LETTER FROM THE FCCNY CO-PRESIDENTS February 2015
Dear FCC Members and Friends,
HAPPY NEW YEAR OF THE RAM!!!
If you were born in the Year of the Ram, congratulations on the arrival of your year! Even if you were not, it’s a good time to celebrate all the ram/sheep/goat traits: creativity, intelligence, calmness, sincerity, and dependability. As your new co-presidents, we hope, with your support, to bring these characteristics to FCC leadership and programming this year.
It’s a perfect moment, too, to remember why FCC exists and to consider how we can make it better. As a member of FCC, you are part of a special community and belong to a unique organization. Now two decades old, we are the only non-profit organization dedicated solely to supporting Chinese adoptees, their parents, and families. FCC seeks to raise awareness and educate families about these spheres and the intersections between them:
- We celebrate our kids and our families formed by adoption, but we also make room for the grief and losses that come with adoption.
- We acknowledge and respect our children’s birth families and origins, and instill pride in their Chinese heritage.
- We seek to provide safe spaces for our kids, and for our parents, to connect with one another and to discuss these issues without judgment.
- Amidst all of this, we recognize the wide diversity within our own community, in terms of types of adoption (whether infant or older-child adoption, or special needs), the size and make-up of families and the various ways in which families engage with adoption issues or incorporate connections with China and Chinese culture into their lives.
Our children, whether in kindergarten or college, cope with their differences daily. Their challenges are compounded by a Chinese racial identity that is not usually shared by their adoptive families or immediate communities. Furthermore our kinship relations and family legitimacy are sometimes publicly questioned and doubted. How do we help our kids understand and navigate these uneven terrains and multiple identities (ethnically Chinese, culturally American, adopted)?
FCC is devoted to helping your family explore and answer these questions for yourselves. For this we draw on the expertise of adoption professionals, the experiences of adult adoptees, and the perspectives and needs of our children.
During this Year of the Ram, we want to bring you more resources, more chances for learning, and more opportunities to make nurturing and supportive connections to other families like yours and to other important communities, such as Asian American groups, as well as adoption information and support groups.
Already in 2015, we brought researchers Iris Chin Ponte and Leslie Wang (on January 18) to New York to speak on birth parent searches and reunions in China. Multiple, festive Lunar New Year celebrations are taking place near you (Westchester, Northern New Jersey, and many others). FCC families recently gathered to march in the festive New York Chinatown Lunar New Year parade (February 22, see photos of the marvelous Ram puppets across the top of this website page!) Some FCC families also joined the Organization of Chinese Americans to march in the Flushing, Queens Lunar New Year parade (February 21—an FCC first!). Please plan to join us for an FCC event near you soon.
We are an all-volunteer organization and are only as good as our membership. If you have not renewed your membership, now is the time to become a member again.
Please familiarize yourself with our brand-new website (thanks to Tim Stoenner, our Treasurer!) and learn how to renew your membership, edit your profile, and find resources of interest to you and your kids. You may also familiarize yourself with our current Board (see “Board Bios “under FCC Organization). This website is a work-in-progress and we are creating resource pages for access by members only. If you run across a resource or article that you’d like to share with other parents and members, please contact us, and we can help upload the information.
If you have an idea for a gathering or event that you would like to see happen—for kids or parents, or both—please contact one of us and help us to make it happen, whether in NYC or elsewhere around New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
We wish you all the best Ram-year goodness and look forward to seeing more of you in 2015!