Name: Nathan Nowack
Gender Pronouns: He/Him
Where do you call home? Denver, Colorado
Tell us a little about yourself. How do you spend your time outside of KAAN?
I am a transracial, transnational Korean adoptee that arrived in Oklahoma through the Dillon agency when I was 5 months old. I am in reunion with my biological siblings and have one non-biological Korean adopted sister. I have been a professional photographer for 15 years. I am a proud dad of three energetic kids which means most of my time is family time. When I have time to myself, I’m building lego sets or out at the golf course. In 2020, I co-created and co-host a podcast called The Janchi Show where every week we talk about our journeys as adoptees, sometimes interview a guest adoptee, and eat or drink an Asian snack. We have over 128 episodes and learn something new every week that helps us unpack the complexity which is adoption.
What is your role on the Advisory Council?
I am very honored to join the Advisory Council as well as continuing to help with the Engagement Committee on areas of adoptee and community interactions. I help with graphic design, social media, and planning throughout the year. In addition, I help with the organization and planning for the annual conference that will take place this summer in Chicago where you will most likely see me running around also taking photos.
How did you hear about KAAN? How did you decide to get involved in the AC?
On our podcast, we had interviewed Glenn Morey about his Side X Side project and his involvement with KAAN and he introduced us to Kimberly McKee, former assistant director and AC member of KAAN. From there we started to get involved and were the video introduction to the virtual KAAN conference in 2021 where we interviewed current Executive Director, Katie Bozek. From there, it was a natural progression for me to get involved in the committees and planning for the 2022 conference since it was right here in the town where I live. I really respect what everyone on KAAN has done and the hard work they have put it and couldn’t be happier helping out the KAAN community.
How many KAAN conferences have you attended?
I attended the virtual 2021 KAAN and then the in person Denver KAAN in 2022.
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?)
The topics that I have gravitated towards usually involve food. Haha. I helped organize the adoptee only dinner in 2022 and really enjoy how food can bring people together. I also enjoyed Hollee McGinnis’s presentation last year on how food can connect us to our culture and how it can bring up past memories, experiences, or an almost subconscious bond to a life we never knew.
What do you love most about the KAAN community?
The community is the #1 thing that draws me to KAAN and why I have got involved so quickly. The members, the staff, programming, and future expansion ideas have been an experience I never knew I was missing. With local groups sometimes few and far between, it’s great that a virtual one exists that then culminates with an annual gathering filled with both emotional reunions and educational wellness that I wish I had found much earlier.
What is a fun or random fact people might not know about you?
I have dimples in both back sides of my ears.
Anything else you'd like to share with the KAAN community?
Be Kind. Be kind to others, be kind to yourself, and be kind to a world that may or may not be new to you. Every year I hear new stories about discovery or coming out of the fog. But with each of those stories, I also meet someone who hasn’t explored that side yet and may just be dipping their toes into this new world. Find a balance that fits you. Jump in with both feet, or slowly try out one thing at a time. In the end, what matters most is your health, happiness, and how we all treat each other.