Dear Ann Landers, After several years of failed fertility procedures, my husband and I decided to adopt a child. We were thrilled when, soon after, a baby became available through a private adoption agency. At the birth mother's request, the baby was handed over to us while the legal documents were being drawn up.
Four weeks after becoming settled into motherhood, my friends gave me a wonderful baby shower. As my mother so diligently taught me, I quickly wrote each and every one a thank-you note for the beautiful gifts. Three days after my notes were mailed, I received a call informing me that the birth mother had changed her mind and decided not to sign the adoption papers. She wanted her baby back. Of course, we had to give up that precious child.
My husband and I are devastated beyond words. I am at a loss as to what to do about the lovely gifts I received at the shower. Should I send them back? What is the proper procedure? I need your advice. -- Empty Arms in Arkansas
Dear Empty Arms, What a sad letter. My heart goes out to you. Yes, dear, you must return the gifts with a brief note explaining the circumstances. I'm sure your friends will rally around and help you get through this painful time.
Dear Empty Arms, I would not return the gifts because I feel you will try again - and succeed! I know couples where this has happened. I would write the gift-giving friends and say you and your husband were deeply disappointed by what happened, but you're going to try again. Your hope is that their lovely gifts will be for the future baby. My guess is that all your friends would want it that way. - Margo
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!
Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:
Dear Readers, , My x-girlfriend who lived with my son and I for 16 years died of cancer. Prior before we knew she had cancer-she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay very close before she died. Her x-husband an attorney took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I being financially set was okay with that, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.