It is important to hear different perspectives to get a richer, fuller understanding of another person. Different perspectives are not wrong. They are just different. Hearing someone else's perspective does not mean you also must agree with it. It does not mean you must incorporate the beliefs into your thoughts or actions. It also does not harm you! You don’t have to yield to the perspective to show decency towards the person who sees things in a different way. Showing grace towards other view points is a way to show your goodness and decency.

Some perspectives may make your blood boil, but it is still 100% valid for the owner of that perspective. Have you ever thought that your negative reaction to different perspectives is caused because you are subconsciously comparing their story to your own? Comparing leads to division, disputes and those are dead ends.




Growing up I remember being called so many names. Not the good kind of names like Darling or Honey or Sweet Pea, but names like Vulture, Red, Coppertop (like the battery) and Orange Crush (like the soda). My hair was the color of a bright terra-cotta pot. It was so striking, before anyone asked my mom my name, they would comment on the color of my hair.

It was very annoying and hurtful, but it didn’t affect my whole life. My mom would say, “Look around. No one else has hair the color of yours. You are unique.” I was unique in school until my senior year. That freshman class had four natural red-headed kids and I was actually a little jealous because I was not the only one any more.


I constantly remember hearing how unique I was because I was the only one in school, in town for that matter, that had hair the color of the orange sun setting in the west. My mom encouraged me to not look like everyone else. Basically, it boiled down to this: how I responded.


Some of these words often confused in the adoption arena are heritage, ancestor, nationality and legacy. Here are the true definitions:


Heritage: This encompasses all the traditions, achievements, beliefs and memories that are part of your history since birth. You were immersed in these growing up. Some you may continue as your own, some you may have discontinued.

Ancestors: These are known people in your past that you can trace through information and stories. They can be biological or adoptive parents or both just on different branches.

Nationality: This is a group of people you may not even know. This is your race and ethnicity. You cannot change this no matter who raises you.

Legacy: It is something received from the past that you can choose to use, carry forward or discard. You will be a living legacy that creates good or bad qualities to pass to others.


What had to happen in your family tree just right for you to be where you are now? What heritage and legacy are you passing on to your family? If you don’t like what is in your past and handed down, use it as a teaching tool to educate your family and friends on better ways. My story was filled with murder, adultery, bad character, drinking, abuse and bad cooking. All I can do is do better and be better so when stories are told about me, there is an element of redemption, hope, perseverance and forgiveness others down the line want to emulate.


It all goes back to finding what you want to be faithful to and sticking with it. Be you! Find you. Don’t waste time on what you lost. Start creating memories based on what you found. Decide what that means. I decided to choose my adoptive parents' heritage and ancestry. I chose them back because my bio was unknown. Even now that I know my biological mother, I still chose the heritage I grew up knowing. I believe as adoptees we have something biological kids don’t: we can choose what we identify with. I chose to adopt all the good, bad and ugly of my adoptive family and I didn’t change my choice when I met my birth mother. I just added to my knowledge and it has made my life richer and fuller. I am still working on my legacy and how I want to be remembered.


What is Detrimental to Faithfulness? Deception.

What is detrimental to faithfulness? Deception. Being unsure, fickle and impressionable causes you to be deceived more easily. How can you ward off deception? Take a stance. What is stance? What does it mean to take a stand? It means you know what you stand for, you know what you value and you do it unapologetically.


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I can't wait to share more as I get each chapter complete. I would like your feedback. This is only an excerpt. The chapter is 29 pages. If you want to read it all, you'll have to wait for the release. Much, much more to come.


Erin


  • Erin E. McEndree

There are so many issues that adoptees deal with. One very common situation for adoptees is feeling left out of their bio family and/or their adoptive family. Maybe this is not a problem you deal with, but many do feel this way and I want to offer a different way to relate. If you have a recommendation for adoptees that has helped you, please put it in the comments.


Relate is the root word in relation. To relate means to have a connection as in a relationship.

When you see pictures on social media of bios or adoptive family together at birthdays, holiday party or other events having fun, is your first reaction to think, "They don't even know I exist."



Issue: You feel like you are not included.

Your mind goes into overdrive thinking about all the ways they are conniving behind your back to leave you out and hurt you. When in reality, they may not have been thinking of you at all. Why? They don't have a strong relationship with you. They may not have invited you on purpose because someone they have known for 20 or 30 years could not handle it emotionally, yet. Their relationships are stronger with people have known longer.


Trap: They are doing this to hurt you.

What do you do?

Number One: Don’t get offended. You don’t know the motives for situations. You have not been there during conversations about YOU. I've heard adoptees say they were handed to strangers. It only makes sense that when you do not know someone for decades, they are strangers, also. Now, bio think the adoptee is a stranger. It takes time to build trust. It takes memories. It takes time and many times to build a relationship that is comfortable being inclusive. And it takes longer when more people are involved. Don't get offended.

Number Two: Many people are selfish. Many people don't like change. When family seems comfortable, many people don't want to add another person to mess up the dynamic. Have you had this happen when a family member gets a boyfriend or girlfriend and they start coming to family events? Some people will never be okay with you, but being overbearing makes you seem pushy and possessive. Be OK with it. Maybe it’s not the right time. People are selfish...don't be that person.


Number Three: Take the initiative. You be the one to text, send cards, invite on outings and get together even if it is when you are driving through town. I realize this is harder when they live far away, but there are ways to connect. Be the one who is kind and thinks of others. It will finally pay off and be seen as caring.


Number Four: What are you going to do when it doesn't work? This step is so important. Decide beforehand what you will do when you see the social media pictures and you were not invited. Decide how much of it you will allow to affect you. I've heard of people setting a timer or time limit. They say, "I will think about this for an hour or until tomorrow at 9am and then I will let it go." If you really think about it, they are not thinking about you anyway so you are only hurting yourself.


Reality: Taking a different approach can change the whole relationship.

I know a person who sits in the shadows, does not interact, gets upset because she is not included and does not accept invitations when she is invited. Once, she wrote a long post about not being included, no one talking to her and not being invited to anything. I'm not sure what she was trying to accomplish, but many were really confused because they had tried to do all those things. Her reality did not match the situation. It is important to try and see things as they are and decide what part you have in it and what you can control and what you can't.


When there is an absence of relationship, an absence of time spent, an absence of memories made, there will be an absence of inclusion. Taking the initiative, over and over and being patient can change a relationship in time.


What are some ways you have been included or been inclusive that would help other adoptees on their life's journey?