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The Joke’s on Me: How My Name Became a Punch Line

In his latest contribution to the online adoptee magazine Gazillion Voices, Steve Kalb, Holt’s director of adoptee services, reflects on the “otherness” encountered as an Asian-American  growing up with a name like “Steve.”

I recently joined my wife, Shannon, at her company Christmas party. It was a small party at a local brewery with about 40 people attending. We had a room reserved off the main building where employees and their partners were able to eat, drink, and be merry. Early on in the evening, I struck up a conversation with a fellow partier. We discussed careers, motorcycles, and industrial paint (Shannon’s company sells paint.) It was a nice conversation, but not nice enough to ignore the food that was being set up. I graciously thanked him for his time and expressed how much I enjoyed the company, but that I could hear the buffet calling my name. We shook hands and I headed for the table of goodness. As I walked off, I overheard him talking with another coworker. “That’s Shannon’s husband. He works in adoption. His name’s Steve. He doesn’t look like a Steve…”

Read Steve’s full article in Gazillion Voices.

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Every adoptee has a unique and complex life experience. Holt strives to support all adoptees, regardless of their placing agency, by providing help with birth search, citizenship and more.

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