Becoming a Better Person
by Angela Sanders, Freelance Writer
“He leads me beside quiet waters.” Psalm 23:2
Although she misses her mother terribly and is often side-tracked with concern for her mother’s well-being, fourteen-year old Kaylee enjoys living at Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC) and is thankful for the many healthy relationships she has formed with both adults and peers.
“Most of my life, I’ve lived with my grandma, then some with my great-grandparents because my mom’s work schedule was crazy, and she was basically working almost all day, every day. I finally got to live with my mom because my grandma was trying to adopt my cousins, but while living with her, I messed up and was sent here.
I came to OBHC about a year ago,” Kaylee says. “My mom said I had a bad attitude and I was arguing too much and lying a lot. She was right. I didn’t want to come here at first. Then I got here and now I actually have a lot more friends than I did at my old school. I have friends in just about every grade! It was just hard to leave my mom, you know?”
Kaylee is confident she is making progress in correcting her behavior. “When I go on home visits, they all say I’m not arguing or lying as much,” Kaylee says, expression hopeful. “I don’t have nearly as big of an attitude as I did. My mom says I might be able to move home sometime, but I also want to keep my friends and the people I’ve met here. It’s hard.”
Kaylee has formed special attachments with several sets of OBHC houseparents. “They’re all good,” Kaylee says with a warm smile, her contentment obvious. “They’re pretty strict, but as long as I don’t give them an attitude, it’s fun to live with them. My housedad is probably the most like me, so I like being around him. He’s laid back and very patient, but they are all generous and take good care of us. They teach us about saving money, being responsible and doing our part. It’s all helpful. They act different than the other adults I’ve known. They don’t smoke, drink or cuss. They treat people nicely, and they don’t have a temper. It’s really nice.”
Kaylee suspects Jesus may have something to do with the difference she sees at OBHC. “They take us to church and do devotionals with us. They talk a lot about God and Jesus. I do know that Jesus loves people and rose from the dead.” Kaylee is still considering what the gospel message means in her life, but is enjoying learning more about Jesus every day.
Kaylee thinks she might enjoy being a veterinarian someday. “My grandma suggested it,” Kaylee says, “because I love animals so much. I have two dogs and six cats. They’re all cool, and they all like me. If I become a vet, I’d only want to work on certain animals, like dogs, cats, snakes, horses, coyotes and buffalos. I like science and I have an A in math, so I could probably do it if I keep working hard.”
Whatever her chosen occupation, Kaylee believes she will be a better adult for having lived at OBHC, even if it’s only for a little while. “If I didn’t come here, I’d probably be a horrible kid right now,” she admits. “I’d be cussing and stuff. I would probably be in a lot of trouble with my family, too, but I’m learning how to be a better person than I even thought people could be. I’m learning life doesn’t have to be crazy. You can make good choices and change your circumstances. Whatever I do, I know I won’t smoke, cuss or drink. I won’t spend the money I get on stupid stuff, and when I get married, I’ll stay with my husband forever.”
To those whose financial donations to OBHC have given Kaylee this new perspective, she says, “Thank you so much! I want you to know that I’m thankful for all the things you give me, from the good food to my toothbrush. Every bit of it matters. It’s making a difference.”