Dear Amy: My great aunt and my biological uncle adopted me when I was 2 years old. I am now 20 years old and I am preparing my marriage. My adoptive parents are my world and I couldn’t be more grateful to them.
I have a very close relationship with my mother and I intend to include her in my marriage, as anyone would normally.
Because it was an open adoption and my adoptive parents are my great aunt and uncle, I know my birth mother.
She and I have more of a friendly bond than a mother / daughter bond. I’m getting married next year and want to include it somehow, but my foster mom gets jealous and hurt about some things when it comes to including it.
How can I incorporate my birth mother without hurting my adoptive mother’s feelings?
Also, should I give my birth mom a bodice to wear?
I do not know what to do.
– Uncertain bride
Dear Uncertain: This is tricky because all of your parents are also related to each other (I guess one of your biological parents would be your parents’ niece or nephew). There is undoubtedly a lot of difficult history out there, before and after your birth and adoption.
In my opinion, you should invite your birth mother to the wedding and give her a front row seat, along with other family members. Yes, it would be nice if you gave her a blouse.
Weddings are very busy events; feelings and insecurities are heightened by anticipation. Communicate honestly and as soon as possible with your parents, letting them know what your plans are, giving them time to adjust.
Consider asking both of your (adoptive) parents – not just your father – to walk you down the aisle to officially introduce you to your future spouse. They deserve this honor.
Realize that your mom can feel threatened, jealous, and upset no matter what plan you come up with. Affirm her feelings by saying, “I know it is difficult, but there is no doubt in my mind who my ‘real’ parents are – you two! Hope you can keep this in mind and help me by being friendly with my birth mom during the events. It’s hard for me too, but I try to do the right thing.
Dear Amy: “Carrie” and I met at work a few years ago.
She is well known, but for some reason does not have “real” friends. As I got to know her better, I realized that she was needy and selfish, the kind of person who has no trouble asking for things, but doesn’t return the favor.
When we hung out, it was always where she wanted. I had to snap her picture for her Instagram (dozens at a time, in different places!) And she would always keep me waiting.
For the past two years, I tried to silence her, but she didn’t catch the hint, confronting me when I didn’t include her in the rallies. I should have been more candid, but I thought she would find out.
A few months ago, her father passed away during the COVID-19 lockdown. I handled it as I would an acquaintance: a sincere appeal, a message to check, and a commemorative gift.
Today she blew me up. She expected more. She thinks I’m selfish. I just don’t want to be there for her. Does that make me a terrible human being?
Is there a way out of this without looking like a *** hole?
– Guilty, angry and frustrated
Dear culprit: The basic calculation of friendship is this: you receive roughly the equivalent of what you invest. “Carrie” gets what she’s invested in you from you – the minimum.
At this point, you should respond to her with compassion for her loss, but don’t bite the hook if she baits it. Tell him, “I realize I really disappointed you. Hope you have other people in your life who are there for you however you want them to be.
I think it’s okay to look like a shit hole, as long as you’re not one.
Dear Amy: I couldn’t believe your stupid advice to “Independent” the woman whose in-laws stayed at their vacation home and did a “deep clean” while they were there.
If the place is so dirty that it needs a deep cleaning, Independent should be ashamed of itself.
Dear disappointed: “Independent” implied that the chalet was not dirty, and I believed it.
You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068