This post is one in a series highlighting the ways our #KAAN2016 Conference, scheduled for June 24-26 in Pittsburgh, PA, provides a wonderful place for education, dialogue, and support for various members of the adoption community.
TODAY’S WRITER: Sara Campbell
Hi! My name is Sara Campbell and I’m an adult adoptee from Korea living in about an hour north of Detroit. I have missed only two KAAN conferences since I began attending in 2003 and have been a KAAN speaker since 2008. KAAN has been an essential part of my life and has led to many friendships over the years.
KAAN has allowed me to find a family solely unique to my adoption journey.
It is a family that is unlike any other that I know of as well. I have also made friends and partnerships that have allowed me to utilize my personal and professional skills within the KAAN community and in other adoption communities.
KAAN has been a place where I have been tested on my beliefs, thoughts, and emotions about adoption, both positive and negative and in-between. I have also been able to express my own experiences without feeling judged. I have felt completely appreciated and loved and accepted with and without my flaws.
HERE’S WHY #KAAN2016 IS A GREAT PLACE FOR YOU
- You can participate in adoptee-only programs or connect with the larger community–your choice. Few other events have this option.
- You can meet adoptees from other backgrounds.
- You can bring your spouse, parents, kids, or siblings. There are programs for them as well.
MY SHORT LIST OF RECOMMENDED SESSIONS
Click here for full schedule and details. There are over thirty sessions and support forums, with general sessions open to all adults and adult-adoptee-only sessions in every block. We also offer youth and childcare programming for younger adoptees and siblings or children of adoptees.
K-Dramas & Adoption: This is a fun session where the correlations of adoption are put in various Korean dramas and music. There will be clips of a selection of dramas of scenes that have the topic of adoption discussed. A light-hearted conversation will be ongoing throughout the session as well. This may be a place for one who wants to have a difference change from other sessions with some fun and laughter.
The 2016 Presidential Election, Race, & Macroaggressions within the Family: With the upcoming Presidential election coming up this November, it is a historic time in our lives where we have an opportunity to voice our pleasure and/or displeasure with one of the candidates for a variety of reasons that will affect our families (both adoptive families, natural/birth families, and families chosen through marriage, divorce, and by one’s choice). Come talk about how adoption and family will be a huge factor in who we choose individually and then as a nation for our next President of the United States.
Living with Challenges: Our identity is who we are now, in the past and in the future. We have the power to change it to however we feel that is necessary to live and for adoptees it may be how to even survive. This session will be an opportunity to talk about how we can go through our lives with added challenges forced upon us, both physical, mental, and environmental.
“You’re Asian, You Don’t Play Football”: This is a session for all sport lovers and to be able to talk about the misconceptions of Asians in predominantly white male sports, such as football and basketball.
Partners: Part of the KAD Conversation?: This session is for those who have partners, whether they are other KADs or not. How much do we talk about our adoption story to our partner without saying too much or too little? Do we involve them or not?
I’ll be looking for you at #KAAN2016!