Water Wells, Parasites and Amelie

I have had this blog post rolling around in my head for the last few days and when I found out that today was World Water Day I thought it was the perfect time to type it out.

For those of you who know me well or have been long time readers of our blog,  you know that back in October of 2009 while at the World Vision Annual Day of Prayer I became burdened with the desire to sponsor a water well. Throughout that day of prayer the same thought kept coming back to me: “Women in other countries love their children just as much as I do, but they don’t have the ACCESS to the things I do. Clean water, medicines and nutritious food.” I told Mike about it immediately and that I wanted to find a way to dig a water well – whether it meant our family saved up or doing a fundraiser, I was determined. The next week was my birthday and that caused me to realized that the next year my birthday would be 10.10.10. And then it hit me! Have a Water Well fundraiser birthday party. If you haven’t read the post about it, go here. We raised $5200 – enough for 2 wells!!

I was so excited I couldn’t stand it and cried tears of joy on and off for days.  I was overwhelmed at the thought that life-giving water was going to be provided from my original prayer. I was also grateful to God that I got to raise awareness about the plight of people facing dirty water around the world.

Fast forward to our return home from China. Amelie was going to the bathroom A LOT. And it was toxic smelling. And she had this voracious appetite. Our pediatrician wanted us to collect stool samples like she does for all new adoptees and we collected it and dropped it off. Last week we got the call on Wednesday morning that Amelie had not 1 but 2 parasites. Bleh! The doctor quickly called in the prescription to a pharmacy that could compound it for us and we picked it up and started treating Amelie. Mike and I were really hoping that we had not caught it, but none of us were showing the signs and we always wash our hands after diaper changes.

That night I felt so bad for Amelie since she hasn’t known a day with us that she wasn’t on some kind of medicine. THEN I was so grateful every time I thought about our wonderful access to doctors and medicine of every type here in America. I was so happy that she would be able to get these things out of her system and we could move on. I was texting all of this with my friend Laura and she sent me the sweetest response that made me cry. She said that God often shows us the needs of the poor and needy through our own grief and illness.  She said that at every turn Mike and I work to aid people. She said that now we know on a most personal level what we do for them. She asked me, “How many people have you saved with clean water?”

The more I thought about it, the more I cried. I brought this beautiful child home from halfway across the world. She has been drinking dirty water her entire life and most likely all the kids in her orphanage have parasites. She has been voraciously hungry and crying when the food is gone and she is taken out of her highchair, even when she has eaten twice as much as me in a meal. How long have these parasites affected her? Have they been causing her pain? But now she is on medication that we have easy access to and will always have clean water. Now she has access to clean water just because she now lives in America.

Thank you, God, for this visible object lesson that you have shown me.

  • jen

    Amen and amen. 🙂

  • Lynnea

    Ummmm…..GREAT post. I can totally relate and am moved by your words….I won’t complain about having to collect more stool samples now!!! We are blessed to just have clean water and access to the medicine that our girls need to get healthy.
    Thanks for reminder and the heartfelt words.
    Love you guys….alot
    Lynnea 🙂

  • Lindy

    Poor little thing… so glad that Amelie is on her way to feeling better!

  • Lina

    Louanne, you are such a wonderful person. Seriously, what a beautiful person you are for caring so much about people all around the world.

    Lovely post. May God bless you and your family always.

  • Excellent post, Louanne. Sorry I missed out on the water well fundraisiing. I guess we were up to our eyeballs in our own life and pending move. Can’t wait to meet Amelie, hopefully this summer.

  • Thanks for linking over a WAGI. It is always good to be reminded of what we have and how many are still struggling for the basics. I am glad Amelie will be able to get better now.

    Joyful Mama at WAGI

  • catherinethegreat

    A heart felt and important post Louanne. I so agree with you….and its so great that soon Amelie is going to feel better….just think how much of her true personality you are going to see then…

  • I’m crying!! And I’m in public!

  • Thanks for sharing, Louanne. God is really a cool teacher, isn’t He? So glad that Amelie will be feeling better soon. Now we will know if she really is a good eater or if the parasites were the good eaters!!

  • Gwen

    Wow, what a great post. Your life and actions exemplify how we can all make a difference.
    And I’m glad that to know that Amelie will be feeling better soon!

  • Dad / Papa


    I am so happy that you discovered this problem with Amelie and have been able to get her treated. My hope (trying not to be political) is that our granddaughter, this precious Amelie (Nadia too) will always have access to quality healthcare and clean water. No matter what happens in America, I believe your girls will be blessed.

    I worry some about the future of my children and grandchildren and simultaneously, I revel in thanks and praise for what you and Mike have done, not only for your girls, but for many across the world today.

    We simply need to find a time to meet Amelie soon. I had always hoped that by the time I reached my current age that I would be less busy with work and over active in leisure including regular trips to see the the girls. The truth is that I am so thankful to be employed in these current times.

    Thank you for being the mother that you are. Thank you for being the wife that you are. Thank you for being the sister that you are. And most importantly to me, thank you for being the daughter that you are. In the end you will surely hear, “Good work my good and faithful servant!”

    I love you all very much,

    Dad / Papa

  • Stephanie Petlow

    You are the most selfless person I know, you are the best wife, mother, friend, confidante and I am so proud to call you my daughter! Your actions carry so much more than anyones words can. Thank you for being a wonderful inspiration to all of those around you. May our Amelie continue to get well and may Nadia enjoy her new sister more and more each day! Mike thank you for taking care of my girls each & every day! Love & hugs,
    Nonnie/Mom xoxo

  • Amen. God bless you all xxxx

  • what an amazing, amazing testimony.

    love it.