• Erin E. McEndree

Dear 2021,

I admit I lost the word I chose for 2020. Since everything was topsy-turvy, I was out of sorts and I misplaced my word. I didn't reject it. I just neglected it, actually.



In years past I have had a word to strive for like Impactful (2016), Obedient (2017), Breakthrough (2018) and Chosen (2019) when I started my book about my adoption journey. However, I had to go looking for my 2020 word in some notes to recall it. It was EQUIPT.


These words actually mean something and I can trace what I have learned and what they taught me.


I have adopted a word for 2021, have you? My word is BUILD. I can't wait to see what I can build this year in my business, my book and my family.


For me to build, I must admit I have to reject things that are counter productive to building. I have to reject the Nay-Sayers. I have to reject those that do not support me. I have to reject the ones that feel the need to change MY story. I have to admit my weakness and let go of things that hold back construction. So, I have decided to choose a word to reject this year.


The word I have chosen to reject is DISTRACTION. Distraction kills. Attention builds.


So, 2021, you have been put on notice! I am charging forward with ambition and purpose. I am going to discern where my time wasters are coming from and refuse to accept their enticing and alluring temptation. I choose to aim my attention to things that build something positive in my life.


These distractions are different for everyone. Some things that cause me to loose focus may not do the same for you. I'd love to know what distracts you from being your ideal self.


Need some help focusing this year? Need to find purpose in your life? Need to overcome fears that distract you from using your God-anointed gifts? You can peruse my website, sign up for my Purpose Periodicals, shop my programs or Contact me for a free chat.

www.steepedinpurpose.com

  • Erin E. McEndree

Updated: Feb 2

To the FB adoption 'support' groups I am a part of; there are four: I thought I would like reading about different perspectives of adoption than my own and sharing my perspective. However, I have learned to stay in the shadows. I shrink back from posting my feelings because so many negative reactions follow. I feel so alone. I though people would be supportive even if they didn’t agree because we have the same thing in common: adoption.



My perspective is defiantly in the minority. I wonder if people want me to validate THEIR story by not sharing MY story. Isn't that being hypocritical? They want validation and tell their experience, but can’t validate others seeking the same unless their stories match. Well, my story does not match 90% of the stories in the group, but it comes from the same adoption root. I feel like people want me to feel something I don’t and accuse me of being in denial or living in a fog. I won't be fake just to fit in. I feel rejected from the very people who hate feeling rejected and should understand the most, but because my story is different, they can’t even show empathy or see a different perspective from their own. Many of the negative feelings people are weighted down with from their adoption are the feelings hoisted on me with every negative comment. You make me feel like something is wrong because I don’t feel your negativity. Shame on you. I feel abandoned by other adoptees not my birth mother. I feel alone in this journey while surrounded by other adoptees. I don’t feel supported or encouraged. I am led to believe that my story is worthless.


Why is this? Is it because I don’t have adoption trauma? Is it because I feel chosen and God has a purpose for my life and the life of my parents and birth mother? Is it because I feel special and that adoption makes me stronger, interesting and it gives me hope? I never knew telling facts about how I came to live with my family and how I was raised… MY STORY… would cause such negativity against me. Oh, the outrage if I started telling those who would post their opposing view that they didn’t have to feel that way if they would just choose positive thinking. Well, I’m getting told I’m in denial and in a fog. I’m getting told I should feel one way because all adoptees do, even when I don’t. People would get pissed if I told them adoption trauma wasn’t real and they just made it up, but its okay for them to tell me I’ve got it and just don’t know it.


The only trauma I’ve ever had was being in these groups and not being able to share my feelings or my story or what has helped me because, and I quote, “You are too positive.” I can’t be me. I have to say half truths to not get jumped. I have to stay in the shadows and shrink back from offering something that has helped me tremendously because I will get pounced on because people can’t let the words help who it will and scroll past if it doesn’t apply to them. The saddest part to me is that I know others feel the same way, but stay in the shadows as well when someone is getting pummeled and bloody with words. People won’t jump in even on a post because words really do hurt. I feel no support from people who are in my corner, because speaking up makes them a target also. This community of like minded folks has created in me what the same issues they run from. I have no community in my community. I have no family in my family. I feel abandoned. I feel rejected. I feel alone. I never did before I got here. But the constant barrage of telling me how I should feel (trauma) or how I shouldn’t feel (blessed and special and chosen) has almost created someone just like 90% of the people in the group.


I am so glad I have been in the Word every day and read what God says about me.

I am so glad I have unshakeable HOPE. I am so glad I understand that my beginning (birth mother and birth father) do not define me in any way…God does. I have been blessed with parents who gave me the best coping skills that have been around since Adam and Eve and continue to stand the test of time. I am so glad that I do not have to know my birth father to fill in missing pieces…God has already filled them. I am so glad He gave me my birth mother to know, but I was okay not knowing because I have faith in the One who made me.


So for those of you who have difficult stories of your beginning, abusive stories with your adoptive parents, rejection from your biological OR just the feeling of being alone, depressed, anxious or worthless, I understand many of those feelings even though I did not experience them in my body or mind. I experience them everyday in these ‘support’ groups for adoptees. I will always be positive even in struggle. I will always look at the bright side. This does not mean I don’t validate your feelings. I know they are real. I never say ‘you should’ but I do give examples of what has helped me. If my life story, my examples, my Truth, my coping skills triggers you, then let’s just agree to disagree and scroll on by or better yet, say, “That is nice even though I can’t relate to that,” or "Interesting," or "I never thought of it that way." Because saying, “Every adoptee has trauma,” or “Every adoptee has abandonment issues, feels like they don’t fit in and feels out of place,” or "You are in denial," is not helpful to those of us who do not have trauma, who don’t feel abandoned, who fit in perfectly with their family and bio family simultaneously (like I do) and who feels like they are in the perfect place in their life.


Because of these groups, I have become very passionate about writing my story to give hope to adoptive parents, healing to adoptees and peace to birth mothers. I am writing a book and will share excerpts here and I will start some video posts as well soon! I pray that my perspective will resonate with you, help you shift your thinking away from negativity, help you alter your negative thinking and, most of all, help you connect to the One who can make change possible even when you don’t feel it now. I want to share the harmony I have with the Spirit with others as I walk in what God says about me. I hope you join me on this journey. A book is the best avenue I have decided because I can write my story without being told my story is wrong…until it is published. :) After that, I am sure the floodgates will open with people trying to infuse their story into my story and saying mine is wrong based on theirs.


Take away:

1. If you are in a support group of any kind, make sure they do not marinate in negativity. 2.Make sure they are moving themselves and you towards healing and coping skills.

3. It is your responsibility to do things that move you towards healing.

4. I've learned I am not alone, but realized I am very alone on my journey at the same time.

5. Implementing strategies for healing is my responsibility.

  • Erin E. McEndree

What is your speciality? Are you great at numbers? Are you a master crafter? Are you a talented singer or a love to paint? Is your passion homeschooling? Have you dealt with a divorce? Is your child estranged from the family? Have you lost a child or lost all your possessions in a fire?



What is your speciality that sets you apart? Do you know others who share in your circumstance or talent? Mine is being adopted. I have found several key elements in my upbringing that my parents instilled in me that helped me be secure, confident and realize I was exactly where I was supposed to be in history and time (Acts 17:26) to help lead others to the Lord.


Have you ever noticed that people who have not experienced the same circumstances you have, try as they might, they just can’t understand? I’m not saying people don’t try to listen and encourage. I’ve had many sweet ladies listen to my story, pray for me and encourage me. However, there is aways something missing. There is a deficit in their eyes that only knowledge with no personal experience of the circumstance cannot fill. Women who share my experience, even if the details are some different, have a deeper understanding and better feedback.


Who better to encourage those going through a divorce than someone on the other side of the divorce. They can pull you through. Who better to support those who have lost a child than someone who has lost a child. They can bolster your grief. Who better to help those struggling with all the negative emotions of adoption than someone who has been there and lives on the positive side of adoption. This is my God-anointed story He intends me to use to help others with similar experiences. I am looking for my kindred tribe. Who is yours?

I have been led to help adoptees overcome feelings of rejection and abandonment. I have a deep desire to tell adoptive parents what my parents did to help me feel secure, loved, wanted and accepted. I have been drawn to birthmothers to help them relinquish shame and guilt.


My aim is to help adoptees, adoptive parents and birth mothers focus on the blessings right in front of them and identify with what they are grateful for in spite of difficult circumstances.

So whether you flunked out of college and are now a successful business owner or a master chef or delicately merging two families gracefully, whatever your story, use it to help others along their life’s journey.


I have been tasked by God to write a book about my adoption experiences, but I truly believe it will help anyone who believes they are adopted by God through his Son and co-heirs with Christ. I’ve learned many adoption stories are heart breaking. Many do not turn out well for a slew of reasons. But I also know, if you look farther back than biology, let’s say over 2000 years, you can be confidence you are loved beyond measure, secure in your existence, hopeful in your future and created for a purpose.


Find and embrace your story and help others along the way. Volunteer to be a tutor. Help at a benevolence center. Pray with someone who has lost a parent like you. Find what connects you to others and reach out. Make your tribe bigger. Use your life to encourage others. Don’t waste your hardships allowing them to overtake you and keep you stuck. Overcome their negative control and use them for good. You are an overcomer! What is your story to share?

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