She Nodded At Us

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

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I didn't want to go!

“Just another irritating support group,” I thought to myself, as we drove toward the city. “They’re probably going to tell us all the things we’re doing wrong as parents. And then, they’ll belittle us and make us feel stupid in front of everyone!” I was growing more and more frustrated with every mile I drove that afternoon.

In our near decade of parenting, eight of those as foster parents, we had been down the “judgmental support group” road before. Many times, actually. Before I had even arrived to the group’s location I had made up my mind. And I didn’t want to go. But I did. Mostly because I had left work early and then climbed Mt. Everest to buckle 6 squirrelly children into our van. Yep, we were going alright!

I’ll admit it- I childishly trudged toward the front entrance of the building. And, after checking our kids into the childcare, I childishly plopped down in my seat in a blandly decorated conference room. I didn’t make eye-contact with anyone because, honestly, my bad attitude was directing every ounce of my being at that moment. When the facilitator entered the room and said a cheerful “hello” to everyone I faintly smiled back at her and promptly returned my gaze to the solid table before me.

But then something happened. The facilitator opened up the group by asking all of us to share our personal stories as parents. Around the table, parent after parent shared their struggles, their joys, their regrets, their mistakes, and even their deepest and darkest sins. It was refreshing. No one pretended to have all the answers, including the facilitator! As each person shared she simply nodded. And then it got to us. And we shared, and we choked up, and we laughed.

And, she nodded…at me…at us!

My heart suddenly opened. My attitude drifted away. I felt understood! I felt heard! I felt hopeful! And I no longer felt alone.

All of that came from a simple nod.

Let’s be honest: as parents, we all need someone to nod at us, don’t we? We need someone to look at us and understand that we feel hopeless as parents sometimes. We need someone to hear us say that we feel disconnected from our kid and we don’t know how to reconnect. We need a voice or a look that says, “I know, I’ve been there, you’re not alone, there IS hope!”

Some of the most powerful, healing moments I’ve ever experienced as a human or a parent have not come from reading a book, attending a workshop, or seeing a counselor (although there’s nothing wrong with any of these). They’ve come when I’ve discovered that other people, other parents, struggle through the same things I do. When I’ve discovered that someone else’s teenager has made a horrible choice. Or someone else’s son battles tooth and nail with them over homework. Or someone else’s daughter has thrown an embarrassing tantrum in a public place. Or other parents have felt like giving up and quitting like I’ve felt like doing before.

The point of this blog is NOT to give parents all the answers to their problems. It’s not a “how to do this” or “how to do that.” Truth is- I don’t have all the answers to everything that parents struggle with. This blog is a nod. It’s an “I know. I’ve dealt with the same bad behavior. I’ve cried the same tears. I’ve felt the same hopeless feeling when my kid was out of control.”

Being a parent is a journey. It’s an adventure. And it’s one of the most painful, terrifying, joyful, difficult, miraculous things we will ever do as human beings. But it’s NOT hopeless. And you are NOT alone! We share a lot of the same wounds and scars.

No matter what age you or your children are, or even what stage of life you’re in as a parent- I invite you to join this community and take part in the discussion! Let’s do this together.

In what ways have you felt hopeless as a parent in the past, or now? How did you find hope? 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.