DEAR ABBY: When I first started dating my boyfriend seven years ago, I told him that I wanted to someday adopt a child. He said he would like his own children first, but adoption would be "cool."
We now have two children, 5 and 3, and I'm ready to adopt. We're financially able to support another child, and we both have great careers.
When I recently mentioned adoption to him, he said he has changed his mind and doesn't want to adopt. He says because we have our own children, he wouldn't want the adopted baby to potentially feel like the "odd one out."
Is this something to end an otherwise happy marriage over? Or should I give it one more shot and hope maybe he'll want to adopt? I have wanted to do this since I was a little girl, and it is important to me.
—PRO-ADOPTION IN OHIO
DEAR PRO-ADOPTION: You and your husband may need professional mediation to reach an agreement that will work for both of you. Bringing a child who needs a loving family into your home can be managed if everyone is on the same page with it—including your biological children.
Your husband may not want the responsibility of another child because he has experienced parenthood twice and knows how much is involved in raising them, but the reason he gave doesn't strike me as valid.
That said, leaving your husband would be no guarantee that you would be in a position to adopt a child alone. There may be other options for you if you want to help children waiting for adoption—including fostering, mentoring or volunteering with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
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DEAR ABBY: I read your column daily and notice that you often suggest readers consult a "nutritionist" for assistance with healthy eating, weight loss, etc.
I have been a registered nurse for almost 50 years, and I would like to point out that the professional to be consulted about nutrition is a registered dietitian. A registered dietitian holds a college degree and usually a higher level degree, and teaches to the American Dietetic Association nutritional standard. This is an important distinction.
A nutritionist can be anybody who says they are one. Registered dietitians do not promote any fad diets and teach proper eating. This is especially important for people with medical diagnoses such as diabetes or heart disease, among others. But the teaching is for anyone who wants information about healthy eating to maintain good health throughout life.
Some dietitians have private offices, but if your readers can't locate one, they should ask their primary doctor so he/she can refer them to one. Or call the nutrition department of their local hospital, as there are often classes that can be attended at the hospital.
—NURSE WHO KNOWS IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR NURSE: Thank you for taking the time to share this information with my readers. Healthy eating is the basis for healthy living.
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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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.