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Friends of FANA News - November 2006

Visitors from FANA!

Maria Teresa Maldonado, and Monica Mendez from FANA, visited the Washington area in September. For those of you who have been to FANA in the past few years,you’ll remember Maria Teresa helping you with the adoption and court processes and Monica giving the tours of FANA. While the board and others were helpful in keeping their days busy touring Washington, they were just as helpful setting up for our fundraising wine & cheese party. We had several items to auction off including an emerald bracelet, flat screen TV and Colombian items. The evening was a great success with a good turnout. Thanks to everyone who helped make their visit and our events such a success! We always invite suggestions for future fundraising campaigns and events.

FANA Anniversary Celebrations

FANA will celebrate its 35th anniversary in 2007 with two weekend celebrations. The first will be February 2 through 5 in Bogotá. Activities include a Mass and lunch at FANA, a Carnival show, and sightseeing and other activities. For those who can’t travel in February, a second celebration is planned for August 10, 11, and 12, also in Bogotá. FANA welcomes any families who wish to bring their children and share this special occasion. The Friends of FANA Colombia, will be helping with the logistics, such as where to stay. For more information, contact info@friendsoffana.org or FANA at fana@etb.net.co. If you do plan on going, please let us know as we’d like to give FANA the number of families from Friends of FANA who will be representing us.

Colombia Homeland Tour

This past summer, the Barker Foundation led a second Homeland Tour to Colombia. A group of almost 40 people spent several days in Bogotá, visiting FANA, the birthmother’s home (the Hogar), and sightseeing and shopping. They also went to Cartagena on the Caribbean coast. The trip was filled with opportunities to absorb the Colombian culture, share time with children at the orphanage, reconnect with people and places from early childhood, and understand more about the adoption process. If you would like more information on future trips, please contact Tina Ji at The Barker Foundation.

New Friends of FANA Website!

Friends of FANA has launched its newly redeveloped website at www.friendsoffana.org. The new site is designed to support families with children from Colombia and for young adults adopted from Colombia. The site includes information on FANA and its history; links to information about Colombia’s history, culture, and news; kid-friendly information sources on Colombia; information on travel to Colombia; and links to local Colombian cultural resources primarily in the Washington area. The site also offers connections to adoption resources and support for adopting families as well as for young adults adopted from Colombia.

Please spend a moment and look at this site. We think it’s a valuable resource both for our members and for the many families/young adults across the country who may want to have a connection with FANA and are searching for information about FANA and about Colombia. If you like what you see or have questions or comments, please email us at info@friendsoffana.org.

It’s already proven successful as several people who have lost touch with FANA or have somehow become disconnected have contacted us on how to re-establish those ties. Our many thanks to Laura Capaldini, former Friends of FANA president who worked so hard on this.

Colombian Embassy

There is a new ambassador at the Colombian Embassy, Carolina Barco. The new Minister Plenipotentiary-DCM, Mariana Pacheco, who will be working with her, is taking FANA on as a special interest. She would like to host an event for the children at the Ambassador’s residence to learn about Christmas in Colombia. We are working on finalizing a date for that and will post the information on the website and send the information as soon as it’s confirmed. This is a great opportunity to see the beautiful residence decorated for the holidays and teach the children more about their homeland.

Upcoming Events

Saturday,December TBD, 2006

Christmas in Colombia, Ambassador’s Residence,Washington, DC

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Friends of FANA’s Annual Colombian Fiesta, Reston Community Center

We are looking for older children to help out with activities for the younger children (face painting, running games, helping with crafts, etc.) This is a great way for you child to earn service hours for their school! Please contact Jeanette Ryan at 703-390-1157 if you can help.

Spring 2007 – Date TBD

“Colombia for Kids” Education Event at the National Zoo

2007 – Date TBD

Adult Party

Still in the works, but a social event for the FANA parents to meet and reconnect. We’re open to your ideas! Please send any suggestions for future events to info@friendsoffana.org.

Membership Request!

It’s time once again to renew your membership with Friends of FANA. A membership form is included with this letter. Please take a moment to fill it out and return it to us. Your dues help support our many activities – “Colombia for Kids” educational events, the Annual Fiesta, picnics, evenings at the Embassy, a Membership Directory - as well as cover our general operating costs. We are a completely volunteer organization with no paid staff. But we still have expenses for mailings, keeping in touch with FANA, the website, and administrative needs. Please, keep us growing with your dues payment!

Board News

At its July meeting, the Board elected Lisa White to be President, replacing Laura Capaldini, and Tracy Stanton to be Vice President, filling Lisa’s previous position. Board members serve for two year terms (officers are elected each year). The next election is scheduled for February 2007. If you are interested in being nominated for a Board position, or just want more information, please contact info@friendsoffana.org or talk to a current Board member: Jennifer Cofone, Megan Dennis, Matthew Nau, Ricardo Nunez,Jeanette Ryan, Tracy Stanton, Brenda Ulrich, Maria Van Wie, and Lisa White.