Gwen really doesn’t like her father. Her mom and I patched things up, so much so that we spent a few vacations together. Gwen participated in both.
We have a special bond that goes back to the first time I met her. She was a terror, and her mother, grandmother, and the rest of the family had all but abandoned her. But we clicked. I was patient with her and we became close.When we were together a few weeks ago on vacation, she asked me if I wanted to come to Colorado, across the country from where I live, for her daughter’s 3rd birthday. I go.I like it a lot and still have it. I missed her terribly during the years her mother and I barely communicated. I was able to see my children, but not her. Now I feel that closeness again and want to officially adopt her like I should have when she was 2 years old. What do you think, Abby?
Love her in Louisiana
DEAR LOVE HER: Don’t make such an important decision on impulse.
Be careful and let this renewed relationship with your ex and her daughter play out a little longer before making any decisions. Then, if you still feel the same way, talk to your ex about what’s on your mind. If she reacts positively, discuss it with Gwen.
But I urge you to be cautious as your ex may view himself and her daughter as a package and expect you to “adopt” her too. It goes without saying that this should be discussed with your lawyer as the fact that Gwen still has a father can complicate matters.
CHER ABBY: The sisters in my family are very close. Today we live independently and alone in different cities. After our retirement, three of the four of us plan to live together in a new place. Our dilemma: the fourth sister walks towards another drummer.
Our lifestyles are very different – completely opposite, in fact. We love her and love being with her at family gatherings and doing things together. Yet, we are convinced that because she has little initiative and a “dependent” personality, she should not live with us, so we did not include her in our plans.
We know the news will upset her and we don’t want to hurt her, but we are deeply convinced of it. We’ve tried to figure out how we might make it work, but always end up knowing that it won’t. The only option we can think of would be for her to be able to relocate wherever we are and find her own accommodation, but we’re not sure she can afford it.
Can you help us find the most compassionate way to share the news with her?
DEAR THOUGHT BEFORE: The most compassionate way to venture into this minefield would be to ask your sister what her plans are after she retires. If she says she intends to live with you, she should be told that this will not happen and why, so that she can make other arrangements for herself. While the conversation is not pleasant, it is necessary and should take place as soon as possible.Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.