DEAR ABBY: I am a single mother of two biracial daughters ages 2 and 4. They fill my life with joy and I am thankful to be their mother. My problem is, I haven't been able to face my family members since the birth of my second child.
My family has strong Christian roots, and I know they were disappointed when they heard about another unplanned pregnancy. This isn't the first time I have disappointed them. I smoked a lot of marijuana as a teen and young adult. I straightened my life out during my late 20s.
I miss my family very much, and I also feel my children are missing out by not knowing them. My parents passed away many years ago. My children's father was beaten to death days before my youngest daughter was born. My aunts and uncles are all I have left, and it breaks my heart to think we have lost them, too. How should I handle this without getting my heart broken? -- MISSISSIPPI MOMMY
DEAR MOMMY: Did these aunts and uncles have children, or are they childless? If you have cousins, consider reaching out to them first, because their views may be less conservative than their parents'. If your family's Christian roots are as strong as you say they are, they should be both welcoming and forgiving, and embrace your children in their loving family circle.
However, if they are not, then it would be better for your little girls if they were not exposed to them. I have advised in the past that sometimes people have to live their own lives and create their own families. If your relatives are rejecting, that is what you will have to do, not only for your daughters' sake but also for your own.