Adoptee Anthology “Lions Roaring” Featured in Ethiopian Diaspora Newspaper

We are so pleased that our anthology Lions, Roaring, Far From Home was featured in Gizeyat, the first weekly for the Ethiopian Diaspora.

The article, “Ethiopian adoptees to author book for the adoption community,” quotes the co-founders of Ethiopian Adoptees of the Diaspora. Kassaye MacDonald says “we are creating this book because the voices of Ethiopian adoptees deserve to be heard.” And according to Aselefech Evans, “Many Ethiopian adoptees, wherever they have been raised, feel a connection to Ethiopia and want to give back in some way.”

Kassaye and Aselefech are co-editors of the upcoming anthology, due out in 2016. One of the main goals of the publication is not only to share the voices of Ethiopian adoptees, but also to fund a guest house in Addis for returning adoptees from around the world.

We are beginning the editing process now of the essays selected to appear in the anthology, and are honored by the stories that have been shared. We hope to have an Ethiopian adoptee design the cover art for the book.

Thank you to Gizeyat reporter Bereket Dereje and Gizeyat for featuring Lions Roaring!


Original artwork by Adanech Evans © Maureen McCauley Evans


U.S., Canadian, Ethiopian Adoptees: Now on YouTube

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.


Canadian, American, Ethiopian, Adopted: A Conversation

I’m happy to announce I’ll be hosting a conversation (which will be available on YouTube) among 2 Canadians and 2 Americans, Ethiopian adoptees and white adoptive parents. In some ways, the US and Canada are similar, but there are significant political, cultural, and historical differences. Is there common ground between Ethiopian adoptees raised in different countries? What does it feel like to be an Ethiopian raised in a French-speaking part of Canada? Does growing up in a majority-black US county help form racial identity? Where and how do Ethiopian adoptees “fit in” with immigrants, Africans, and their adoptive families? Let’s start the conversation.


One conversationalist will be Annette Kassaye MacDonald, a 28-year-old Ethiopian adoptee born outside of Gondar, adopted at one year old, raised by white parents in the Eastern Townships, Quebec, and now living in Montreal. She has 4 older siblings born to her adoptive parents and one younger adopted sibling. Annette graduated from Concordia University (Montreal) in 2013 with a B.A. in political science and human rights studies. She speaks English, French, and Spanish.

Annette Kassaye MacDonald

Annette Kassaye MacDonald

Annette will be joined by Aselefech Evans,  a 25-year-old Ethiopian adoptee born in Shashemene, adopted at 6 years old with her twin sister, raised by white parents just outside Washington, DC, and now living in Prince George’s County, Maryland. She is finishing up her degree in sociology from Bowie State University, and plans to go on for her MSW. Aselefech is a columnist for the online adoptee-centric magazine Gazillion Voices, and also is a contributing writer on family preservation issues for Lost Daughters, an independent collaborative writing project edited and authored by adult women who were adopted as children.

Aselefech Evans

Aselefech Evans

Hosting the conversation with me will be Chris Ardern, a Canadian adoptive mom of two young Ethiopian children, now living in Toronto, Ontario. Chris’s son is 3 years old, and her daughter is 6. Chris, her husband, and their children travel to Ethiopia annually to visit with friends and family. She and her family are very involved with the Ethiopian community in Toronto, from playgroups to Amharic classes.


I’m the writer of this blog, an American adoptive mom of four now-young adults (including Aselefech), and the grandmother of a wonderful 7-year-old. I’m looking forward to my third trip to Ethiopia this July. I live in Seattle, where I am a freelance writer and artist.


Our topics:

  • Race (What does it mean to be black in America? In Canada? In Quebec? In Washington, DC? What do the terms Ethiopian-American or Canadian-Ethiopian mean?)
  • Openness in adoption (Connections with birth families and Ethiopians: what’s possible, and what is useful?),

and, if we have time,

  • The impact of the Internet (sharing adopted children’s information and stories, accessing birth families, and more).

Please feel free to leave a message below with any questions you’d like to suggest. You can also email me at Maureen (at)

We will be taping the conversation Sunday, February 23, and I will post a link to it as soon as possible. My thanks to Chris, Annette, and Aselefech.

And please stay tuned for more upcoming conversations!