We have walked all morning with the blazing orange sun on our backs. Emaye (mother) tells me a story while we walk. "Our watering hole gives us something precious", she says, "even more precious than gold. We could live a lifetime without gold, but not a day without a drink of water. All over the world, the clouds make the rain and the rain brings us our water. This connects us to everyone and everywhere. Water is life."I couldn't care any less about diamonds or beautiful rare gemstones, or about fancy cars with all the bells and whistles one could hope for. Expensive shoes don't impress me. Money is nice, but only when you can do good things with it.
It is water that I am in complete awe of. I am a child of water. I am drawn to it. I was raised by the sea. I couldn't live anywhere else in the world but on the coast.
How ironic is it that soon after adopting my daughter from Ethiopia, I found her drinking from a puddle in my driveway. Was this coincidence or a sign from God? Then to have written a children's book A Thirst For Home and soon publish through a fancy New York Publisher is a dream come true. It is a chance to share my passion of water with children everywhere.
Water, clean water, is something taken for granted and only appreciated when out of reach. Eva's simple act of squatting down and drinking from that puddle four years ago changed my life and the course of it. Sometimes I think, 'How did I get here?'. My desire to never stop or ever give up knowing that this is a life long journey doesn't end with the release of this book. Along the way, I have been connected to the most amazing people, joining forces to attain the same goals. It all started with water.
I think of Eva's birth mother struggling everyday without the privilege of clean water among other things and it can be excruciating at times. All of my happiness is always a little overshadowed by her struggles. It keeps me grounded but more importantly keeps me going. I can't wait to return to Ethiopia this fall. I am nervous and excited. I want so badly to bring clean water, education and accessible health care to the Hossana and surrounding area. I may never see it, but have to keep trying.
My daughter has taught me so much and is wise beyond her years. I love A Thirst for Home, the book she inspired me to write, and I know it will be loved by many because of its message of water, hope and love.