Will My Husband Ever Be On The Same Page As Me With Adoption?

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

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It's not always the case, but often, men can be the toughest nut to crack when it comes to the adoption journey. I know from personal experience. There are a few reasons why this happens, and some key steps you can take to eventually arrive at the same place with him on this journey.

Back in the day, before we got married, I said no to just about everything. In fact, if shaking my head was an Olympic sport, I would have taken the gold. I was such a difficult person to get along with in those days. One of the biggest topics Kristin and I disagreed over was parenting. Sitting in my metallic blue Pontiac Firebird one cold November night, in the fall of 1998, we had a discussion fight over parenting. Kristin wanted to adopt. I did not. At all. Period. Case closed. End of discussion. Or, so I thought.

It wasn’t that I was against adoption…I just didn’t understand it. On a larger scale (that I can fully admit to now, 18 years later), I was afraid. Of what, I really don’t know. Maybe my limited understanding prompted the fear of the unknown? Or perhaps I was so dead-set on having children biologically that I left little room for any other idea.

All I know, is that today, I see the desperate need for foster families. I believe that children deserve permanency and a place to belong even if it can’t be with their biological families. I strive every day to be a better parent for my own children and I write what I have learned so that other parents might have a leg up at supporting their own children better as well. When I tell the story of my early days to people, they hardly believe it. But it’s true. There was a time when Kristin wondered, “Will he ever be on the same page?” If you’re a spouse who’s feeling that way right now, hang in there. You’re not alone. As a man who was once extremely resistant to the idea of foster care and adoption, let me encourage you with this…

  • Your husband may not be against it, he may just be afraid.
  • Nagging, begging, or criticizing doesn’t work. (but you probably already know that ;-))

The first point may have caught you off-guard, but I’m willing to bet the second one didn’t surprise you at all. Let’s talk through each point, one by one. Chances are your partner is doing the very thing he’s been hard-wired to do- protect. Protect his home, protect his assets, protect you, and protect his family. Now, while this protector characteristic can get distorted, convoluted, and even be taken to extremes, keep in mind- this is a good trait to have. The problem, however, is that protector traits can quickly cause fear to build up, even when there’s nothing to fear.

Second, and again, nagging, begging, or criticizing him over and over does not work. If you feel like you’re hitting a brick wall, you probably are. Besides, if he did decide to concede, give in, just to stop you from nagging him, he’s not really entering the adoption journey for the right reasons. He’ll feel resentment and that eventually will boil over into everyday life, and your family.

There’s a better way to go about things. As I think back to our early days, Kristin exercised incredible wisdom in how she approached the topic. What she did for me back then, was nothing short of brilliance. Here are the 5 biggest things she did that eventually led me to fall in love with adoption…

  1. Listen to his fears. One of the biggest reasons we stay on different pages, in a marriage relationship, is a lack of listening. The adoption journey is no exception. We spend a lot of time hearing the narrative in our own head but not what our spouse is actually saying. If your spouse is hesitant move forward with adoption, listen to what he has to say.
  2. Invite him on the journey. Invitation always beats nagging. Invitation communicates, “I want you here. I want to do this with you.” Nagging communicates, “You have to be here even if you don’t want to be.” When you’re invited you feel wanted.
    Invitation always beats nagging.
  3. Create space for community. There were two big things Kristin did for me years ago, that were pivotal on our adoption journey. She created space for me to enter into community. At the time I served as a youth pastor in a small church in Indiana and I was part of a network of youth pastors who met monthly to swap ideas, and talk. It just so happened that one of the guys in the network was an adoptive parent. He and I got to talking. This went on for months. Eventually, my fears began to ease. In the process, Kristin didn’t say anything or do anything. She allowed the community I was in to lead me.
  4. Pray. An older, wiser person, told Kristin, “Stop nagging him, and start praying for him.” I was a stubborn, self-centered, prideful, 25-year old kid back in those days. Even though I should have been listening to my wife’s heart a little closer, I wasn’t. Kristin committed to praying for me. She never nagged me, never pushed me, just patiently waited. Prayer works friends. It changed my heart. Believe me- if my heart can change, so can your husbands! If you’re not a person of faith, that’s okay. You can still pray for heart and mind change.
  5. Give it time. This may be like turning an aircraft carrier. Lots of time, lots of space. Your husband may not respond immediately to your prayers, your invitations, or your listening ear. You have to give this time. And it may be a lot of time. She brought up the idea of adoption in 1998. We finalized our first adoption in the summer of 2002. Hang in there. Remember…a lot of time and a lot of space. If you two are meant to adopt…it will happen!

Today, I love my children more than anything, and I couldn’t imagine my life without the storyline of adoption. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Have you heard about Road Trip for foster and adoptive dads? A few years ago a couple of friends and I got to talking and dreaming, and we launched the first-ever event in the mountains of Colorado exclusively for foster and adoptive dads. We’re excited to hang out this fall. Registration is now open but space is filling up. Click here to register today!

Has this been a struggle for you? 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.