The Perks Of Adopting An Older Child.

Author of 4 books, podcaster, parent trainer, wife and mother.

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The adoption journey, for us, has been filled with many unique and exciting moments. A few of those moments happened several years ago when we adopted our two oldest daughters. We couldn't imagine a more beautiful storyline to add to our family.

I was 8 years old when my first daughter Rachel was born. Scandalous? Not really. I wasn’t even aware of her arrival on this earth. Nothing changed for me. She took her first breath on March 21, 1986 and I played pretend with my friend Nora at recess. I completed 2nd grade without a single thought of becoming a mother. Her mother and father delighted in her, they watched her take her first steps as I navigated the 3rd grade. They heard her first words but her voice wouldn’t fall upon my ears for another 15 years.

My second daughter Krystal was born August 31, 1991 the week before I entered 9th grade. I was stressing about my new high school schedule and leaving my middle school friends behind. I was worried about having someone to sit with at lunch and wondering if I should go out for student council. She entered into this world and into the arms of another mom and dad. They marveled at her beauty but I wouldn’t lay eyes on her for almost 16 years.

When I was 23, I moved to Indiana with my youth pastor husband, two cats and a very rambunctious puppy. Rachel was a student in our youth ministry. I met her when I was feeling very overwhelmed on a youth trip. I’m a bit of an introvert and when I saw her sitting off in the corner reading a book, I didn’t feel sorry for her. I was jealous, and wished I had been smart enough to bring a book. I walked over and said, “What are you reading?” We ended up talking for an hour about all the books we love. Later that week she asked Mike to baptize her and when we arrived home she invited us to meet her mother. Her dad had passed away when she was 3 and her mother was very ill. We loved her mom the minute we met her and our friendship with the family grew.

When I was 26, Rachel’s Mom passed away. Rachel was 18. We stood beside her family at the funeral. She came to stay with us the same day. She loved her mom. We would never try to replace her. We offered what we had and she was gracious with our shortcomings.

When I was 29, I was the mom of three and foster mom to many. I met Krystal when she came to live with my friends. She was delightful, funny and shy. Our friend’s family was growing and it was a natural transition for Krystal to come live with us. The year she turned 16 her father passed away and the following year her birth mom relinquished custody. She asked us to adopt her two weeks before her 18th birthday. The year I turned 31, I became the official mom of an 18-year-old. Our family fast forwarded past diapers, pre-school and missing teeth. We jumped straight into high school graduation and college visits.


When I was 32 Rachel came to us and asked for a very unique Christmas present. She wanted to be officially adopted. She was 24 years old. She had been a part of our family since before we brought home our first child. She was a constant in our lives, she was the undefined family member. The honorary sister, the dearly loved friend. “Really? Yes, of course yes!” We responded with tears in our eyes.

When I was 35 Rachel and her soon to be husband sat with us at our kitchen table after the kids had gone to bed. Rich fumbled to find the words and nervously looked away. Rachel just grinned. “I would like your blessing to marry your daughter.” He asked, and we grinned back. We were honored to be included and thrilled at the addition to our family. They married in a small ceremony in our back yard just weeks later.

When I was 36 Krystal gave birth to our first granddaughter. Layla was welcomed by 3 aunts ages 28, 13, and 12 and four uncles ages 11, 7, 6 and 5. She has playmates and role models. They look out for her and love her. Mike and I are the youngest grandparents at the park and only a handful of years older than our son-in-law. This is an unusual life we live. We are childrearing with one foot deeply immersed in day to day parenting and the other in the joy of grand parenting. We love every minute of this life.

Today I am 38 years old. I just celebrated my 17th wedding anniversary. I talked to my oldest on the phone. I took my 6 youngest to church. I helped my 2nd oldest move into her new apartment. Finally, I spent the afternoon playing with my two-year-old granddaughter.

Is older child adoption difficult? Yes. There are challenges in every type of parenting. This type of parenting has brought many more unique and wonderful blessings than it has brought hardship. Our life is richer and fuller because of our two grown daughters. If I could tell my 8-year-old self one thing, it would be this, “This is the day your life is changing, you don’t know it yet but you are in for an amazing adventure.”

Are you the adoptive parent of an older child? 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.