Which brings me to our Walk For Water. So many people have asked us, "How did this start," or 'Why Ghana?" The answer starts with a family journey in 2012 to Ghana. We spent three months living in Ghana while waiting for our new addition to receive her passport and visa from the US Embassy. Anyone who is familiar with adoption knows that there are many ups and downs. Any one familiar with international adoption knows that the paperwork for the process can seem overwhelming at times, since each country has different rules and guidelines. In most countries the prospective parents file for their necessary paper work during a first trip. They see their child during that first visit and then return home. Once everything is complete they return to their child's country, finalize their adoption, and are free to return home. Ghana was a little different. We finalized our precious one's adoption first. Most parents then file the necessary paperwork, and after about ten days return the child to their orphanage to return to the US. What! You might be thinking. Why would they take them back? The child at that point does not have a new birth certificate, passport, or visa. They cannot leave Ghana without those things. The parents have to return to work. Since it can take around three months to complete the whole process most have no choice. I know the whole things seems crazy, but you just have to learn to go with the flow, or in our case make the decision to not take her back to the orphanage, rent a house, and stay the entire duration of the paperwork process.
I knew that once we held her in our arms, letting her go to return home was not going to be an option. So after ten days in Ghana, my husband return home to his job, and I continued to live in Ghana with all five of our children. This was the best decision that we ever made for not only our newest addition, but our older kids as well. It was during that time that we all changed, changed for the better. My oldest three saw how blessed they were to have so much, too much. They understood no matter how bad we were "roughing it" according to American standards, we were living like the rich in Ghana. We had our hardships, but still we knew the end result would be us returning home to our old life.
After our return home, my husband and I didn't want the kids to forget the things that they saw. The constant reminder of being grateful was forever on our tongues. The kids had always wanted to help Ghana, but now since our return home it was moving beyond the someday in the future... to we have to do something now. It was when they came and said, "Mom, you say to never forget what we saw, but how long are we going to wait to do something about it?" That was when I knew we had to take action. Precious Child Foundation was the perfect way to raise the money for a clean water well, and give others the tax break that they needed in some cases. I sat down the kids and asked them what bothered them the most in Ghana. Their reply was the disabled, street kids, elderly and people walking for water. Walking for water was something that touched more than just the distance walked to obtain the water. It was a health, safety, and education issue as well. I knew that this was something that we could address and make a huge impact to so many lives. Walk For Water was born that night. The idea of walking a 5K with a bucket full of water just like so many around the world.
At first we didn't know where to begin. We wanted to make sure that whomever we raised the money for was going to not only do what they said with the money, but make sure the clean water well was maintained over the years. I had just read a book earlier in the year about a ladies work in Ghana rescuing the slave children. I contacted them to see who they used for their water wells. It just so happened that they were in the process of raising money for a well for their facility and a well for the outside community. They needed half of the money for the first one and all of the money for the second well. This was perfect! We partnered with Touch A Life and together we were able to raise 7,936.58 for Touch A Life. It was a huge success and fun.
Walk For Water will be an annual event. The need is so great for clean drinking water. The kids worked so hard and accomplished more than they thought they could, with the help of others. Touch A Life benefited from three kids putting thoughts and words into actions. I can't wait to see what they will inspire in the future.
Look for our annual Walk For Water 2014, details coming soon!