• Erin E. McEndree

These days it is so hard to filter through the drama, devastation, lies and hopelessness. It is around every turn in our social media feeds. It is popping up in just about every commercial on the telly. It is in every conversation that starts with, "How are you doing during the shutdown?" We are reminded every day when we have our kids at home doing school, staying up way to late, sleeping all day as we stay home from work.


I urge you to do a couple of things to keep stress, anxiety and depression away. I believe it is possible to have a healthy, resilient and thriving life if you put these 4 simple things into practice in your life and the life of your family.


1. Turn off the news. Gain information on best practices for your family and turn off the news. I learned everything I needed to know in the first week and everything after that started a political tsunami that was not relevant to me. I can't do anything about shutdowns, new social distancing rules, governors banning what seems to be a great medication or anything outside my immediate community.

2. Focus on your immediate community. Call your neighbors when you go to the grocery store to see what they need. Plan to go out of your way to positively affect the people who live on your route to the store. Put a card in your neighbor's mailbox. Kids draw a picture and tape it to their front door. Infect your community with bright spots to help clear the gray clouds away. 3. Keep the gray clouds at bay with what you choose to focus on. These past few weeks have been cloudy, gray and cold. Winter has come back where I am. We have to be intentional about what we put in front of us and our family. This is my verse from now on, Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brothers and sisters whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Keep a gratitude chart on the table and have everyone write on it every day.

4. Don't dwell or focus on the negative. I can't get bogged down in the loss of my daughter's Senior year. No tennis meet and she was striving to go to State. No BETA convention and she was representing her school in the drawing contest that she already won 2nd place. Maybe no prom and her dress is beautiful. Maybe no graduation and all the family was coming and another opportunity for my parents and my birth mother's family to visit again. Her college tour is cancelled and will now be a virtual tour. WAIT!!! I am focusing on the negative (to make a point). I have to focus on the positive! I am spending more quality time with my family. We have a movie marathon going on. We planted a garden together. My new washing machine will be here Wednesday---I have't had to do laundry in over a week (that is positive, right?). I've found some good recipes. I have contacted all my neighbors when I go to the store and delivered them some groceries. Today, April 6th, is my husband's birthday. We are saving so much money not going out to eat. WHAT DO YOU FOCUS ON? Today, I started a new topic in my FB group: Rise Above Stress, Anxiety and Depression. I post every morning at 5am. I would love for you to join me for strategies to shift your mindset away from negative thoughts and how to reboot your brain to think on the positive when it wanders on its own. The link for Steeped In Purpose is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1182504291810649/ I would love to see you in the group! Where does your mind go when it wanders? I truly believe your focus determines your reality.

I am excited to share what God has done in my life. Over the past few years I have been growing in confidence to share my adoption story. My story didn’t feel complete until recently because I needed time to make my story relevant in all three relationships of the adoption triad: adoptive parents, adoptees and birth mothers. Although my story is far from over, I want to share it with you in the hopes you may find hope, healing and peace in your life.




The Introduction #1 (I change it all the time and add new things.)

Adoption can be extremely difficult. There are hundreds of issues parents have to navigate and add an adopted child to the family and the number of issues goes up significantly. When parents keep secrets, don’t have good parenting skills to start with and fall prey to unattainable worldly standards, there is a good chance any child will feel mistrust, shame, neglect and fall into despair.


There are hundreds of issues children have to deal with and add being adopted and the intensity of these issues goes up dramatically. When lies of inadequacy, worthlessness and belonging are not countered with Truth, children naturally feed those lies. They have to be taught to believe the Truth and if the parents are lacking in parenting skills and knowledge of the Truth themselves, children will feed temporary fixes like bad relationships, addictions or self destructive behaviors. As Julia Roberts character, Vivian, said in Pretty Woman, “The bad stuff is easier to believe.” It is a fact that negativity damages the brains capacity for positive. (More in chapter #)


There are hundreds of issues birth mothers have to overcome. The secrecy, the guilt and isolation. When not dealt with in a support system, the embers glow deep in the heart along with a fear that at any moment a brisk breeze of revelation will ignite a fire. It can consume relationships, breaks trust and change the makeup of a family forever.

Purpose for this book is for 3-fold:


* Give hope to adoptive parents by encouraging them to instill their traditions and heritage as they build an unshakeable foundation so their child can counter feelings of abandonment, rejection and uncertainty.

* Offer healing to adoptees by inspiring them to educate others about adoption issues instead of allowing triggers to develop that cause anger and resentment.

* Cultivate peace in birth mothers by helping them look at the larger purpose and discern personal growth from their circumstances.


If you know anyone who could benefit from my adoption journey, share this with them. I would love to connect and answer any questions. My website is www.steepedinpurpose.com You can also sign up for my Purpose Periodicals and the blog will be sent directly to your inbox.


I am excited to share what God has done in my life. Over the past few years I have been growing in confidence to share my adoption story. My story didn’t feel complete until recently because I needed time to make my story relevant in all three relationships of the adoption triad: adoptive parents, adoptees and birth mothers. Although my story is far from complete, I want to share it with you in the hopes you may find hope, healing and peace in your life.



The Acknowledgements

This book is possible because of the way my parents, Sandy and Larry, and extended family presented adoption to me. All of you voluntarily chose to love and nurture two children as your own that were not yours biologically. You instilled in me a deep trust through affection, acceptance of my individuality, purpose for my beginning, my presence completed a family, immersion into your heritage and support for my search when it was time. Because of the children’s books you read to me, I knew I was adopted before I could comprehend the concept, but you made it seem a natural, unique part of me that was tied to my identity. Thank you for weaving adoption into my life and not keeping it a secret. I never felt rejected, abandoned or alone. On the contrary, I felt loved, chosen, blessed, included and unique for having a beginning like no other kid I knew. Adoption was something I was proud of and I demonstrated that when I announced it to my teachers as a small child. It is so prevalent in this world to search for validation from others to feel accepted, included and complete, but you taught me to look higher than this world. You taught me worth didn’t depend on earthly opinions or situations. You taught me that my worth was found in the One who carefully knit me together and marked out my appointed time and place in history. You taught me that Jesus validates my story. And that is why this book was born: to share hope to adoptive parents, healing to adoptees, and peace to birth mothers using my experiences of unconditional love shown to me from before I was conceived. Thank you!


This book would not be complete without coming full circle to meet my birth mother, Jeanette, and her supportive husband, Glenn along with their immediate and extended family who welcomed my family with understanding and acceptance. The times we have spent together have been effortless and endearing. I thank you for treating Jeanette with kindness and grace because I know putting me up for adoption was the hardest thing she ever had to do. Thank you!


If you know anyone who could benefit from my adoption journey, share this with them. I would love to connect and answer any questions. My website is www.steepedinpurpose.com You can also sign up for my Purpose Periodicals and the blog will be sent directly to your inbox.

© 2018 by STEEPED IN PURPOSE.