A Happy New Normal

by Angela Sanders, Freelance Writer

“The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.” Proverbs 10:22

Optimistic and enthusiastic, 11-year-old Kamaree sparkles from the inside, his sincere gratitude to God and love for others radiating through every easy smile he offers and every carefully chosen word he speaks. Kamaree, his mother and two sisters have lived at Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC) for 10 months now as participants in the Children’s Hope program, and Kamaree couldn’t be more content with his current surroundings.

“A while back, my mom was doing drugs, I think, but she wanted to get better for her and for us. She went to rehab for a year and did great,” Kamaree explains, “so we started looking for places to live. That’s when she found this place.” Kamaree is interrupted by a smile he can’t contain, then continues, “She told us she would stay better and not be an addict again and that she would be able to get out with us more and play with us. She asked us if we wanted to come. We said ‘yes,’ and all that stuff she said really came true!”

Kamaree continues, “When I first found out where we were going, I was excited, but a little nervous. I thought it was going to be one giant house with, like, an office in it where you go if you mess up or something, but that wasn’t right. It’s so nice here with all the normal houses and everything. It’s like a big neighborhood. When we first got on campus, me and my mom and sister just started adventuring and looking at everything. My mom was really happy. She just kept going on and on about how super nice it was.”

An attentive and enthusiastic student, Kamaree enjoys learning. “The programs they have here are great,” Kamaree says. “I like helping with the bunnies and I like Bible studies. They are teaching us all about God, like how He loves us and Bible verses. I used to go to church back in our other town, too. Here, we go to church, and we also learn Bible verses and watch videos about Jesus. One time, we did this thing where we went around to all the cottages to learn about Jesus. I learned Jesus was born so He could save us from our sin. We have all done sin before, and Jesus said He was willing to pay the price for it.” Kamaree thinks for a moment, then adds with conviction, “I respect God, Jesus and the Bible.”

When he grows up, Kamaree hopes to be either a scientist who can recreate crime scenes to help catch bad guys or to be a policeman. “I just want to do what helps people and is fun,” Kamaree explains. If I can’t do those things, maybe I’ll be an archeologist or work with computers or something. I have all kinds of interests, really.” Kamaree has years to decide what career he wants to pursue, and he’s very happy to live in his new normal for the time being.

“I have lots of friends here, and I do really well at school,” Kamaree says. “I do my work and get good grades. I’m running for student council right now. I don’t like to just sit around. I like to stay active and do interesting things. I wouldn’t mind staying after school to work if I can help with important things that the school needs.”

Kamaree and his family

Kamaree is particularly happy in his home life right now. “I’m really proud of my mom,” he says, displaying his biggest smile yet. “She’s different now. She works hard and does her Bible verses. She’s active, cooks and plays with us. She says she’s having fun spending time with us.”

Kamaree is grateful to those whose financial gifts have relieved some of his mother’s burden so she can focus on staying well, enjoying her children and moving forward into God’s plan for her life. “My life is way different now,” Kamaree says. “Thank you for giving us this place so we can be with our mom and be happy instead of crying so much because we miss her and want her to come home. If I get to be a dad someday, I’m going to always be headed somewhere good and not ever be an addict. I won’t ever be rude to my kids or just leave and not come back like some dads do. Like my mom says, all you have to do is get yourself settled and know what you want and then you can do what it takes to get your happy life. Thank you for helping us with that. You’ve made a huge difference in my life!”