DEAR ABBY: I'm an American man who was adopted as an infant. Several years ago, I found my birth parents. They are not from America. My mother came here to give birth and left. Sometime later she married my father and had more children. I'm in touch with the entire family, but mainly my birth parents.
My biological siblings are jealous of my success in life and make it plain they don't approve of much that I do. They also make sure I know I'm not really part of the family because we didn't grow up together (although we are, by blood, 100% siblings).
I deal with this the best I can, but now I'm getting flak from them because of my political views. (They saw a photo of me at a political fundraiser.) When my sister turned 40 this year, I sent her a card, a Facebook post and a text message. I turned 50 at the same time and heard not a word from her.
Although my siblings are not Americans, they feel the need to trash our country, our government and our way of life. I'm tempted to cut ties with them. There is little respect coming my way, and I think I've had enough. I value your opinion, which is why I am writing to you now.
BTW: I had an amazing set of (now deceased) parents and wonderful siblings growing up. I just wish I had a better relationship with my biological family. -- DISAPPOINTED AND EXCLUDED
DEAR DISAPPOINTED: Your family is the family that raised and nurtured you. I, too, am sorry you don't have a better relationship with these jealous, judgmental people. You are related by blood -- nothing more. They do not have the right to criticize your political views or your lifestyle, any more than you have the right to criticize theirs. (And I doubt you would.) Because you are neither respected nor included, you have every right to back off and head in a different, more positive direction. Frankly, I suspect you will feel better as soon as you do.