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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I am 11 years old. I'm in the sixth grade and I'm adopted. I don't have a mother, but I have two dads. My dad adopted me just after I turned 1 year old because my mother took drugs and didn't take care of me. My dad met his lover when I was 4, and we have lived together since I was 6.

The reason I am writing is for all the people who say bad things about my dad and me. It's usually not the kids at school, it's their parents and some of my teachers. They ask me if it bothers me that I was adopted by a gay man and don't have a mom. Well, it doesn't bother me -- only their questions bother me. I love my dad and he loves me. I have a godmother I see every couple of months and she's kind of like a mom to me.

Some people say that living with my dad is going to make me gay, but his parents raised him to be straight and he isn't. My dad was born gay and he can't change who he is. He says you either are or you aren't. He has never told me to like boys (or girls). He says when I am older, I will feel love for somebody, just like he loves John, just like my godmother loves her husband and just like my uncle loves his wife.

Abby, I know a lot of people read your column. Please print my letter so maybe people will think twice before they say hurtful things to people like me. Just because my family is a little different doesn't mean I'm not happy. The Bible even says you should not judge other people. -- HAPPILY ADOPTED IN ORLANDO, FLA.

DEAR HAPPILY ADOPTED: Thank you for a wonderful letter. There is an incredible amount of wisdom in that 11-year-old head of yours. May God continue to bless you.

DEAR ABBY: Per your recent request for examples of acts of kindness:

A Washington, D.C., man recently cleaned up and repainted a rusting and neglected police call box in front of his house. He was arrested for defacing government property!

A woman in the Midwest put a quarter in the parking meter of a total stranger. She was arrested for violating her town's parking laws.

A store owner on eastern Long Island put a sign in his window advertising the sale of pumpkins grown in his garden. He was arrested for violating some obscure zoning ordinance, and since his case has generated publicity, police and local officials have engaged in a campaign of harassment against him.

A public-spirited Chicago man who purchased an electric car to fight pollution is now engaged in a legal battle against the state motor vehicle officials, who claim that electric cars can't pass the required emissions test because they don't produce any emissions.

Who was it who said, "No good deed goes unpunished"? -- P.M. IN HICKSVILLE, N.Y.

DEAR P.M.: According to Brewer's Quotations, "No good deed goes unpunished" is attributed to Oscar Wilde.

I agree that on the face of it, the reactions of the authorities appear unjust. However, before I render a judgment, I would have to know more of the details.

Abby shares more of her favorite, easy-to-prepare recipes. To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, More Favorite Recipes, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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