Why You Should Never Give Up On Foster Care

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
We were foster parents for 9 years. They were extremely long and difficult at times. To be honest, we almost quit, especially when it seemed that we couldn't take one more day. But looking back we are eternally grateful that we didn't give up. We would have missed out on several big blessings!

I get it! Let me just say that clearly before we go too much farther. I completely understand why people want to walk away from foster care altogether. If you’re not dealing with difficult case managers, a court system that says one thing but does another, birth parents who continually bail on visitations, you’re dealing with children who are pushing you to your absolute limit!

We’ve been there. We have the scars to prove it. So, I get it.

In 2008, just 4 years after we began taking placements, we had both had enough. One of our placements was diagnosed failure to thrive, requiring round the clock care, and multiple feedings through an NG-tube daily. If we pushed the formula through the tube too fast, she would almost certainly vomit, and vomit a lot! To make matters worse, she was completely wild and out of control. At 3 years old she wouldn’t make eye contact with us nor listen to anything we told her. Kristin and I looked at one another one night, around 2 or 3 am, as we cleaned up the latest river of vomit, and knew exactly what the other was thinking- “This isn’t worth it!”

One weekend became one month, one month became 4 months, and 4 months were quickly turning into an entire year. At first the birth parents were accusatory every time we had visitations. We couldn’t do anything right. The case manager was cold and always preoccupied with other cases, and our other children were dealing with the trauma of watching their parents stretched so thin they could hardly make it to the next day. By November of that year, the children were reunited with their birth parents and we found time to breathe. And breathe we did.

This is not what I signed up for.

Several months ago I listened to several men, all foster parents, pour their hearts out, and share their wounds. “This is not what I signed up for,” one guy admitted, through tears. “I hate myself for some of the things that go through my head,” another shared. “I feel like I’m failing.” “I don’t want to do this anymore. I keep asking myself when it will be over.” Many of the children in their care were severely traumatized, difficult to handle, out of control and it was taking a toll on them, their marriages and their biological children.

My heart broke for all of them because I had many of the same wounds. I’ve walked this road. I too have shaken my fist at the heavens and told God that, “This was not what I signed up for.” I’ve looked at the children in our care and felt zero sympathy or affection toward them and hated myself for it. I know the guilt of wishing, even praying that the case manager would call and say they’ve found a different placement or the children were being reunited with birth parents soon. I have felt the frustration of trying to handle an out of control child and make sure my other children were okay and cared for.

There were days, especially in 2008, where I would’ve quit foster care on the spot if my wife had decided to, no questions asked. But, as I stand here and look back on our journey, 7 years later, I am glad we didn’t. We would’ve missed some amazing blessings that we couldn’t see from where we currently were at the moment.

You Have No Idea!

My 8-year old son Eli has an interesting perspective on the world around him. He makes me smile almost everyday with the words he uses and the funny things he says. I look at his 2 younger brothers and feel the same way. In fact, last night as I snuggled up to my 7 year old son, Jake, my heart filled up. “Gosh, I love this kid!” I thought to myself. “I couldn’t imagine my life without him!”

If we would have quit in 2008 we never would have known them. The two of them and our youngest son, Sam, came into our care in February 2009. When we were in the midst of our darkest moments in 2008 we couldn’t see very far into the future. Nor could we have believed, for one second, that a day would come, years into the future, where things would not be as difficult or defeating as they were then.

If we would have given up, and quit on foster parenting, we never would have known our 3 youngest sons.

Truth is, you may not see your story unfold in the first 3 years, 5 years, or even 6. We didn’t. We didn’t see the beauty of our family really unfold until 2012, eight years after we started foster parenting. It was a hard, defeating, and exhausting journey. One we thought would never end and eventually kill us. You may feel the same way right now. You may feel like this isn’t worth it or that you made a mistake and you just want to opt-out! Hang in there. Stay the course. Keep moving forward. Don’t quit! You have no idea how powerful the story is that you and your family are telling to the world. You may not see that story for what it is for years.

If we would have given up, and quit on foster parenting, we never would have known our 3 youngest sons. I couldn’t imagine our life without them!

Are you struggling through foster care right now? How can we help?

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.