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As his mom now, she can monitor birth mom’s visits



 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)
Kathy Mitchell Marcy Sugar Creators Syndicate

Dear Annie: My husband and I adopted a newborn baby boy through an open adoption two years ago and have maintained contact with the birth mother ever since. “Gloria” asks to see our child once every six to eight weeks, and we always have complied by having her come over to our house or meeting in a public place.

Recently Gloria has been asking us to drop off the baby at her place for a few hours so they can visit alone. My gut tells me not to do this. Since giving up this child, Gloria has discovered that she cannot have any more children. How do I know she won’t decide she’s made a mistake and flee the country with our baby?

The final adoption papers say nothing about letting Gloria see the child, but we would like to allow her to maintain contact. I know if I refuse to let her see the baby alone, she will be angry and not understand why we don’t trust her to have an unsupervised visit. So far, I have been able to come up with plausible excuses every time she’s asked, but I won’t be able to do it forever. What should I tell her? — Adoptive Mom in the South

Dear Mom: Trust your gut. You should not encourage a closer relationship between Gloria and the baby. Your child needs to know that you are his mother, and we sense that Gloria would like to confuse the issue. It also does Gloria no good to form too close an attachment to a child that is not hers to raise.

Tell Gloria that you understand her desire to spend more time with the baby but you would prefer that visits take place when you are present. Don’t let her guilt you into doing something that makes you uncomfortable. You are the mother. You are responsible for making these decisions until your son is old enough to do so.

Dear Annie: My husband and I were married recently, after we each lost our first spouses at a young age. We had a wonderful wedding and invited a lot of people to help us celebrate our joyous occasion.

Most people were exceptionally generous with their gifts, but there were several guests who never honored our union with so much as a card, let alone a gift. I am not a materialistic person and would be appreciative of the smallest gesture from any of our guests, but no gesture at all? These are people whom I see on an ongoing basis and, quite honestly, I almost don’t like them anymore.

What can I do to enjoy their company in the future when the fact that they never gave us a wedding present or card is always lurking in the back of my mind? — Confounded Bride

Dear Bride: Keep in mind that guests have up to one year to give the newlyweds a gift (although thank-you notes must be written immediately), and some of these presents may still be forthcoming. While gifts and cards are appropriate, it might help to remember that inviting these friends to your wedding was a way for you to include them in your joy. Try to overlook the rest.

Dear Annie: I have been chronically depressed for as long as I can remember, but the medication makes me too sleepy to function. The doctor told me the fatigue would go away after a few days, but it only got worse. I wish I could find something that would work without making me want to sleep 24 hours a day. Can you help? — Undoubtedly Depressed for the Rest of My Life

Dear Depressed: Don’t give up hope. There are dozens of anti-depressants on the market, and they do not deliver the same results for every person. Often, it takes some “fine-tuning” before finding the right one. Discuss this honestly with your doctor, and ask him to help find a better match for your system.

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