Dear Abby | Tips | dailyjournalonline.com
DEAR ABBY: I am a 63 year old male, born “Thomas J. Reilly”. I was legally adopted at 14, although I had lived with my adoptive parents since I was 6 months old and given their last name, “Johnson”. My 42 year old wife recently passed away. My adoptive parents passed away several years ago and my brother, who was also adopted by the Johnsons, has been gone for two years.
My mom always wanted me to search for my biological family, but out of respect for her and dad, I never did. Now, as I no longer have an adoptive relationship in my life, I am considering changing my name to Reilly, but I am ambivalent about it. I want to re-engage with my birthright, while remaining respectful to the Johnsons, who lovingly raised me like theirs. My heart has two halves, and I don’t know which to feed. – CONFUSED IN THE EAST
Dear confused: The phrase “What’s in a name? A rose under any other name would smell so sweet” is a classic of English literature. In a situation like yours, however, this may not be true. You have honored your foster parents and your brother every day of their life. If you think changing your name would make your heart whole, then follow what you need to do.
DEAR ABBY: My husband has a close friend who I will call “Al”. (We’re like family.) In the past five months, Al has seen and slept with two women. Neither one knows the other. He admits that one of them thinks he’s in a committed relationship, but he refuses to choose between the two. He’s actually planning the exact same date so he can compare them! I feel bad for them and want to tell him what he’s doing is wrong. My husband insists that I should not interfere. Al keeps saying he wants us to meet these women, and I can’t imagine keeping my mouth shut. What to do? – TRUE OR FALSE IN VIRGINIA