I am the grandmother of a child who was put up for adoption. It was an open adoption, which means the adoptive parents send my son photographs and letters so he knows how his child is doing. The adoptive parents are lovely people, and my grandson is doing wonderfully. Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for them.
Every Christmas and birthday, I send gifts to my grandson, because I want him to know I care about him. The adoptive parents have a second child, and I make sure to send gifts to that child, too. The rest of my family disagrees with this. They say I should distance myself from the boy and stop keeping in touch with the adoptive parents. Tell me, Ann, are they right? Is it a mistake for me to maintain a relationship with this child? The adoptive parents have never asked me to back off, nor has my son objected to my presence in the boy's life. Christmas will be here soon, and I would appreciate your opinion.
Torn in Texas
Who, exactly, is "the rest of the family," and what business is it of theirs? These people who are giving you this bum advice should be told you are dealing with the matter in your own way and that all parties involved are satisfied with how things are being handled. (That is shorthand for MYOB, and if they don't get it, spell it out for them.) Keep reading for a different kind of Grandma story:
Please tell the grandparents in your reading audience to cultivate a warm and loving relationship with their grandchildren before it is too late.
I have a 9-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter. We visit my mother every week, but I'm about ready to call it quits. Every time we get together, Grandma picks on my daughter and totally ignores my son. She feels it is her place to correct and discipline them. My children's behavior is fine, Ann. They are good kids, and well-behaved. My mother freaks out over issues that make very little sense and bother no one but her.
Mom doesn't seem to realize that she is going to leave my children no happy memories of their grandmother. The way things stand now, they don't want to be around her, because she is always "bossing them around." I love Mom dearly, but frankly, I do not like her. I wish my children could enjoy having a grandmother, but this doesn't seem possible. Please, Ann, I know she reads you every day. Maybe if she sees this in the newspaper, it will help.
J.W. in Southern Calif.
I doubt that reading your letter in the paper will change Grandma's behavior. She sounds pretty set in her ways, but it's worth a shot. For her sake, I hope she can stand back and view her situation with a bit more objectivity. The message, Grandma, is, "Don't try to train them. Just love them."
You have printed a few letters about outrageous medical bills, and I thought you might enjoy mine.
When my father broke his hip, he received a statement from Medicare saying they could not pay his hospital bills because his employer would provide coverage. Ann, my father was 93 years old and in a nursing home. Exactly who was his employer supposed to be? A month after Dad passed away, he received a notice of cancellation of his benefits, saying the reason for termination was "death," and that if he had any questions, he was to appear in person to discuss the problem. What do you think of that?
J.E. on the Web
I'm not thinking. I'm plotzing!
To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.1999, Creators Syndicate Inc.