DEAR ABBY: I am 33, married and the father of three children. I was adopted at three weeks of age and never felt the need to search for my "roots" or "identity" like many others do.
About five years ago, I received a letter from my birth mother, and we have met a few times. Although she and her family are nice people, and want to continue a relationship -- I do not. I have hinted about the way I feel, but they don't seem to understand. I want to tell them outright, but my wife says I will hurt their feelings, and I should leave "the door open" in case I change my mind. I am sure of my feelings and disagree with my wife.
I learned that my birth mother was going through a bitter divorce while she was pregnant with me. Money was scarce and she felt she could not afford a third child. She later remarried -- as did my birth father. I met him once, and he has been more considerate of my feelings. He respects my privacy.
My birth mother is kind and generous. She always remembers my children on birthdays and holidays. Abby, how can I cut off contact with her without being cruel? -- TIRED OF FAMILY TIES
DEAR TIRED: You have a right to your feelings. Do not feel guilty. Tell your birth mother how much you appreciate her kindness, but you are not ready to have a relationship with her now.
P.S. Ask her for your biological family's medical history.