Call For Submissions: Anthology By Ethiopian Adoptees


Announcing a new and much-needed book for the adoption community.

Tentative Title:


 Editors: Aselefech Evans, Annette-Kassaye Berhanu, and Maureen McCauley Evans


© national


We are delighted to invite Ethiopian adoptees from around the world to submit essays about what Ethiopia means to you, and how being adopted has affected you. Your voice deserves to be heard. The book’s tentative title–Lions Roaring, Far From Home–is related to Ethiopian history and culture.

Here are some ideas for an essay: Recollections of early childhood in Ethiopia, and what you remember of life in Ethiopia prior to adoption. What life has been like for you in your adoptive country, and might have been like for you had you been raised in Ethiopia. Reflections on family in the country where you were raised, and family in Ethiopia, known or unknown.

You can write about race and racism. What does it mean to you to be Ethiopian, and African, as well as a citizen of the country to which you were adopted? Perhaps you hope to return some day to Ethiopia: what are your dreams?

You can write about the image of Ethiopia provided by your family or the media or others when you were growing up. The churches, the architecture, the poverty, the history, and the economy might inspire you. Have you searched for your Ethiopian family, or reunited with them? You can write about that.


Cattle in Ethiopia, August 2014. © Maureen McCauley Evans


You are not limited in what you can write about, as long as it is in some way about the connection to Ethiopia from the perspective of an Ethiopian adoptee.

Who are the intended readers of Lions Roaring, Far From Home? We envision that adoptees (Ethiopian and other), prospective adoptive parents, current adoptive parents, first parents, grandparents, adoption agency staff, social workers, policy makers, teachers and other child welfare professionals will want to read and learn from this book. We believe that 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.

We will select up to 15-20 entries for publication in the anthology, due out in Spring 2016. Selected writers will receive at least one copy of the book, the knowledge that they have contributed to greater understanding of Ethiopian adoptees’ experiences, and the possibility of media coverage and other opportunities.

Your essay should be between 750 and 2,500 words (in any case, no more than 6 pages double-spaced). We will certainly look at essays that are fewer than 750 words. We are open to thoughtful overviews about your Ethiopian adoption experience, as well as focused narratives about a specific event or topic.

We can accept submissions in English and in French. The book will likely be published initially in English, though we are looking into Amharic and other translations.

Please include a brief bio statement of no more than 100 words.


Sunset over Lake Langano. © Maureen McCauley Evans


Fine Print

Please be sure you have read through the information above.

This call is directed primarily toward adult adoptees, over 18 years of age. We are open to submissions from younger adoptees: please email for further information.

All submissions are due to by July 15, 2015.

Let us know up front if and where your essay has been published in part or in full previously. We are willing to look at previously published pieces, though we’d prefer original work.

By submitting your essay to us, you acknowledge that you have read and accepted the terms of this Call for Submissions, that you are at least 18 years of age, and that you have the right to submit your essay for this project. We will notify you by July 15, 2015, if your submission has been accepted.

We are looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you.

From Aselefech and Annette: This book is rooted in our organization, Ethiopian Adoptees of the Diaspora. We are publishing the book in part to honor adoptees like Hana Williams and others whose lives ended too soon or whose voices have been silenced. The book is also part of a larger project to open a guest house in Ethiopia for visiting/returning adoptees, a way of building a global community of support for Ethiopian adoptees.

The Inspiring Power of the Adoptee Diaspora

I wrote a few days ago about the Wrenching Complexity of Money in Ethiopian Adoptions, barely scratching the surface of the issues. I mentioned adoptive parents’ charitable projects and programs in Ethiopia, projects that likely wouldn’t have been established were it not for adoption.

As I was working on Part 2 of the Wrenching Complexity, my Facebook feed delivered a gift to me:  the powerful story of Noah, an 11-year-old Ethiopian adoptee who has found a purpose in and to his life, and is giving back not only to Ethiopia, but to other countries as well. Like many adoptees, Noah has endured challenges of grief, loss, and survivors’ guilt. Like my daughters, he arrived in the US at the age of 6, with memories and life experiences.

By chance (maybe) a few years ago, an older (17) Ethiopian adoptee crossed paths with Noah. Solomon had returned to his village in Ethiopia, and witnessed the struggles to obtain clean drinking water. Solomon created a fundraising campaign to build a well, and that work is what drew Noah in. Noah has since done his own creative fundraising, and successfully engaged others to join him.

Here’s an excerpt from his adoptive mother’s blog:

“For me, his mom, well, I tear up because after weeks and months of my heart aching for his grief it is so very clear he has found  his purpose. I have said time and time again he is on loan to us from Ethiopia. He’s going to go back. He’s going to dig wells, find medication, and save lives because that is his purpose. He has told me as much. Finding a purpose. Sharing his heart. His compassion. That is the way he has conquered the demons that tried so very hard to conquer him.

Charity:water saves lives. This is proven. I don’t think, however, charity:water knows the impact they have had on Noah. I don’t think they truly understand that they saved my little boy’s life as well.”

While I believe international adoption is in great need of reform, I also believe very much in the power of individuals to change the world. My heart embraces Noah and Solomon, adoptees in the diaspora who are creating huge, life-saving, positive change.

Please read the entire, wonderful post “Purpose” by clicking here.

You can learn more about Charity:water here.