Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children

James Browning

stories from the book
by James V. Browning

From Insanity to Stability

DeeAnn (Dixson) Fogle

I came to live at the Baptist Children’s Home in Oklahoma City in April of 1976. At the age of 13, I had suffered much physical, emotional and sexual abuse at the hands of an alcoholic father. I was no angel; thought that I needed no one. So many scars, so much rejection, and very little love in my life made it hard for me to love or to let anyone love me in return.

It took about a year for me to adjust and really accept the fact that I was safe and life for me was stable for the first time and that it really was all right to let people love me. That was the beginning of the healing process I needed then and still continues today.

School was hard for me. At first, I had no self-confidence and found it hard to concentrate on school and my grades. In the ninth grade, my Grade Point Average was about 1.75. By the time I was a senior and graduated in May of 1980, my Grade Point Average was a 4.00.

While living at the Home, I attended Northwest Baptist Church and I was very active in our Youth group. I went on mission trips to Rifle, Colo., and to Mt. Ida, Ark. I attended Falls Creek with my church every year.

I especially enjoyed my summer vacations with my sponsors, Trinity Baptist Church of Guymon. But my fondest memories are of the people who made a significant difference in my everyday life. A God-given family, Rev. and Mrs. John Fite who are now retired, were my first houseparents. They administered a strong hand, but loved much. I also acknowledge Bill and Cathy Miller who loved me like their own, and Mr. David Peck (I swear I didn’t go frog-gigging that year at Camp Hudgens). I could not conclude without mentioning the man who contacted me about writing my story, Mr. James V. Browning who was the administrator for the four years that I lived at the Baptist Children’s Home. We had many talks together, and his door was always open to us all. I honor you and... ”Thank my God on every remembrance of you.”

I thank God daily for the opportunity I had to walk through the doors of the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children. Thank you and my deepest gratitude to Oklahoma Baptists for caring, sharing and giving. Your love through the Home gave me an opportunity to excel in mind, body and spirit. It was a chance to experience what true family and love was all about, but most importantly, it pointed the way for me to have and know a true relationship with Jesus Christ and a solid foundation for life.

I remember the overwhelming feelings of sadness and fear as I drove out of those front gates for the last time. Unsure, but confident that I could face the world because my life had been touched by TRUE love. I am 35 now, and have been married for 13 years. I live in Shawnee and still stay in touch with many people from the Home. I am proud to say that I was a Home kid, and I share my story often with people.

Don’t stop caring! Don’t stop sharing your love with the hopeless, helpless, and the rejected children of today. You made the difference in my life; you can make the difference in their lives, too.

P.S.: Dear Mr. Browning,

Not only was I pleased, but also elated to receive your recent note and request to share my story. I hope that what I have shared will touch many, just as the Home touched me. For years now, I have wanted to express my appreciation in some way, and I feel this is the perfect opportunity to do so.

I have many fond memories of the Home. You are quite special and DEAR to my heart. I still remember your birthday was February 14th and I once made a heart-shaped cake for you. I also remember how your door was always open. That meant the most. I remember the first day you drove me around campus and pointed out that there were no fences. I was wondering, do you still have my senior picture?

I am so thankful God used you to show me that not all authority figures were bad and that it was all right to trust. Thanks for just being you. To the point, brass tacks, but TRUE heart. Thank you for giving to the Lord, for I am a life that was changed!

Here is my story. My only request is that I receive a copy of the finished project that is personally signed by you. If I can ever be of any other help, please let me know. I would be willing to share at churches or meetings, etc.

Once again, thanks for the opportunity to let me share. The Home and its children and staff are always in my prayers.

With much love and admiration, DeeAnn (Dixon) Fogle

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