Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 9:26 pm
Dear Annie: My husband and I have two wonderful daughters, ages 5 and 6. We have always wanted to adopt a child and have decided it’s time. We are well into the process of adopting through our local foster care system, and our girls are thrilled to be getting a brother.
We are open to adopt a child of any race. Everyone is supportive of our decision, with the exception of my husband’s stepfather. “Bruce” has been married to my mother-in-law for four years. He told her that he if we adopt an African-American child, he will not allow the boy into his home. He says he can’t help the way he feels. He also went on to tell her that if we do adopt a child of another race, it will be the last stake driven into their marriage.
Annie, my husband and I are furious about his attitude. My mother-in-law is supportive of our decision. How do we handle his ignorance? — Colorblind
Dear Colorblind: You ignore it. Bruce has no say in your decision to adopt. He also should not interfere in your mother-in-law’s desire to have a relationship with her new grandchild. If his marriage means so little to him that he would use the adoption as a reason to throw it away, it was already on shaky ground.
In some cases, over time and with encouragement, a baby can overcome such a resistant grandparent’s attitude. We hope that’s the case, but either way, please let Mom handle her racist husband.
Dear Annie: I have a wonderful 21-year-old son who is handsome and smart. He has a stable job and a good relationship with his live-in girlfriend. Yet on three holidays this year, I made plans with him months in advance, and all three times he never showed or called. I found out later he went to his girlfriend’s parents or his dad’s instead.
I told him it hurt to be treated this way. I also said I am tired of being fourth priority when it comes to such things and I will not allow it to happen again. Am I being too harsh to do the same to him and promise to help out and then not show up — just so he knows how it feels?
Is it OK to not buy him Christmas presents this year? I gave him a home when his place burned down. I put tires on his car when he didn’t have the money. — Tired of Being the Giving Tree
Dear Tired: It’s OK not to buy him Christmas presents, if that’s what you want to do. But please don’t stoop to his level and make promises you don’t keep. That is spiteful and will only escalate the animosity. Your son may have a problem remembering plans he made months in advance and you might need to remind him.
Also, enlist his girlfriend in the process so she doesn’t pre-empt you with plans of her own. If he still flakes out on you, stop inviting him and make other arrangements.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Tired of Being Tired.” I just want to let her know that I also have the Epstein-Barr virus. I’ve had it for 14 years.
I used to feel tired all the time, too. I was discouraged because my doctor gave me the same advice he gave her — all you can do is eat healthy, exercise and rest. But I want her to know there is hope. I started doing all the things the doctor recommended. I exercise, eat healthy and go to bed early in order to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. I don’t drink or smoke.
Amazingly, I feel better now than when I was younger. My Epstein-Barr virus is still there, but I have learned how to manage it. — C.
Dear C.: Thanks for the suggestions. We hope your letter will help others stay healthy and strong.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 10.14.08