Families With Children From China - Indiana

Hawn Education Fund

Families With Children From China - Indiana lost one of our founding members in May. Rose Hawn was a dedicated mother of four daughters adopted from China. She embodied the spirit and mission of FCC-IN by acting as a bridge that brought together our families with the Indiana Association of Chinese Americans so that FCC-IN children have a special link to their cultural heritage. Thanks to the work of Rose, and a number of other early FCC-IN members, our organization has partnered with IACA for well over a decade. This is a relationship that deeply benefits our organization, but it especially benefits our children.

Rose leaves behind four daughters, who are high school and college age. FCC-IN is collecting tax-deductible donations to support their education fund. We hope that you will consider donating as a way of honoring Rose and all that she did to further our mission.

A Farewell to Rose
by Benny Ko, Indiana Association of Chinese Americans 

In the summer of 1999, two Indianapolis civic organizations, the Indiana Association of Chinese Americans (IACA) and the Family with Chinese Families(FCC) met on a blind date, a blind date as neither organization really knows much of the other.  It turns out to be a love at first sight and a close partnership was established that continues to this day.  I am going to tell you about this love story and some of the people, such as Rose Hawn, that made it happened. 

As the president of IACA on that last year of that last century, I received an unexpected phone call from some ladies who claim they are mothers with adopted Chinese children and wondering if they and their children would be welcome to join our traditional Chinese festival celebrations. Rose was one of these mothers.  Little did she know is IACA, the oldest Chinese organization in the state of Indiana, has by then morphed into a middle age couch potato with most members’ children having grown and left. As a result, festival celebrations have become routine and stale, with participation and enthusiasm dwindling by the year. I was just debating whether to tell them the truth when I heard one of them said, “We are very willing to help with such events.” I made an instantaneous executive decision and  yelled back into the phone, “Yes, of course you are welcome, the more of you the merrier.”   The rest is history, as they say.  

The FCC participation has literally brought life and color, joy and laughter, spirit and meaning back to these festivals. Before I left my term of office, the IACA governing council was so impressed by this new found relationship that we asked two of the most capable FCC ladies to join our council.  Rose and another lady, Lissa Garrison, graciously accepted and both served brilliantly for three years. Today, our council secretary  is a FCC member and her husband, the immediately past FCC president.  Talk about close, can it get any closer? 

Once the IACA leadership is opened to members based on a love of things Chinese rather than one based on Chinese ethnicity, there is no going back.  IACA in the intervening years have seen a Caucasian president, multiple Caucasian and black council members, not to mention a membership now so diverse in ethnicity that it no longer draws attention.  The organization is thriving today and has become more community service oriented, a new sense of purpose if you may call it that.  Such transformation is in no small part owed to the dedication and inspiration of members like Rose and Lissa. 

Sadly, Rose passed away last week after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer. She is gone but left a legacy. She has shown us, you don’t have to be Chinese nor need a spouse to be a great loving mother, as she was to her adopted Chinese children. Her four teenage daughters, Aimee, Halle, Jaide and Rachel are showing us, you don’t have to be born American to be a good American, nor less free to go after the American dream. And in Rose's friends that have showered her and her children with so much love and kindness, I found a special kinship of sisterhood and brotherhood; for in them I also found the true spirit of America. Farewell and rest in Heavenly peace, Rose.
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Families With Children From China -  Indiana is a 501(c)(3) Not-For-Profit organization.
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