Love Is There, Even If You Don’t Always Feel It!

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Sometimes it's hard to feel a genuine connection with our children. Especially if we have a lot of difficulties with them often. But trust that love is there. Even when it doesn't feel like it.

It’s no secret that some types of people are easier to love. It’s no secret that some types of people are hard to love. It’s not a secret that some types of kids are easier to love. There are even some types of kids who are SUPER HARD to love. The BIG secret however, is that sometimes they are your very own children. Even if they are biological. Sometimes connections are just easier with some than others.

And then we let our minds and our hearts converge on this lack of FEELING love, and we feel guilty. And when that feeling never comes, we want to quit.

But there’s a really important FACT about love. Love is an action. It’s a choice to act. Feelings are just that. Feelings. And feelings come and go. We feel happy one minute. We feel sad the very next minute. Feelings change with our circumstances. They change with our environment. We feel scared going down a dark alley, but just around the corner in the light as we see the hustle and bustle of the street, we feel peace again. In an instant. Our feeling changed.

We as parents (and spouses too) can’t base our love on our “feelings” in a current season of life. Even if the season is really, really, seemingly unending. It gets us into trouble. And plays with our emotions.

There are different types of love. 3 main ones which have Greek roots are eros, philos and agape. Eros is what we feel romantically. Which comes and goes. Philos is what we feel for our family and friends. Agape is defined as selfless love. Not receiving anything for ourselves. Just showing love. Acting in love. Showing up in love. Always.

I’ve been there. And some days I am there. For some of us, our kids have been home for years, and we still don’t FEEL the same connections with them as we do others. But that doesn’t mean we don’t love them.

My older boys (who are very typical older brothers…with trauma) were once again feeding into the issues and emotional instability of their sister (also a very typical younger sister…with trauma). It was something about her being weak and not doing something well. I was driving. Back and forth and back and forth they fought and belittled her.

Honestly, she makes it so easy to WANT to be mean to her.

But then something inside of me snapped. The things my boys were saying were just not true. She is absolutely the strongest girl I have ever met!  Physically the girl is a beast. And I’m jealous of her six pack. And most importantly, she’s endured more physical (and still does) and emotional pain in her short little life than I could ever imagine.

And she’s MINE! She’s MY daughter!

I pulled that car over and screamed at my boys and told them just how very wrong they were and that she was my daughter and I was not about to let anyone belittle her like that, EVEN IF it was my other children!

I got back on the road and realized how profound that moment was for me.

It’s in there.

I love her.

My love for her is in there. And I can even FEEL love for her. Because I absolutely do love her.

My love for her is in there. And I can even FEEL love for her. Because I absolutely do love her.

Everything I do for my children, even when I don’t feel like doing them, is love. Everything. Every IEP, every sleepless night, every dollar we spend on therapy, every draining, emotional and sometimes physical fight we endure. It’s all love. And that is a deep, never-ending love that only a mother and father are capable of. And sometimes, we see their little faces and see how soft their cheeks are and catch a tiny glimpse from them, and we experience that fleeting feeling and are reminded, we are so thankful we chose love.

Feelings come and go. And come again. We all move forward. And days turn into years. And feelings still will come and go. But we absolutely are loving our children! And we would do it ALL over again and again and again.

We must not allow ourselves to get caught up in our emotions and then buy the lie that our feelings try to sell us. Our love for our children is priceless and should never be likened to a cheap feeling. We’ve paid too high a price for that love.

I have a rather large sign in my living room hanging high. It says, “Always, Forever, And No Matter What.” I bought it so it would always be there to remind my children. I never knew I would need the reminder too. It’s a choice. And I choose to love. Always, forever and no matter what.

Have you struggled to feel love for your children in the past (or even now)? Why or why not? 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.