The Power Of A Strong Support Community.

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

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
When the adoption or foster care journey becomes difficult there is one thing that anchors your spirit and keeps you going in-spite of the challenge- a strong support community. How do you form something so important with the right people?

“You’re going to be alright…this is going to be alright,” our friend said to us. “I know it feels like a dead-end street but there’s hope. I’m here for you!”

She was right. More importantly, she was there. Those were two things we were certain of. In our darkest moment on the journey, she looked at us with eyes of compassion, a spirit that understood, and a gentle smile that said “I get it.” We found the strength we needed to get up and keep moving.

Adoption and foster care are very long and lonely roads to travel at times. They can take the life out of you and leave you completely defeated. Over the years, we’ve walked alongside of many families who were ready to throw in the towel. From a foster child who’s behavior was out of control, to severe attachment issues with their daughter from Russia, to fetal alcohol syndrome with their son whom they adopted through foster care. We understand, because we’re in the trenches with them.

Finding Hope.

For the first couple of years of our journey we didn’t have the kind of support we do now. We pretty much trudged along, hoping to find our way. It was lonely and overwhelming. This completely changed a few years ago.

Since we had adopted through foster care, we were invited to take part in a series of support groups. To be honest, we resisted because we had been down this road before. We would show up and they would share with us all of the ways that we were failing as parents. “We don’t need anyone to tell us that!” we both thought. However, we loaded all of our kids up in our van, and headed for downtown Indianapolis. Besides, they were offering free meals and free childcare. That was a win-win for us. If nothing else, we could say that we had a date night…with 12 other couples…in a bland conference room! Not exactly romantic or dreamy but we took it.

Once we got all of our children settled in we made our way up to the conference room and took our places around the table. No one spoke and no one looked at anyone else. This was as awkward as it could get. We found out later that everyone else in the room was thinking the same thing we were- “We don’t want to be here. We’re overwhelmed already. We don’t need anyone to tell us we’re failing!”

After several minutes the facilitator sat down and kicked things off. She welcomed us, shared that this was a safe place, and then asked us to go around the table and tell our stories. For the next hour we listened to each couple share their struggles, heartache, pain, hurts, fears, and failures as a foster and adoptive parent. We felt as if we were with friends, comrades on the road. The most amazing part of the meeting, however, came from the facilitator. As each person shared their honest story, she just nodded. Occasionally she would gently say, “I know. That’s hard. I know how much that hurts!”

A Snapshot Of True Support.

That night we walked away feeling alive, because we discovered we were not alone. There were others who had the same wounds and were limping through life just like we were. It was empowering. There’s something healing in finding out you’re not alone, isn’t there? In the years since we have developed a support community of people who…

  • Get it. Our closest friends, who share life with us, get us. They understand why we adopted and what the major trials are like. They get it because they’re in it with us.
  • Do not judge. We don’t like judgmental people in the first place, but our friends would never judge anything about us, or any dark moment we go through. Let’s be honest- who needs to be judged anyway?
  • Are in the trenches. It always makes it easier to have people on your side who are also in the trenches of foster care and adoption. There’s a unique perspective when you are living the same lifestyle.
  • Point. Our support system points us to healthier places. We know that through our struggles and trials we will come out of them better people because the people who are walking with us, point us to healthier destinations.

That’s what a strong support community looks like. There’s incredible, transforming power when you intentionally surround yourself and your journey with people like this. There’s an abundance of strength in having others on the journey with you. It’s the only way you can do this life!

Have you checked out our new eBook and video series, The Adoptive Parent Toolbox yet? We spend an entire chapter discussing the power of a strong support community. You can access it now by clicking here. For a limited time we’re offering a really cool bonus online class starting this summer!

Do you have a support community? How have they helped you on the adoption road?

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
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.