By Johnny Collins
I think I can describe KAAN in one word, unbelievably so much better than I expected. I’m not good at counting. I’ve been to IKAA a few times and other Korean adoption conferences around the world and this KAAN event was my favorite because of the sessions. I also loved that I got to meet people that were adopted from other countries besides Korea and listen to their stories.
KAAN did a great job creating a safe space to share and never pushing anyone to share if they didn’t feel comfortable. I’m a little older than some of the attendees at 50, so I wasn’t interested in going out at night, but those options were also on the table. I heard many people had a great time singing and hanging out and getting to know each other. I went to bed early the first night and the second night I had some great conversations with people that wanted to stay in and just chat. I think we have some amazing people in our community and there are hundreds and maybe thousands that are struggling emotionally or financially and I wish we could help them all get to attend KAAN 2024.
I was lucky to receive a scholarship for free registration for KAAN 2023 and I will definitely pay that forward next year to cover someone else’s registration fee. I would love to challenge everyone in our community to give to KAAN to help lower costs for the conference and offer more grants to our fellow sisters and brothers. If anyone wants a new silly KAD friend feel free to add me on Facebook or Instagram Coach_Johnny1! Thank you, staff, of KAAN, you’re all super awesome!
Johnny is a Korean adoptee who has traveled the world. He has lived outside of the U.S. for the past 28 years and has worked in 45 different countries. KAAN 2023 was his first KAAN Conference and he is already looking forward to KAAN 2024. Though he is new to the community, he looks forward to supporting and growing the community