Reaching The “Parent” Finish Line.

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

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I was looking at my Twitter feed, yesterday, when Show Hope tweeted this great quote from Dr. Karyn Purvis-
"I'm not looking to get kids to their 18th birthday...I'm looking to change the next 4 generations by bringing deep healing!"

She is the director of The Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. She is also the author of The Connected Child and leads a multi-site conference called Empowered To Connect. It’s a fantastic conference. I believe all parents, especially those who have adopted children from difficult places, should attend. It’s that good!

What she said resonated with me so much because, as parents, we all hope, wish, and even pray that our children make it to adulthood, and do so as healthy, productive, responsible human beings.

Be honest- when your children entered your world (either by birth or adoption), you didn’t say to yourself- “I really hope I do everything in my power to screw this kid up by the time they are 18.”

Absolutely not! That would be crazy, right?

If you were anything like me, as a brand new parent you were probably saying something to yourself like, “Dear Lord Jesus, merciful God in heaven, creator of all good things, please..please..PLEASE….I beg You…show me how to not completely and totally mess this kid up royally by the time they reach adulthood!”

We dreamed, we hoped, we even prayed. We did so because our goal was to see our children grow into healthy, productive, moral, integrity-filled adults some day. Even now, we dream of attending their graduation, standing up and screaming when their name is called, and later hosting a killer graduation bash with all of their friends and most of ours.

But the finish line is greater than our dreams. It reaches far beyond their 18th birthday, their graduation, or even that dreaded drive to a college campus to drop them off for their freshman year.

The reason Dr. Purvis’s quote is so powerful is this- the finish line you and I need to set our sites on reaches far into the future, long past their 18th birthday, and long after our lives have ended on this spinning planet. The goal we have for our children must not simply be to get them to age 18, or their first day of college, or the work force, alive and inhaling oxygen. It must be to raise them in such a way that our influence over their lives impacts the next generation, and the generation after that, and the generation after that.

The reason I have to stick to my guns now, when my daughter is 10 years old and I’m trying to teach her what it means to live with integrity, is that it will help her grow into an adult who lives with integrity. And that will directly impact her children, and her children’s children, and the children they raise. Make sense?

The reason I tell my son to treat others with love and respect, is that I want him to grow up with a compassionate and loving view of all people. Then, when he raises his children, he will teach them to love people and treat them with compassion. He will instill respect in them. Long after I’m dead and gone, a generation will love others because my son was raised to be compassionate and love others.

The reason I hug my kids tightly when they are falling apart is that I want to bring healing for my children and generations beyond my years.

This is extremely hard. Why? Because on the dark days, when you and I are at our wits end and we feel like giving up, we’re just hoping for one more day into the future. We’re not thinking about 50 years into the future! That’s why we need each other. That’s why we need to print out Dr. Purvis’s quote and hang it on our bathroom mirror where we’ll see it and read it everyday.

The finish line is in sight. If we put in the hard work, and stay committed, the dividends will pay off for generations to come.

Question: Do you struggle with this? How so? Comment now and join the conversation.


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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.