by Aselefech Evans, adopted from Ethiopia to the USA.
I’m so excited to share with y’all the cover of our book, “Lions Roaring far From Home,” an anthology by Ethiopian adoptees of the diaspora, raised in the US, Canada, Australia, Belgium, France, Sweden, and the Netherlands. The cover art is by renowned Ethiopian artist, Nahosenay Negussie.
This is book is a labor of love that took us six years to produce. These stories are sacred, and they challenge the traditional narrative around adoption.
Before going into anti-racist work, my work engaged with the intersections of child welfare and transnational adoptions. I started this work at 17, talking to psychologists and social workers, pushing agencies to understand the complexities of removing children from their first families.
The National Association of Black Social Workers deemed transracial adoption as a form of cultural genocide—and we all must understand the importance of family preservation.
I consider myself a politicized family preservationist, who radically believes that transracial adoption is rooted in loss, racial trauma, and grief. I did work in Ethiopia around family preservation, demanding system accountability which would entail access to birth records and family search. It was and is life-altering work, because justice doesn’t feel tangible. So much damage was done.
Many of us are stolen children, who lost so much. While I’ll refrain from adding my political views on transracial and intercountry adoption here (you can read my views when you get the book), like indigenous people, we adoptees are stripped of our culture, language, and history, and forced to assimilate into white-dominated culture.
Ethiopians are not homogenous people. There are 86 ethnic groups with different histories, cultures, and ancestral lineages, though colonialism will tell you otherwise. “They tried to bury us, but they didn’t know we were seeds.”
This book is powerful for many reasons, and it beautifully integrates the perspectives of Ethiopian adoptees, ranging from ages 8 to over 50.
I pay my deepest gratitude to Korean adoptees, whose shoulders I lean on, as they were the first group of activists, calling out intercountry adoption for its imperialism, domination and corruption.
“Lions Roaring Far From Home” will challenge you in the best way possible. Stay tuned for the release date, and meanwhile enjoy this beautiful cover.
I also want to thank my co-editors Kassaye and Maureen—this book would not have been possible without you. Thank you for believing in this book and for staying committed to our vision.
You can read more from Aselefech at her website EthioAmerican Daughter.