What's your name? Kyle Ashlee
What are your gender pronouns? He/Him/His
Where do you call home? (City, State, Country) Minneapolis, Minnesota
Tell us a little about yourself. How do you spend your time outside of KAAN?
I'm an educator, a writer, and a dad. Most of my time is spent with my daughter, Azaelea, who fills my days with laughter, joy, and play. I spend the rest of my time exploring my spiritual identity, reading philosophy, writing poetry, and admiring my beautiful wife, Aeriel. I love to cook, and my idea of a good time is trying a really difficult recipe that will take me all day to complete, and then enjoying the finished product with my family.
What is your role on the Advisory Council?
I've been a member of the KAAN Advisory Council for about two years, and I currently help run the KAAN blog through the Education Committee along with Erica Gehringer.
How did you hear about KAAN? How did you decide to get involved in the AC?
I heard about KAAN from my wife, Aeriel, after she first attended KAAN in Minneapolis in 2014. She had an incredible experience and insisted that I come and see for myself the next year. The following year we went to St. Louis, and I fell in love with the community and have been attending ever since!
How many KAAN conferences have you attended?
What issues/topics related to adoption are you most interested in? (e.g., What types of topics have you presented on or attended at previous KAAN conferences?)
I am mostly interested in building community with other members of the adoption network who are not themselves adoptees. I lead a session at KAAN for partners and spouses of adoptees. Since being a parent is such a big part of my life, I'm also very interested in speaking with parents of adoptees and adoptees who are parents. Above all else, I'm interested in hearing the stories of adoptees and working to have their voices represented.
What do you love most about the KAAN community?
I love the community itself! I've made such great friends through KAAN. It is incredible to connect with others who have shared experiences outside of KAAN might not understand. Everything from dealing with in-laws to responding to racism reflects on my own biases. I am so grateful for the perspective and relationships I've gained through the KAAN community.
What is a fun or random fact people might not know about you?
I once bungee-jumped from the second-highest bungee jump in the world.
Anything else you'd like to share with the KAAN community?