DEAR ABBY: I'm 12 and adopted. I have always known and have never felt less loved because of it. My mom always said that when you're adopted, you know that you are wanted and loved because nobody gets adopted by accident.
My 14-year-old sister, "Melissa," is our parents' natural child. We were always close, but lately she has decided to be mean to me and tries to hurt me by telling me that I'm not her "real" sister and our parents aren't my "real" parents. This hurts very much. If I cry, she thinks it's funny. She never says it in front of our parents -- she wouldn't dare.
Melissa used to tease me when we were alone in our room, but now she does it in front of her friends, who also laugh at me when I get upset and cry. Melissa would be in big trouble if I told Mom, but I'm afraid it will make her even meaner. I don't want to get her in trouble because, in spite of this, I still love her. I just want her to stop being mean and start treating me like her real sister again. Abby, what should I do? -- REAL SISTER IN TACOMA
DEAR REAL SISTER: Clip this and show it to "Miss Melissa." I have news for her. Parents who raise a child ARE "real" mothers and fathers. And you are as "real" a sister as Melissa is likely to get.
Her behavior is cruel, insensitive and immature. She's doing it because you have allowed her to get away with it. Give your sister one warning. Tell her that if she repeats that nonsense again, you will tell your "real" mother, who also happens to be HER mother. And if she's foolish enough to try it -- follow through.