Frequently Asked Questions of FCA-Midwest

Who Is FCA-Midwest?  We are a non-profit 501c3 organization founded in 1995.  Our community is comprised of families in the greater Twin Cities metro area and parts of Minnesota and Western Wisconsin who have adopted children from Asian countries, particularly China.  We have over 100 member families, and a larger community of interested families – people who may have been members or who attend events as non-members.  We are non denominational, and are open to adoptive families with any belief system and perspective.  We are not a private group of friends, and all our events are publicized on our website.  We are run and administered entirely by volunteers, with no staff and no central office.  Every board member is employed and arranges events and programming in their free time.

 

What is FCA-Midwest all about?  Our mission is,  “To build strong adoptive intercultural families by providing support, education, and cultural awareness.”. Our programming strives to create a community that addresses all these areas  support for adoptive parents and children education about a variety of issues, such as challenges adult adoptees face, birth parent searches, heritage trips to China, and finally cultural awareness of our childrens’ birth culture.  Our community is online (www.fcamidwest.com, in our Facebook group, and on our Facebook page) and in person.

We put on two main events every year - the Chinese New Year Luncheon and Talent Show (February), and the Heritage Retreat (September/October).   We offer workshops periodically.  In addition to these events, we have ongoing small groups focused on age-specific activities: 

  • Friends Like Us and Friends Like Me - Elementary school-aged kids gather monthly for a peer support group, moderated by an adult adoptee therapist.  This program begins every school year, and fills quickly.  
  • FCA Tween Team (starting Fall 2016) - Grades 4- 7 social group, meeting every other month for team building and fun.
  • Teen Meet ups - Saturday evening hang outs at a local coffee shop for teens, with speakers and topics, facilitated by local college-aged adoptees.

Should you have a specific idea for an activity, we encourage you to commit, contact FCA, and together we can coordinate the details.

Why don't you provide outreach to Korean /Vietnamese and other communities?  Approximately 95% of our community has children adopted from China. As an entirely volunteer-run organization, we have limited resources of volunteer hours,  interest and money to provide the programming we currently do. Because the majority of children of our current membership are from China, that is the primary focus of our programming.

 The Korean-adoptive community has a well-developed support system that successfully works to support the needs of Korean adoptees and their families.  We strive to publicize these events and resources whenever possible. 

 

Should a member have an interest in putting on events geared toward children adopted from other Asian countries, and the willingness to lead the effort – we highly encourage you to contact us to begin this work.

 

If over 95% of the children of members are adopted from China, why are you called Families with Children from Asia Midwest?  The change was proposed in 2010 under previous leadership in a vision to be inclusive to the diverse families whom the organization supports.  The change was approved by a majority of membership at the time. 

 

One important point raised during the 2010 discussions was the importance of pan-adoptee issues and identity.   Therefore, our programming includes experiences and events dedicated to transracial adoption and Asian American identity.  In addition to our traditional Chinese cultural events, these events benefit all members.

 

Who does FCA-Midwest serve?  The organization serves as a resource for adoptive families who have specifically adopted children from China and other Asian countries.

 

How can I find out about local events of interest to my Chinese/Asian and adopted child? Our website – FCAMidwest.com has sections featuring both FCA sponsored events, (on the website in the member section) as well as events that may be of interest in supporting the adopted child, and other Chinese/Asian cultural events put on by other organizations in the local community.  Many of these are also featured on our Facebook page.  Though we highly encourage membership, both the Facebook page and website are accessible to members and non-members alike.

 

How can I meet up with parents of kids my kid’s ages?  How can my children meet other adopted Chinese/Asian children?    Please join our email list and Facebook groups to look for ongoing events for a variety of ages. Should you have a specific idea around playgroups we encourage you to commit to  what is likely a small amount of time to coordinate the details, and contact FCA Midwest to help you publicize it.  We will be happy to do so.

 

Why did you discontinue the larger Chinese New Year event for the smaller luncheon?

To clarify for more recent FCA members, the organization used to put on a much larger version of the Chinese New Year Celebration, often held at the FAIR school for years. The event featured a significant amount of food vendors, portrait opportunities, crafts sponsored by FCC and culturally relevant entertainment.

 

The discontinuance of the scale of this event was primarily the result of a lack of volunteer interest.   The burden of the hundreds of volunteer hours required to prepare for the event fell on a small number of people who were generous in stepping up to this challenge.   We are extremely grateful to the handful of volunteers who spent significant hours of their own time to volunteer and create the wonderful event that existed in the previous state.  

 

In order to ensure FCA Midwest continued to celebrate this holiday while balancing financial prudence with the availability of volunteers and what families are willing and/or able to pay, the current format was developed - a  luncheon style celebration and talent show. 


Should you have a specific interest or suggestion for future CNY (or other) celebrations, we want your feedback.

 

How do I get involved?

 

Have we mentioned we have a need for volunteers?!  Sign up for specific events – we have commitments ranging from one hour’s worth of work all the way up to board positions with a few hours per month commitment – at the link: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080844afae22a31-2015

 

 

Where do membership dues go?  FCA Midwest is a 501C non profit organization.  Dues go toward supporting the costs of the website, insurance and partially toward the membership events sponsored throughout the year. 

 

Membership dues do not completely cover the cost of putting on events such as the Chinese New Year celebration and Culture Camp, so fees are charged to offset the costs.  Whenever possible, fees are reduced for FCA members vs. non-members.

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