What’s up, I Am Adoptee? My name is Chris Detrych, and I volunteer on the board of Korean Adoptees of Chicago (KAtCH), a non-profit organization.
What is KAtCH?
KAtCH serves the transracial adoptee community in Chicagoland, hosting monthly events (social, cultural, roundtable) and promoting adoptee advocacy. Please visit our website for more background.
On a personal note, KAtCH has allowed me to connect with other adoptees, the Korean culture, and even Korea itself as it encouraged me to finally return to my country of birth.
What is IKAA?
International Korean Adoptee Associations (IKAA) is an organization that connects (and perhaps aligns) several adoptee groups from around the world. 14 groups currently partner with IKAA as active members – KAtCH is one of them. IKAA does not own or govern any of the local groups, but having such a unified organization does help legitimize Korean adoptees in front of entities such as the Korean government. Every three years, IKAA organizes a gathering in Seoul for hundreds of Korean adoptees. For many, this gathering encourages adoptees to take their first trip back to Korea – I did just this in 2016!
What are IKAA mini-gatherings?
In addition to the triennial gathering in Seoul, IKAA helps local adoptee groups plan mini-gatherings. Each year, a different adoptee group hosts a gathering, usually to celebrate a key anniversary. This year happens to be the 10th anniversary of KAtCH. As a result, KAtCH will host 2018’s IKAA mini-gathering.
What is KAtCH10?
Taking place September 28-30, 2018 in downtown Chicago, KAtCH10 honors our 10th anniversary by hosting a weekend full of activities (evening social, adoptee workshops, lunch, gala dinner, picnic). 100+ adoptees from various states & countries have already registered for KAtCH10. Our theme is “Creating Community, Catalyzing Change.”
Regarding the workshops and gala dinner, we have confirmed almost all of our 15-20 presenters, so expect to see the final roster in the coming week. A sneak peek of our workshops includes breakout sessions (grouped by gathering experience), genetic testing, a play, a documentary, immigration, and self-care to name a few.
Why should I attend KAtCH10?
I can think of a few reasons (e.g., to celebrate the amazing work that adoptees are putting out into the world) to attend KAtCH10, but the primary one that sticks out to me is, in a word, to connect. It’s empowering to meet other adoptees who share similar experiences yet at the same time represent a diverse set of backgrounds, interests, and values. The memories and connections formed during these gatherings are special, as we cherish them for years to come. Also, the numbers don’t lie: attendance for these gatherings has increased in each of the recent years. We expect over 200 attendees for KAtCH10.
Whom do I contact if I have further questions?
Please contact [email protected]
Event details: facebook.com/events/1933186900329211
Register for KAtCH10: eventbrite.com/e/katch-10th-anniversary-ikaa-annual-convention-tickets-44536512909
We hope to catch you in September!
-Chris, KAtCH Vice Chair & KAtCH10 Co-Chair