Monday, November 24, 2008

In Honor of John Lim

Dear Friends, John Lim passed away Thursday. He was a great friend and advocate and we are grieving each in our own way.

John used to send emails signed, “Love, John Lim.” He may be the only person I’ll ever know who truly had such generosity and love for people, that he really did send love to people he barely knew.

John touched us in a special way. I believe the testimony of his life will bless and comfort his loved ones in their grief. John modestly held out a hand to many, I suspect again and again, and in the sharing of these stories with one another or in the quietness of a touched heart John’s love will live on.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Speaker Needed for ACO's ARE

This is a call for panel speakers on interracial families for the Adoption Council of Ontario's Spring Adoption Resource Exchange (ARE), on April 5th.

This is a biannual conference held by the ACO to bring together all members of the adoption community, primarily domestic but including an interracial/international focus.

This is an opportunity for many families beginning the adoption process to consider if international/interracial adoption is for them.

It is therefore an excellent opportunity to spread awareness around issues of racism and identity.

If you have an interesting story to tell or take an angle on your lifestory that you think adopting families need to know, please contact us at CKAN or go directly to the Program Manager for the ACO, Kristen Maynard at

Saturday, January 26, 2008

East Meets West at Las Vegas Mini-Gathering!

Yes, folks, we made it down to our first gathering in Las Vegas, Nevada. Organized by IKAA, International Korean Adoptee Associations, it annually brings together Korean adoptees from around the world to discuss and share issues affecting adoptees' lives. Moreover, it provides an excellent opportunity for adoptees, so long isolated, to socialize and network with other members of the adoption community.

CKAN made connections with groups from all across the United States, and Sweden and Norway. We also met our West Coast equivilant, with whom we share common struggles and successes, in our on-going efforts to start a group. Although we are few in numbers here in Canada, we definitely share a feeling that the work is necessary for future generations of adoptees. CKAN went away from the gathering with a renewed sense of hope, that although our steps may be small, that they indeed lead to a vibrant future.

On that note, we hope that all of you reading this continue to check in for future CKAN activities here in Toronto. Plus, check out IKAA's website for information on the next gathering in Hawaii!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Arcticle: "Adoption Across Races Has Challenges"

Jan 14, 2008 04:30 AM
Lauren La Rose

It was a small gesture, but a significant one to Danica Denommé – and one that spoke volumes about the dedication of her adoptive mother.

Knowing that Denommé, then 14, and her twin sister wanted to go to Caribana in Toronto, their mother drove three hours from Zurich, Ont., where they had been visiting family, into the city to attend the annual celebration of Caribbean arts, music and culture.

"The whole time she was like, `I can't believe I'm doing this.' I could tell she was thinking, `I'm the only white person,'" she recalls, laughing. "But I will always remember that.''

Now 19, Denommé, who is black, recalls the occasion among many examples of her parents stepping outside their comfort zone to engage the sisters in the community.

"I believe that they did everything they could, and they did such a great job of letting us learn all about different cultures, supporting us with whatever we wanted to do – any activity, they said, "Sure, go for it," says Denommé, of Abbotsford, B.C.

She is among several transracially adopted youth and adults who participate on a panel in workshops designed to address the concerns of parents adopting a child of a different race or cultural background.

"Building Skills for Transracial Parenting," offered by the Adoptive Families Association of B.C., is two day-long workshops aimed at addressing some of the challenges that parents adopting outside of their race will likely encounter.

"With intercountry adoption, there's been a real influx of families adopting children of African heritage from the States in the last 10 years, and all of those families are finding themselves with issues that they perhaps hadn't anticipated," co-ordinator Yvonne Devitt says.

One such example: the attention a mixed-race family will get when out in public.

"When we cover that piece on the workshop sheet, you kind of get that deer in the headlights look from a lot of families going, `Really? People are going to notice me and say stuff?'

"The huge value is, if they've spent an afternoon thinking about that and how to respond, that they're a little bit prepared when it happens."

Lea Harper, 24, an occupational therapist in Vancouver, was raised in Victoria by white parents after being adopted from South Korea at age 1. "I think you can never really understand racism unless you've actually experienced it, which my parents obviously haven't because they're both white," Harper says.

"They were super, super empathetic and always willing to listen and we had a really open relationship talking about things like that on the rare occasion something did happen."

The workshops also focus on how to celebrate the child's culture, while exploring tough issues such as dealing with racism.

In one exercise, parents are split up and assigned to different racial groups where they attach words connected to stereotypes about a particular background to posters bearing the face of an individual of that race.

For some, it can be a difficult and emotional exercise, Devitt says. "Those are the words and ideas that are going to be attached to your child from people you don't even know,"' she says.

Denommé says some parents come to the workshops with the idea that they are colour-blind and race won't be a factor, but having a child of a different background makes that approach untenable.

"It's my personal opinion that if you're going to adopt children from a different background, then race will matter – it has to matter," she says.

"That's something your children are going to experience on a day-to-day basis, so don't ignore it."

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Lunar New Year with KCCA

Come and celebrate Lunar New Year with the good folks at KCCA. Their celebration will be on Feb. 2, 2008 (Sat) from 10:00am to 1:00pm at the Korean Cultural Centre (1133 Leslie Street, North York,(416) 443-8551). It's always good fun and the food is delicious!

Another bit of news from KCCA. They are offering Korean language classes starting Feb. 9, (Sat) 10:00-12:00 at 50 Cumberland St. Bloor and Yonge, 2nd floor, Class Room.
Classes usually run for 6 weeks. Great opportunity!

Monday, December 31, 2007

Join us for a Holiday Get Together!

Hi Everyone,

Hope you're getting ready to ring in the New Year! As part of your New Year plans, we hope that you will have time to join us for a CKAN Holiday Get Together.

Wednesday, Jan. 2 - join us for cross country skiing at Hardwood Hills. Get more information here. We will meet there at 10am.

Thursday, Jan. 3 - if you can't make it Wednesday, mark Thursday evening in your calendar for dinner and drinks at Korean Grill House, Yonge and Dundas location. We will meet at 6pm.

We hope to see you at, if not both events, then at least one. Please let us know if you're coming or if you have any further questions. From CKAN blog, we wish you all the best for 2008 and look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Holiday Get Together

Hello CKAN!
It's been a while but I hope you've all been keeping well! CKAN is still active (in case you've been wondering) just very busy. So thank you for hanging in there with us!

It is that time of year when we get together with friends and family to celebrate the holiday season. From everyone here at CKAN, we would like to wish all of you the best of the season. know it must be Christmas when they finally sell SOJU at the LCBO! Yes, check out the store nearest you and enjoy (responsibly!).

Last but not least, if you're in the Toronto area on January 2nd or 3rd, please join us for the CKAN Holiday Get Together. We would love to celebrate the new year together. Email us here for more information! Hope to see you soon!