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by Abigail Van Buren

Single Mom Fears Having a Child She Doesn't Want

DEAR ABBY: I am the mother of a 7-month-old daughter, and another child is due in December. My husband and I were married last January and now we are being divorced. I'll be 21 in October, and I am terrified of being a single mother with two children, not to mention the fact that my husband has paid only $50 in child support. Clothes, food and diapers cost a lot of money.

Abby, this second child was a complete shock, and I'm not sure I really want it. I have no feelings for it. Am I making sense? I feel as though my world has no meaning except for my family, the child I have and myself. I don't know what to do.

I have dreams of how I could hurt myself badly enough to kill this child inside. I wish I wasn't pregnant, but I don't believe in abortion and I couldn't give it up for adoption.

Mom tells me I will have feelings for this baby when it begins to grow. Has anyone ever said this to you before? I will care for it, but I'm afraid that I will never love this baby. Scary, huh? What should I do? Help! -- SCARED IN WASHINGTON STATE

DEAR SCARED: If you are having dreams about how you can "hurt" yourself enough to be rid of the baby you say you may never love, cannot support, and did not want in the first place -- please talk with a professional counselor or a clergyperson about giving the child up. There are many couples waiting (and praying) for a child to adopt. They would love and provide for it in a way that you can�not. Please consider that option. You need not feel guilty for facing reality. I think you are sensible and courageous. I wish you well.

DEAR ABBY: I am a delivery driver for a major pizza restaurant in Atchison, Kan. I've seen all kinds of things while delivering pizza, but one thing I've seen often, worries me.

Many adults send their small children to answer the door and pay for the pizza. I've had children as young as 3 and 4 years old meet me at the door with no adult in sight. One woman sent her 5-�year-old son to the door, and when there was a problem with the order, he had to get her from a second-floor bedroom!

One little boy even let me in the house, saying that he was the only one at home. I love children myself and don't have a problem dealing with them, but people don't know me. How do they know I won't try to abduct their child, or do something terrible to him or her? We read about things like that happening to children every day!

Abby, please tell people that if they want to let their kids "pay" for the pizza, that's fine, but they should be within a few feet of the child when the child opens the door. It could prevent a terrible tragedy. -- A PIZZA DELIVERY DRIVER

DEAR DRIVER: Thanks for a valuable letter. You delivered something far more important than a pizza today.

What teen-agers need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with their peers and parents is now in Abby's updated, expanded booklet, "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)

4900 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64112; (816) 932-6600