Adop­tive fam­i­lies cel­e­brate with spe­cial day each year

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - CLASSIFIED - ABI­GAIL VAN BUREN 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 P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069 or visit

Dear Abby: As par­ents of an adopted child, we were con­cerned about when we would have “the con­ver­sa­tion.” Then a neigh­bor told us about how they would cel­e­brate “Gotcha Day” with their adopted daugh­ter each year.

Gotcha Day is a day to cel­e­brate — it’s the day we be­came a fam­ily. We “adopted” their idea and have been do­ing some­thing spe­cial on this day since be­fore our child could even say the word “gotcha.”

Early on, she had no idea what we were cel­e­brat­ing; she just knew it was a spe­cial day for us. Through the years, she was able to process ex­actly what it meant at her own pace, which re­lieved the need to ever have that dreaded con­ver­sa­tion. Re­cently our daugh­ter told us she loves this day more than her ac­tual birth­day!

I thought I’d share this with other adop­tive par­ents

who worry about when the right time might be to ex­plain to their child that they were prayed for, wanted, loved and adopted. — Blessed Par­ents in Penn­syl­va­nia

Dear Blessed Par­ents: I had never heard of any­thing like this, but I think it’s a great con­cept and cer­tainly worth shar­ing with my read­ers. Thank you!

Dear Abby: Af­ter 32 years of mar­riage, my wife went out and got a tat­too on her shoul­der. It’s about 8 inches by 6 inches (quite large), and she did it with­out any dis­cus­sion with me, which has left me sort of shocked. Her po­si­tion is that it’s her body and she’ll do what she wants. This has driven a wedge be­tween us,

and I’m not sure if we can move for­ward. What is your ad­vice? — Un­marked in Ne­vada

Dear Un­marked: To me, what’s im­por­tant is not that your wife got the tat­too with­out dis­cussing it with you, but her mo­tive for do­ing it in se­cret. My ad­vice is to do noth­ing in haste or in anger. Ask her to ex­plain to you what the tat­too sym­bol­izes to her, be­cause it may be im­por­tant. Af­ter that, whether you de­cide to move for­ward — or move out — is some­thing only you can de­cide.

Dear Abby: My co-worker tried to com­mit sui­cide last year. Now we are near­ing the one-year an­niver­sary.

We work for a small, fam­ily-owned busi­ness. Ev­ery­one knows she tried to kill her­self, but no one knows why. She has re­duced her hours and her stress level, at least at work. I have picked up most of her du­ties, and I’m quick to lend a hand. She’s a lot older than I am, and I’m not com­fort­able lend­ing an ear.

How do we han­dle this sit­u­a­tion? Do we act like it’s just like any other nor­mal day? — Un­com­fort­able at Work Dear Un­com­fort­able:

If your co-worker wanted to dis­close her rea­son(s) for try­ing to kill her­self, you would al­ready know what drove her. Be­cause a sui­cide at­tempt is noth­ing to cel­e­brate, be sen­si­tive and don’t draw at­ten­tion to it un­less she brings it up.

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