Earlier this year, Bryan and I brought home our adopted son from Ghana. We were thrilled to welcome “E” into our lives and home. We’re both committed to helping others get access to safe water, but having a son who lacked safe water his whole life quickly gave us a deeper passion for the importance of the work of organizations like Water Missions International. Bryan wanted to share about how having a son has changed his perspective on the need for safe water.
I will never forget the moment I met my son. It was amazing. He is such a brave and beautiful child.
One morning, there was a very large thunderstorm raining down loudly on our home. E came into our room and as we sat together he began to talk about his life. He shared that when it would rain hard when he was in Ghana, they would stop the day’s activities to all go and get buckets. They would fill those buckets with the rain water and bathe using that water. There was no ability to wash on a regular basis. There was just no water to do so.
Upon first arriving in our home, my wife was making him some MILO, similar to hot cocoa. It was very hot, so she took his mug and walked over to the sink to add some cold water to cool it down. With a panicked look on his face, E yelled, “Bad water!” He didn’t trust any water from a tap.
This was the first moment that we had any inclination that he understood the difference between good and bad water. Unfortunately, he believed that if water was clear that it was good water, and from his medical results we know that he had a lot of “bad water” before we were brought together.
I won’t forget the first time I noticed his distended belly, sick from a lifetime of malnutrition and illness. Even now, months after being home together, we continue to be at war with giardia and other waterborne illness from the water he drank while in his native country of Ghana. I’ll also never forget how he told us for the first time, just last week, “My belly no more hurt!” with a wide smile on his face, showing the medical regimen is finally starting to help him.
I count myself as truly blessed. Blessed that we have incredible doctors and resources at our disposal to help our son. Blessed that as a father I am able to provide care for him to be restored to health, and comfort when he is sick. Access to safe water is not something we worry about. I am blessed that I can celebrate my first father’s day with the joyful laughter of our son echoing through our home, as his body continues to grow stronger each day.
I invite you to join Water Missions International this Father’s Day so that men around the world will no longer have to fear that their children will die from contaminated water. So that families can have sanitation that protects them from illness, and critical health and hygiene training can impact generations to come with life-saving knowledge.