by Angela Sanders, Freelance Writer
“Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none…” – Luke 3:11 (ESV)
Happy-go-lucky and kind, 11-year-old Amelia takes life as it comes but is particularly grateful to be spending this chapter of her life at Baptist Children’s Home, Oklahoma City with her mother and brother as participants in the Children’s Hope program.
Since moving to the Oklahoma City campus, Amelia has raised her grades. “I love school now,” she explains. “In all my other schools, I didn’t like social studies, science or math. I only liked reading, but when I met my new teachers, I loved them. Now the only subject I don’t like is math.” Amelia giggles.
“I do like animals, though,” she continues. “When I grow up, I want to be a veterinarian or maybe do adoption for animals because they make me happy. Me and my mom used to take care of 14 cats in my apartment. It was a lot of fun, but they liked to bring in garter snakes and bunnies, so we had to teach them not to.”
Amelia, her mom and brother came to live at OBHC a year and a half ago. “It all started when we lived in our apartment,” Amelia remembers. “My mom was drinking a lot. Then, one day I was at school, a caseworker came by and asked me a lot of questions. When I went home, she went with me. After that, she checked on us once a month, but didn’t really sit down. We never had couches or anything. We had been making our own couches. After that, I went to a foster home with my mom’s friend while my mom went somewhere to help her stop drinking. While she was there, she looked for a place we could be together, and found this place. It’s great!”
Amelia and her family share a cottage with another mother and her children, one that adjoins with their Family Advisor’s home.
“We’re basically like a big family,” Amelia explains. “We do all kinds of stuff together and go to Miss Allison’s house to eat pizza and drink floats. She watches us kids while our moms go to Monday class. My mom really looks forward to that.”
Amelia loves “just everything” about living at OBHC. “There are lots of people, lots of friends, lots of family, and it’s a really helpful place for my mom,” Amelia says. “They help her by talking to her a lot. I don’t know what they talk about because they take her to the next room, but she usually seems really happy when she comes back from the talk.”
“My mom has always been a good mom,” Amelia continues. “Even when she was drinking, she was with us and making our food and watching movies with us and stuff, but she didn’t always take care of herself. Now, she takes better care of herself, and I like to see that. She’s doing school so she can get a job close by. I don’t know what she is planning to be, but it has something to do with math and reading and answering questions. It looks hard, but she still helps me with my homework. Sometimes we do our homework together. It’s kind of fun.”
Amelia and her family hope to move into one of the duplexes on campus soon and eventually move off campus into their own home, but for now, none of them are anxious to change their living arrangement. “The way it is right now, I’m surrounded by kid friends and grown-up friends,” Amelia explains. “They all care how I’m doing and talk to me and help me. Miss Phyllis comes to our cottage and tells us stories, and we talk about our emotions. She teaches us how to get rid of sadness and how to calm down if we’re angry and how to show it if we’re happy. Miss Tabitha takes us to scouts. It’s like Girls Scouts, but Christian, I think. We learn about Jesus and do stuff with verses and make posters. I know Jesus died on the cross, but I’m still kind of new and we never went to church before, so that’s really all I know right now.”
To those whose financial gifts have provided her and her family with a place to regroup and focus on making a better life for themselves, Amelia says simply, “My mom isn’t drinking anymore, and we’re all learning good stuff, so I’m really glad you decided to share. Thank you very much!”