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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I adopted three children when they were infants. They are in their teens now and have always known they were adopted.

We have told them that if they wanted to know more about their birth mother, we would tell them. All three have said they had no interest in knowing.

Two years ago, out of the blue, I received a letter stating, "I am your daughter's 'real' mother and I would like to see her."

Abby, this letter was addressed to us at our home. (We had been assured by the attorney who handled the adoption that the biological parents would never have this information.)

I feel angry and betrayed.

We have not shared this letter with our daughter but on the day we received it, we asked her again if she wanted to know more about her background. She laughed and said, "Why would I need it?"

Should I take her at her word? I have the feeling this may come up again. What would you do? -- FEELING GUILTY

DEAR FEELING GUILTY: I would be honest and tell my daughter that I had received a letter from her birth mother expressing a desire to meet her. If the girl still has no interest in meeting the woman, I would ask her to write a short letter to that effect. Forward it to the birth mother and request that she not try to contact your daughter again while she's still a minor.

DEAR ABBY: We recently attended the wedding of a grandson of a very dear friend, and sent the couple a lovely gift of china and silver. Imagine our surprise when we received the following thank-you note, which I'm enclosing (I've changed the names):

"Dear Mr. and Mrs. Jones,

"Thanks so much for the beautiful 5PPS and for 5PCP1S. That was very kind of you. Love, Sue and George"

My husband thinks we ought to write Sue and George and ask them what "5PPS" and "5PCP1S" mean, so we can be sure they received the lovely place settings we sent them.

We'd have to ask our friends for the couple's address, and I'd hate to have to tell them about the note. Is this format acceptable nowadays or are we completely out of step? -- DUMBFOUNDED IN NORTH TEXAS

DEAR DUMBFOUNDED: I, too, was dumbfounded, so I called the department store from which you purchased the gift. "5PPS" and "5PCP1S" are the manufacturer's stock codes for the silver and china place settings you sent. I'm sure your gift was received, but whether the carton had been opened and the contents examined at the time the thank-you note was written is debatable.

Don't embarrass the grandparents by calling the note to their attention. But let's hope the couple gain some experience in properly expressing their appreciation before it's time to send them a baby gift.

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600