Dear Abby: Twenty-seven years ago, I gave up my firstborn for adoption. I was 17, unmarried and sent to a "home" where I was told I had no alternative. I signed a piece of paper stating that I was giving my son away of my own free will, but now I realize I was manipulated. I have suffered tremendous guilt. Even though I married and have other children who have brought me great joy, no one can replace my firstborn.

When my son turned 18, I began my search, and after eight years, I found him! I wrote him many letters, sent pictures, and have also corresponded with his adoptive parents. I have spoken to him on the telephone, but he does not want to meet me.His adoptive parents still have fears that I will take him away, which is absurd - and he feels that he owes them his loyalty. My son has married but has no children. His wife is far more receptive to meeting me than he is. (I dream of "surprising" him one day.)

I have wonderful children and a busy, fulfilling life - but I will never feel complete until I can put my arms around my firstborn. Is there anything I can say or do to change his mind? Please pray for me, Abby.

- Unfinished Chapter

Dear Unfinished: If your son does not want to meet you, please do not insist on it. And please do not "surprise" him. One day he may want to meet you, and until then, please be patient. I'm praying for you.

Dear Abby: I found the following in an old textbook in a thrift store. I want the boys who will someday date my granddaughter to read it, believe it and live by it:

This Is My Date `Line'

The parents of my girlfriend place their trust in me. I will not violate it.

I will respect my girlfriend as I expect other men to respect my sister.

I will respect womanhood because my mother is a woman. I will ask my girlfriend to do nothing I would be ashamed of if my mother found it out.

My girlfriend has given me the honor and pleasure of her company. It is wrong for me to expect more in payment for this date.

My girlfriend will be a wife and mother someday. She must be an example to her children and the pride of her husband. I will help her to be as pure and decent as I want my wife to be.

Manhood means strength of character as well as body. Lack of self-control is a sign of weakness. I want my girlfriend to know that I am manly.

God is everywhere, sees everything, knows everything. Darkness may hide me from people, but it cannot hide me from God. (Author Unknown)

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- Submitted by Martha Clark,

Jupiter, Fla.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)

1993 Universal Press Syndicate

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