DEAR ABBY: In response to the letter from the adoptive mom in Indianapolis, we, too, are sometimes questioned about our son. I don't find it at all offensive, and I encourage her to view it from a different perspective.
Just as mothers enjoy telling stories about their pregnancy and delivery, I relish talking about how our son came to be part of our family. I have talked openly about it to strangers in front of my son since he was a toddler. I tell them how amazing it is that a mother could love her child so much that she would be willing to give him to us so that he could have a better life than she could offer.
By not shying away from the topic, my son has seen that his adoption doesn't make us uncomfortable, and as a result, it's something he is comfortable with. Our son is full of confidence because he knows how much joy he has brought to our lives.
- Real Parent in Colorado
DEAR REAL PARENT: Thank you for writing. My office was flooded with comments from adoptive parents and adopted children, but not all of them were as positive as yours. "Why do you need to know?" was frequently cited as a way to deflect unwelcome questions about why the biological parents placed the child for adoption, as was, "I'll forgive you for asking that question if you forgive me for not answering."
Many also prefer to say, "That is my child's story and he'll know it and share it when and if he thinks it is appropriate." My favorite was, "We don't discuss such intimacies. Have you told your children the details of their conception?"
Readers, thank you all for sharing.
DEAR ABBY: When did it become acceptable to ask for a doggie bag after an elegant dinner in a friend's home?
I'm known as an excellent cook. I entertained eight guests in my home last night and served expensive meat, an accompanying salad, vegetables and a great dessert. They wanted the leftovers! I thought, if they had the nerve to ask, they were welcome to the goodies. Would you?
- Hostess with the Mostest
DEAR HOSTESS: Would I what? Ask for the leftovers or give them?
To ask for leftovers in someone's home is rude, and I wouldn't do it - although some hosts do offer them to their guests.
If you preferred to keep the leftovers for yourself, you should have said no - with a smile, of course.