By BEREKET DEREJE AUGUST 1, 2015
Aselefech Evans (L) with children in rural Ethiopia Facebook
Ethiopian adoptees from around the world will soon share their personal stories in a new book titled, Lions Roaring, Far From Home.
The book editors, who concluded accepting story submissions two weeks ago, hope to publish 15 – 20 essays and are looking forward to make the book available by 2016.
“We are creating this anthology, because the voices of Ethiopian adoptees deserve to be heard,” says co-editor Kassaye MacDonald, who was adopted from Ethiopia as a baby and raised in Canada.
There are tens of thousands of Ethiopian adoptees around the world, including more than 14,000 in the US alone. Many of them, especially those in Europe, Canada, and Australia, are adults now. They have fascinating, valuable stories to tell, as under-recognized members of the diaspora and as internationally, often transracially, adopted people. The publishers believe this anthology is an opportunity to share their voices.
The common theme of the book will be what Ethiopia means to each writer, and how being adopted has affected them. The topics the book will cover include memories of early childhood in Ethiopia, what life has been like in the adoptive country, and how race and racism have affected the writers.
“Many Ethiopian adoptees, wherever they have been raised, feel a connection to Ethiopia and want to give back in some way,” according to Lions Roaring co-editor Aselefech Evans, who was adopted to Maryland in 1994 when she was 6 years old. She and Kassaye hope to use revenue from the book to establish a guesthouse in Ethiopia for returning adoptees.
The two women co-founded the Facebook group, Ethiopian Adoptees of the Diaspora, and an Addis Ababa guesthouse is one of their major projects. The guesthouse will be a resource of information and community for returning adoptees from around the world, whether they are touring, searching for family, reuniting, or giving back to Ethiopia through volunteering or work.
Adoptees of Ethiopian and non-Ethiopian origin, prospective adoptive parents, current adoptive parents, adoption agency staff, social workers, policy makers, teachers and other child welfare professionals will want to read and learn from this book, according to the editors.
“Ethiopians in Ethiopia and around the world will want to read it, as well as the global family connected with adoption. Lions Roaring will be a book for anyone interested in the essential stories of love, loss, journeys, and family,” the editors told GIZEYAT.
The anthology, which enjoyed submissions from adoptees ranging in age from 8 years old to 44; and from the US, Canada, France, Holland, and Sweden, will be offered in both electronic and print versions. The book however is not sponsored by any organization, and the editors will soon be fundraising for the publication costs.
For further information about the book, visit LightOfDayStories.com or email Maureen@LightOfDayStories.com.
Correction: It has come to the attention of GIZEYAT that on the featured image, we have mistakenly identified the person beside Aselefech Evans as Kassaye MacDonald. We have duly corrected the image caption; we regret the error.