It was a wonderful conversation among two Canadians and two Americans, Ethiopian adoptees and white adoptive parents. Where and how do Ethiopian adoptees “fit in” with immigrants, Africans, and their adoptive families? What does “being adopted” mean at different ages? How does being raised in a rural, French-speaking area compare with being raised in the most affluent black county in the US? Can you have a happy childhood, and still be angry or sad about adoption?
My goal was to let Ethiopian adoptees Annette Kassaye MacDonald, in Montreal, and Aselefech Evans, in Cheverly, Maryland, be the primary speakers, and they were powerful and candid, speaking from their hearts.
Hosting the conversation with me was Chris Ardern, a Canadian adoptive mom of two young Ethiopian children, now living in Toronto, Ontario.
My thanks to Chris, Annette, and Aselefech. Amaseganallo. You were all thoughtful and insightful, and it was a great conversation.
I hope it is just the beginning of our talking together. We could have talked much more. We hope to add more and diverse voices (including men, for example). Two future topics may be “Unpacking Anger in Adoption” and “Helping Ethiopian Families (Especially Birth/First Families) Financially and Otherwise.” There is so much to talk about.
Please stay tuned for more upcoming conversations!
You can watch the conversation on YouTube by clicking here.
Thank you for this video. Many good points. I am an adoptive parent of a 10 year old girl who has been part of our lives since she was 3. It good to hear from the adults.
I enjoyed this video. What well-spoken women! In regards to connection with first families, we have known our two sons’ families since adoption (we sought them out). We currently help support one family who is in crisis. But realize how different their resources and culture are compared to yours and how that effects your relationship and even casual suggestions. We love our extended families but this relationship is not always an easy road to walk emotionally, financially or ethically. Go in with eyes wide open. It is bound to be a rich but very complex relationship if you allow it to develop.
This was absolutely fabulous! How very generous of all of you to share so willingly with the adoptive community. I’m so grateful.
Thank you so much for sharing this video. As a new adoptive parent to a now 19 month old, I absolutely loved listening to the views discussed here. It’s very brave to be open about the topic of adoption and I hope the ladies in the video know how much adoptive parents listening are soaking this information in and appreciate it. It’s so important to me as an adoptive parent to understand all that I can about the feelings, emotions and losses felt through the adoption experience. Can’t wait for further conversations! Ahmesugenalew!
Thanks Maureen for hosting this important conversation. In addition to what I posted on FB, I’d really like to see discussion that goes into some more depth on the rights of first families and how that insects with the rights of women (worldwide, and Ethiopia specifically). I personally struggle with what I sometimes see as a collision between culture and women’s rights.
I would also love to hear more about what Aselefech touched on with regards to adoptive families being obligated to respect a child’s first family and try to connect wherever possible/appropriate.
I have so many more thoughts that have been inspired by this conversation, but my computer time is limited.
Thank you all again.