Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children

 

So Much More

"My mother and my brothers are those who hear and do the word of God." Luke 8:21

SethA reserved young man of very few words, seventeen-year-old Seth is uncomfortable talking about himself, but has plenty to say about the village of caring Christian adults who have raised him as their own and walked him every step of the way into young adulthood with patience, grace, and love.

“Without them, I wouldn’t be in a good place spiritually or physically,” Seth says, expression serious. “They’ve helped me grow spiritually, be confident, learn how to treat people, do my homework…well, everything.”

Seth came to live at the OKC campus of OBHC when he was just five years old. “My mom and dad were having issues,” Seth explains. “I don’t remember a lot about coming to the children’s home."

Seth when he was a young boy. “That was twelve years ago, but I do know I thought it was pretty cool. Still do.”

When Seth was eight, he transferred to another campus, where he began to work with animals and form deep connections with other children. “We all get along pretty good,” Seth says. “I’m not home a lot now, but I like being around everyone when I am.”

Seth works twenty to thirty hours per week at Walmart pushing shopping carts, something he was encouraged to do by a former houseparent. “I didn’t want to at first,” Seth says, checking his watch to make sure he won’t be late for this day’s shift, “but it’s not bad. I don’t have to do it, but I like making my own money.”

Demonstrating extraordinary work ethic and discipline for someone so young, Seth has managed to keep his grades up while holding down a job. When asked how he balances it all, Seth shrugs, looking confused. “Well, when I’m at school, I focus and get my work done so I don’t have homework.”

One day soon, Seth plans to be an Air Force airplane mechanic. “When I graduate, I’m going to another vocational school so I’ll have the skills I need to do what I want to do.”

As eager as he is to be finished with school, Seth is in no hurry to leave the place that has been home to him or the adults who have become, in every way, his family, serving as moms and dads, aunts and uncles, and grandparents.

“There are a lot of special people here,” Seth says. “The Carneys were always kind to me and helped me through a difficult time. When a family member passed the Coxes helped me a lot. They made me feel safe when I didn’t feel safe and helped me become a Christian when I was eleven. I would have been in a lot more fights if I hadn’t done that.”

“I live with the Holmanns now,” Seth continues. “I like them a lot. They’re really nice. He’s fair, but stern, and she’s kind and considerate. They’ve helped me grow socially and helped me get into the military. They do a Bible study devotion with us each morning and take us to church on Sunday and Wednesday and stuff like that. I want to be more open in my faith like them, and I trust them enough to ask questions. They could be my parents. That’s what I’m trying to say. That’s the kind of relationship I have with them.”

“Mrs. Thackerson has made a big difference in my life, too, "Seth adds quickly, needing to get to work. At the mention of this special woman’s name, Seth’s serious expression finally gives way to a smile. “She’s a lot of fun. She lets me tease her and give her a hard time. I think she lets me do it because she cares. We connect really well.”

Although he’s only met a few of them, Seth also feels a strong connection to those who’ve made the happy childhood and adolescence he’s enjoyed possible. “The OBHC donors are awesome,” says Seth, standing to go. “I’m thankful for them. They did so much more than meet my needs. They gave me my self worth.”

February 2018


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