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The Dynamic Duo: The LGA Podcast Conversation With Ethiopian Adoptee Ascelefech Evans and Maureen McCauley Evans, formaly of Joint Council

Man, Ethiopian adoption and JCICS are getting a lot of time here at Land of Gazillion Adoptees!  We continue the trend with our conversation with Ascelefech Evans and Maureen McCauley Evans, who once worked for JCICS.  They cover a lot of ground.

P.S.: Factoid.  Maureen and I go back to my days with Children’s Home Society & Family Services (CHSFS).  She was one of three bosses that tried to keep me in line while I helped the Adoption Service Information Agency transition into CHSFS East.  This fact plays no role during the conversation.


–>Maureen and Ascelefech Evans<–

A P.S. From Maureen


Topics covered: history of JCICS, Child Citizenship Act of 2000/adoptee deportation, connecting with first family, Ethiopia Reads, adoptee driven philanthropy, adult adoptees as the leaders in adoption, true humanitarian aid, addressing the fear within the adoption establishment and some adoptive parents, advice for JCICS, NCFA, and CCAI.

4 Comments on The Dynamic Duo: The LGA Podcast Conversation With Ethiopian Adoptee Ascelefech Evans and Maureen McCauley Evans, formaly of Joint Council

  1. Thank you Ascelefech for your honest and direct thoughts. I really enjoyed this interview and hope the community will hear more from you in the future. In fact, I think this is my favorite LGA podcast so far.

  2. Some random coments/observations:

    I’d love to hear what Aselefech has to say without Maureen’s assistance and influence. Frankly, I’m tired of hearing adoption professionals and adoptive parents talk about adoption. Having Maureen assisting Aselefech may seem to lend credibility on the surface, but for many of us, it has the opposite effect. If Maureen would stop saying how much she wants to hear adoptee voices, we might be able to hear Aselefech better.

    Aselefech – can you speak to the circumstances of your adoption? Were you placed by your Ethiopian family directly into the adoption agency foster home? Were you “abandoned” then placed in an orphanage? What were the laws regarding relinquishment, abandonment and adoption at that time in Ethiopia?

    Aselefech – On speaking engagements and wanting to help adoptees rather than adoptive parents – wonderful. But what about speaking out about the fact that adoption traumatizes children and mothers, and family preservation is much better for everyone in most cases? Why is adoption perceived as the norm in terms of caring for children? Why is adoption ever considered a good thing when a child has a family already?

    Maureen, you seem to want an award for acknowledging the grief associated with being adopted. Why not go further than acknowledging the grief by creating policy to STOP ADOPTION except in extreme cases where a child has NO ONE?

    Thank you!

    • an ET AP,

      Thanks for taking the time to respond to this podcast. I’ll let Ascelefech and Maureen know. However, before I do that, I want to say that you’re being unfair to Maureen and asking Ascelefech for some info she may not want to share. I asked Maureen her thoughts about adult adoptees. She was responding to my question. Plus, Ascelefech wanted to do the podcast with her mother. Will Ascelefech do another podcast/piece for LGA? I’m not sure, but that’s for her to decide.

      Take care, and thanks again for taking the time to respond.

  3. Mary A. Coyle // March 22, 2012 at 10:41 am // Reply

    Thank you to Maureen and Ascelefech for speaking to Kevin on this podcast! I had the pleasure of hearing Ascelefech’s story at a Barker or CASE conference (I can’t remember), and they were great there, too. I, as an aparent, so appreciate it when I hear and listen to adult adoptees speak of their experiences. That is how I learn, and how I can teach my children about things like grieving for their birthparents, loss of language or culture and learning about dealing with racism. I have also used this knowledge to help me form adult adoptee panels in our area for other parents, and even for our school system, so that this knowledge can trickle down to others.

    Ascelefech, I truly understand your decisions to help other adoptees in their own struggles and journey through their adoptions. I do urge you to continue to talk with adoptive parents about your experiences. Some of us listen–that is how we learn. This knowledge that adult adoptees bring to us is like gold. Just as Maureen said some of what we have to deal with is fear. Fear stops many aparents from truly understanding about areas of adoption like the grief process and racism. It is through experiences like yours that we become better parents. If you are not speaking to us–as hard as some of this may be to listen to–we cannot do our jobs as parents. We need to hear the hard stuff, and learn how to deal with it. I hope you will reconsider your decision, and still speak to the adoptive parents when you can. We need you!

    Mary Coyle

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  1. Today’s second link to a story of an adult Ethiopian adoptee « International Adoption Reader

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