There is a remarkable community of international Ethiopian adoptees who have returned to Ethiopia. Some have married and are raising children there. Some have set up businesses. Some are living with or near their original Ethiopian family. They were raised the Netherlands, France, Germany, the United States, and elsewhere. Many adoptees visit, and that is important. These folks, though, have returned to their homeland and immersed themselves in Ethiopia.
Recently, a group of adoptees gathered in Addis to talk about “Lions Roaring Far from Home: An Anthology by Ethiopian Adoptees.” One of the writers, Heran Tadesse (who is also a poet, a yoga teacher, a forestry expert, and more), brought the group together at an organic juice and grocery cafe, Abeesinia Herbal, run by Ermias, a French adoptee.
All the photos and captions here are courtesy of Heran. Thank you.
At the gathering, the conversation was around “Lions Roaring,” as well as about each adoptee’s individual stories: how they grew up, where they lived, why they returned to Ethiopia.
One American adoptee, Mike Davis, was adopted at 8 years old by a U.S. Army officer. He grew up with his dad on American Army bases, ran several small businesses, and has a wife, children, and grandchildren in the US. Because of a shameful US immigration policy that deports adoptees who are unable to prove citizenship, Mike was deported to Ethiopia in 2005. He is now 60 years old, and hopes to return to his family in the United States. Mike is one of our writers in “Lions Roaring.” We are grateful to the Ethiopian adoptee community in Addis that has supported him, giving him respect and companionship, and we are working on ways to bring him back to the US.
We also love the fact he is wearing his “Lions Roaring” tee shirt, along with holding the book. That Ethiopian coffee cup is also beautiful.
“Lions Roaring Far From Home” includes essays and poems by adoptees raised in six countries (the US, Canada, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Australia), and ranging in age from 8 years old to over 50. They also have a range of perspectives on adoption. The writers and the co-editors have been working to promote the book, and especially to get it in the hands of Ethiopian adoptees. If you are an adoptee who cannot order the book from Amazon where you live, or if the cost is prohibitive for you, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will find a way to get the book to you. We invite everyone to follow us on our Facebook page and on the Lions Roaring website.
Thank you to Heran, Mike, and all the adoptees who took the time to talk about our book and to share their stories. Amaseganello.