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Also-Known-As Monthly Newsletter: October 2022

October 11, 2022

A Letter From Our President


If I may ask: who is truly a part of your community? And how do we sustain long term belonging in our circles, throughout the seasons of life? I’ve recently had to rethink which aspects of my community were serving me in my journey and present moment in life—which has led to some truly life-giving adjustments to where I’m investing my time and presence.

I recently heard a story—really a parable—from a mentor that I admire. It went like this:

"Some winters ago, there was a terrible cold spell that fell upon a forest, home to many animals. As the days turned to weeks, the animals that were more solitary began to freeze. However there was a family of resilient porcupines that had managed to survive. They were now convinced that the only way forward was to gather together and huddle closely at night, if they were to make it through to another day. But as they huddled, their spines began to pierce and poke another uncomfortably. The next morning they decided the situation was far too uncomfortable, and so they wandered off, alone, in search of a space to house them. That following night was particularly brutal, and about midnight they all found themselves crawling back into the clearing where they had originally gathered. With remorse they agreed that to be close required some discomfort—but not as uncomfortable as the piercing cold. The warmth and shelter their bodies collectively provided was far more comforting than the ice and snow—and so they remained, survived, and in the coming spring, thrived, having a newfound appreciation for one another."

As I consider both the goodness and the challenges of long term friendships and community, the reality of our “prickly”-selves is something we must be honest with. And yet, my personal call to myself this year has been to remember that I am far off better with community, than without.

It’s when we have been in touch with these aspects of ourselves that we can begin creating the kind of posture of welcome and belonging for one another, despite the rough edges—to survive, and yes, perhaps even dare to thrive as adoptees. Looking forward to thriving with this community in the coming years.

Robert Lee (Calabretta)
Board President

Also-Known-As Upcoming Events

Happy Hour 10/13

Mark your calendars! As the weather is getting more crisp, come warm up with us during our October Happy Hour at Jackdaw NYC! We will have an area reserved for Also-Known-As adoptees and friends of adoptees. All are welcome! Happy Hour drink deals run until 8pm (select beers, wines, and cocktails!).
Even if you've never attended one of our events before, we'd love to have you!

WHO: Adoptees and Friends
WHERE: Jackdaw, 213 2nd Ave New York, NY 10013
WHEN: Thursday, October 13th 6pm-9pm (Happy Hour drink deals until 8pm)
For more details, check out our Facebook post.

Adoptee Forum - Reclamation: Language 10/20
For many of us adoptees, reclaiming the language and tongue of our birth country can go deeper and hold more weight than simply being a hobby or  an ongoing side project. Perhaps you’re curious or working up the courage to step into that unknown space, or maybe you’ve been studying on your own. If this speaks to you, we’d like to invite you to the first in our Reclamation series (this one focused on language).

This forum will explore some of the experiences, challenges, and joys of touching out our birth country languages through the stories of three guest panelists, Joseph Pinney, Katie Iles, and Julia Jacobs.  

WHO: Adoptees Only
WHEN: Thursday, October 20th at 7:00pm - 9:00pm
WHERE: Women Make Movies (115 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001)
FEE: Free Members | $10 for Non-Members. Pay at the door via Venmo of Cash
RSVP: https://fb.me/e/32DECSbRG

* Light food will be provided at the beginning!
** To ensure that we create a safe space to explore all things adoption-related, we kindly ask that only adoptees attend this event.

Also-Known-As Annual Holiday Party 12/9

Please save the date for our most anticipated event of the year, the Annual Also-Known-As Holiday Party! We can't wait to celebrate with you on

Friday, December 9, 2022

More details to come, stay tuned!

Community News

Nicole Chung's second book, A LIVING REMEDY, is now available for preorder! For a signed and personalized copy, preorder through adoptee-owned Loyalty Bookstore. From the bestselling author of ALL YOU CAN EVER KNOW comes a searing memoir of class, inequality, and grief—a daughter’s search to understand the lives her adoptive parents led, the life she forged as an adult, and the lives she’s lost. A LIVING REMEDY goes on sale April 4, 2023.

Katie Iles, a Chinese adoptee who is currently in the process of finishing writing a memoir, is conducting research to learn more about and build an accurate representation of what it is like to be a Chinese adoptee in a “before” and “after” COVID world. Katie is looking for Chinese adoptees to complete a 10-question survey.

To publish your news in our community section, please send us an email with the details!

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