DEAR ABBY: In all the articles I've seen in recent months concerning opening all adoption records, I have never read about the responsibilities of those who wish to find each other. I have only one question: Are you willing to totally accept whatever you find, and to accept that entire extended family as your own?
Are you willing to include that family, likable or not, in your family celebrations and go to theirs on a regular basis? If your newfound family is in financial need, requires surgery, psychiatric care or a nursing home, are you willing to pay for their care for the rest of your life? Will you visit them -- at their country estate or exclusive country club, or perhaps in a homeless shelter, drug/alcohol treatment center or jail? If you can't accept all the responsibilities of the whole package, don't open the box!
I have no memory of being told I was adopted. I have always known, since "adopted" was a happy word used from the time I was an infant. To my birth mother, I would simply say: "Thank you for not aborting me, for caring enough to give me up to a loving family. I hope you had other children and your life was as full of love as mine." -- I'M NOT LOST, PLEASE DON'T FIND ME, GLENVIEW, ILL.
DEAR NOT LOST: You have written a very intelligent letter. Although I have heard from many adoptees and birth mothers about their desire to locate their lost relatives, I have seen no statistics regarding how many regretted making contact.