night sky (I’m pointing at me more than you, by the way). But that is not what defines us. And that is not the end-all of our journey with our children. Today is a new day, with a new opportunity to do things different. To continue to love our children, and pursue them, even if we’ve failed them.

Success is not contingent on whether or not we fail in this life. We’re going to. Trust me. Success is contingent on what we choose to do after we’ve failed. Whether or not we get up, dust ourselves off, keep moving forward, and except that we fail as human beings, but we are still good.

That’s how we find success.

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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.