DEAR ABBY: I was adopted at birth, 34 years ago. My adoptive parents always told me I was adopted. They also told me that I was lucky they took me because nobody else wanted me, and "that girl" who gave birth to me abandoned me at the hospital.
All my life they made sure I knew I was no catch, and my father told me as a child that if anyone else had adopted me, they would have given me back as soon as it turned daylight.
Then last year a miracle happened. My birth mother found me. We talked on the phone, and she came for a visit. Abby, she is the sweetest woman I have ever met. She was only 15 when she gave birth to me, and she placed me for adoption in the hope that I would have a better life than the one she could offer.
The closer my birth mother and I become, the larger the rift has become between me and my adoptive parents. They continue to say terrible things about her. I haven't introduced them because I'm afraid they would say or do something to either embarrass me or hurt my birth mother's feelings. They still refuse to call her by name.
It's getting to the point that I don't even want them around. My husband says if they bother me that much, I should tell them not to come over any more. I won't have a problem with that, as I have very few feelings left for them. I'm glad I finally found the mother I always wanted -- and the one who always wanted me. -- BIRTH MOTHER'S DAUGHTER
DEAR DAUGHTER: You are no longer a child. At 34 years of age, your childhood is behind you. If your birth mother is the mother you always wanted, then cherish your newfound relationship.
Your adoptive parents may call you ungrateful, but please remember that THEY are the ones who should have been grateful to have YOU -- and they had no right to make the hurtful comments that haunt you to this day.
DEAR ABBY: Upon entering a relationship that has the possibility of becoming a lifetime involvement, when should a senior widower disclose to his potential future mate that, due to medical reasons, he'll be unable to fulfill any "bedroom responsibilities"?
Should discreet disclosure be offered before any close feelings develop, or should the subject wait -- however long -- until intimacy becomes the obvious natural progression?
Clearing the air early would give the lady an opportunity to amicably end the relationship. On the other hand, if I delay too long, a decision might never be required! Your thoughts, please. -- SPOKESMAN FOR MANY UNSURE GUYS IN SAN DIEGO
DEAR UNSURE: There is a difference between clearing the air early and making a premature announcement. Wait until you know the lady well enough to discuss the subject of sex without embarrassment to either of you. According to my mail, although many women are interested in a sexual relationship, not all are.
P.S. I don't know how long it has been since you discussed this subject with your doctor, but you should know that in recent years there have been many advances made in the area of male sexuality.
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-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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