Will My Child Ever Be Able To Live Independently?

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We're parenting children who have come from past trauma. Some have major special needs that require us to be hands on all the time. This begs the question: will he or she ever live on their own, apart from us?

I pick my child up from the residential facility he lives in on a warm Sunday morning. He’s in high spirits as we slowly walk through the reinforced doors and down the sidewalk toward my car. Our conversation bounces from movies, to who the Colts are playing later that day, to whether or not I think Thanos can be defeated in the next Avengers film. It feels good to be with him. I love him deeply.

Unfortunately, we’re in this season because he can’t keep himself safe right now. We have tried everything to create circumstances in which we can all live together. Two years ago, the choice was taken from us. It has been heart-wrenching to be separated from him. It is also good to know that he is safe.  He’s a good kid, but a vital part of his brain is missing due to pre-natal drug and alcohol exposure. He often is incapable of keeping himself, or others around him, safe.

On this day, for the next 10 hours, he’s all ours, and to the core of my being it feels good. This feels right. He should be with us.

Later in the day, as I watch him help his mother with a project on our farm, a series of questions flash through my mind. “Will he ever not need assistance? Will he be able to live in an apartment when he’s in his 20’s? Go to college? Hold down a job? Get married? Raise a family of his own?”

Until this point, he hasn’t been able to do anything on his own. Granted he’s still a kid, but he has had to have support 24 hours a day since he was little. The tragedy of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is that it primarily damages the pre-frontal cortex of the brain. Logic, reasoning, impulse control are all affected. Impulsive choices often ensue. It’s exhausting. For him and us.

Most parents are envisioning their child moving into the college they chose, and then graduating, and then getting a job, and then raising a family. And then…ahh, the golden years where they travel to the kid’s house, stay for the weekend, and spoil those precious grandkids!

Here’s what I’ve journeyed through and now grasped fully…

My child may never fully live independently.

He may always need my assistance, or involvement, beyond that of other children. The tough thing about the trauma our kiddos have gone through is that it impacts their entire life, well into adulthood. And that, in turn, impacts ours. And I’m okay with that.

He’s smart, and funny, and charismatic. He has so much potential. He might be independent one day but if he can’t be, we will support him.

Let’s together believe in a bright future. Let’s believe in our children. They are beautiful, and they are worth it!

Share your thoughts 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.