DEAR ABBY: I am 28 and recently found my biological father through Facebook after more than 20 years of not knowing if he was still alive. Although I am happy that I found him, I'm scared to let my family -- my mom, my stepdad and my sisters -- know I have reconnected with him.
When I asked about my dad years ago (I even had a pic of him), my stepdad felt betrayed and upset that I was even curious. I had to rip up the picture because I felt so guilty that my stepdad was hurt.
I know my stepdad will manipulate the situation (that's just how he is) and con my sisters and my mom into not speaking to me again. On the other hand, I want to create a relationship with my father and start where we left off. I have two beautiful daughters I know he will love to meet, but I am scared because I know this will divide my family. What should I do? -- ANONYMOUS IN THE WEST
DEAR ANONYMOUS: I wish you had disclosed why, for more than 20 years, your birth father had no visitation with you. Whose decision was it -- his? Your mother's? If it was your birth father's, I would question his character.
That said, at the ripe old age of 28, you are an adult and should have the right to decide -- without coercion -- whom you wish to associate with. You shouldn't feel guilty for wanting to get to know your birth father. Those feelings are normal. It won't divide your family if you keep your mouth shut and your private life separate.