DR. WALLACE: I'm 15 and live with my parents and a brother, who is 16. Sometimes I get the feeling that my parents love my brother more than me. I've talked to my parents and they assure me that they love both of us equally and that making sure we both become good citizens who are happy and who enjoy life is their main goal in life. I'm not quite sure why I feel this way. It could be that boys are treated a little differently than girls or that my brother is their natural child while I am their adopted daughter. My parents are wonderful and since I am adopted, I couldn't have landed with a better family. Still, I have moments where I feel like an outsider. Is there any way I can overcome this occasional inferior feeling? — Nameless, Toledo, Ohio.
NAMELESS: It's completely normal for adopted children to wonder if their parents love them as much as they love their natural born children. I can tell you that I have never found the parents who give less love to an adopted son or daughter.
Please read the following letter written by a mom who is blessed with having both adoptive and biological children. I'm positive your mom and dad have the same feelings.
WE LOVE OUR CHILDREN EQUALLY
DR. WALLACE: We are the parents of two adopted children (a boy and a girl) and one biological child (a boy).
One day the son who was adopted asked me if my husband and I loved him and his adopted sister as much as our biological son. I put my arms around him and told him that I couldn't love a human being more than I love him. Both of us wound up crying tears of joy.
I can honestly say that my husband and I love our three children equally. In fact, it is rare when we even think of them as "adoptive" or "biological" children. Together we are a loving family and intend to keep it that way forever. I thank the Good Lord that He blessed my husband and me with both biological and adopted children as well. Our three children are the loves of our lives. — Mom, Aurora, Ill.
MOM: No one can say it better than a loving mom. Your message will make many adopted kids feel good about their parents.
MY DAD, WHEN DRUNK, WAS A MONSTER
DR. WALLACE: My parents were divorced because my father was addicted to alcohol. Living with this man was a nightmare. When he was sober (which was rarely) he was a wonderful husband and father, but when under the influence of alcohol, he was an abusive monster.
At one time, it was illegal to sell alcohol in the United States. How long did this last and why was the law changed to allow alcohol to be sold and cause untold hardships on American families? — Char, South Bend, Ind.
CHAR: In 1920 the Congress of the United States passed a constitutional amendment banning the sale of all types of alcohol. This ban (Prohibition) lasted thirteen years, and studies conducted during this time span showed that there was a sharp drop in health problems related to alcohol consumption, especially cirrhosis of the liver. Another plus during this time was an extreme drop in family violence and discord. That was the upside.
Unfortunately, Prohibition also gave birth to a large and violent criminal organization devoted to selling alcohol illegally. Lawmakers ultimately decided the experiment caused more problems than it solved and termed it a failure. Prohibition was repealed in 1933.
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. E-mail 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.