DR. WALLACE: I'm 14 and was recently told by my mom and dad that they are not my birth parents. I was really shocked. I love these two people very much, but I strongly despise my birth mother who didn't love me enough to keep me, so she gave me away to a couple of strangers. Some teens want to find their birth mothers and even the birth fathers, but I'm not interested in the least.
To all the mothers out there who gave their own flesh and blood away to strangers, I hope your conscience still bothers you. I feel abandoned! I am, of course, most grateful that my current parents love me and have taken such good care of me as I have grown up the last 14 years. — Not gonna look, Geneseo, Illinois
NOT GONNA LOOK: There are many reasons why a mother gives up her baby to a loving couple. Almost always, she does it because she loves the infant deeply but knows she cannot care for him or her properly. Seldom does a birth mom lightly "abandon" her flesh and blood. It is often the most traumatic decision of a young mother's life to do this, and it's usually done out of love.
Please read the following letter from a woman who was adopted. Her message may cause you to rethink your feelings about your birth mother.
Dr. Wallace: I want to express my admiration for all the mothers who had the love and courage to give their babies up for adoption so that the child would have a better chance at life.
I was adopted as an infant (I'm now 24 with a family of my own), and I thank the good Lord daily for the wise decision my birth mother made when she placed me up for adoption to a loving husband and wife. Having a baby of my own, I finally understand how much my birth mother loved me and how difficult it must have been to make that choice. My adoptive parents gave me the kind of family that my birth mother wished for me — a home full of love, stability and nurturing.
I want to assure my birth mother that her decision to allow me to be loved by adoptive parents was the right one. I asked the Lord to bless my birth mother and father for their love, courage and compassion. My birth mother gave the promise of a happy life to me and to a couple who couldn't otherwise have a baby. That unselfish love is the essence of life. How extraordinary, how beautiful! — Meghan, St Louis
Meghan: Thanks for your sincere and encouraging letter. It will bring joy and peace to the lives of many young women who have given their children to loving, adoptive parents.
I'M THE "ODD" TRIPLET
DR. WALLACE: I'm sure my problem is unique, and no one in the world likely has the same problem. I'm a triplet with two sisters who are identical, but I am not. We are all girls, but my sisters are very friendly to each other, and they don't usually include me in any of their plans, only once in a while here and there. Meanwhile, they dress alike, double date together and take the same classes in school. They even think of themselves as twins, even though we are all truly "trips."
I've tried everything to include myself in their activities, but all my efforts so far have failed. What can I do to have them accept me as their equal and make me a part of their lives? — Trip left out, San Francisco
TRIP: Don't force yourself to be accepted as a triplet. It seems your sisters are caught up in the novelty of looking and acting alike.
You need to just be yourself. Enjoy your close friends and enjoy doing the things that make you happy. Enlist mom and dad to plan a few simple family-only activities, such as baking cookies or decorating the house for the holidays, which may promote some interaction among the five of you. As you three girls grow older, I'm sure you will become closer to your sisters and share good times together. Whenever you get the chance, and feel it's appropriate, suggest an outing where both of your sisters join you. Select an activity you know they enjoy, as this will increase the odds of them having a relaxing time together with you. But beyond that, continue to do your own thing while remaining very friendly and supportive of both of them.
I suspect the novelty of being carbon copies will eventually wear thin as your sisters develop their own personalities.
But you can't sit around waiting for this to happen. Being active and having a positive and sunny outlook is the best way to live your life, regardless of how your two sisters live.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.