Dear Abby | Man finds biological dad, is eager to change his name
Dear Abby: For most of my life I searched for my biological father. My mother had many relationships throughout her life, and I was the result of a one-night stand. Mom wouldn’t tell me or my brother who our real fathers were.
Over the years I questioned my mother about him, but she would give only sketchy details and sent me down many dead-end trails. After she became terminally ill, I continued asking her for the truth, but she wouldn’t budge.
Two years ago, I took an online DNA test and amazingly found my biological father. From the time I made contact, he and my new brothers have accepted me and my family and given us unconditional love. I like to say I hit the “family jackpot.”
Over the last two years I have wanted to change my last name, but I’m afraid to make the leap. I have a half-brother on my mother’s side with whom I share my stepfather’s last name. I know he will think I am abandoning him if I do this. Am I selfish for wanting this name change, or should I seek to set the record straight? – Reclaiming My Name in Indiana
Dear Reclaiming: I think you should wait to “set the record straight.” Your stepfather took you into his home and his heart and gave you his name, and to change it now would be a poor way to repay his love and kindness. It might lessen the blow if you discuss hyphenating your last name. After he is gone, you could shorten the name to your birth father’s.
Dear Abby: My mother-in-law has a key to my house. We left a key under the mat one day so she could get in to pick up something because I wasn’t going to be home when she arrived. I asked my husband to get the key back, but he is uncomfortable asking.
She and my father-in-law have been in our house twice more in our absence. We were out of town, and we were shocked to hear they had entered our home without asking. It ruined our day traveling. We didn’t speak the entire two-hour trip back home.
I asked my mother-in-law via text to please let us know when she was entering the house due to privacy and that I was not trying to hurt her feelings. She’s now upset with me and says she doesn’t know when she will visit us again. I am tired of being the second fiddle to her. Am I overreacting? It seems I can’t win with this! – Keyed Up in Alabama
Dear Keyed Up: Your husband should ask his mother for the key back. If he can’t find the courage to insist upon the privacy you both deserve, change the locks.