Just Getting Started
by Angela Sanders, Freelance Writer
“…The Lord has given us everything we need for life and godliness…” 2 Peter 1:3
Quick-witted and confident, thirteen-year-old Alexis converses much more easily than most girls her age. Intuitive, she reads people well. Intelligent, she knows her strengths and limits. Alone, these character traits would serve Alexis well, but paired with an extended stay at Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, they will carry her far if she continues to let the Lord lead.
“Before dad left, he had construction jobs that paid a lot,” Alexis explains, “but when he left, my mom had to support four kids with just her salary. She couldn’t do it, so we came here until she could get back on her feet. I guess we could have gone to live with friends or something, but this is way better because my mom has help with the little ones and she doesn’t ever have to feel alone.” Alexis adds, “She went back to school, and now she’s doing really well. We all are. She’s not tired all the time, either, so we can play around more.”
Alexis enjoys spending time with her family, time she wouldn’t have had if her mother hadn’t found the support she needed as a participant in the Children’s Hope program. She also spends her time focused on school and the bunny program at OBHC.
“I like math,” Alexis begins, eyes twinkling. “I’m in advanced pre-algebra, and it’s pretty easy for me. I’m also good with words. I can usually correct you on the things you say. I can spell really well, too. When I’m older I will probably go to beauty school and learn how to do hair. I just think it would be more fun than sitting at a desk all the time because every day would be something different, and you could be with people and talk to them. The numbers part would be easy, like the cash register and stuff.” Alexis giggles. “I’d really like that part, if it was my own shop!”
“Of course, I’ll still go to college and get some degrees,” Alexis continues, “just in case the beauty shop thing doesn’t work out or I change my mind. If that happens I’ll need something to fall back on, like a medical degree…but I am not going to do open heart surgery. Ugh! Sorry, but I just can’t handle bloody things. I might be able to be a nurse, but I’d have to get used to giving shots.”
Thankfully, Alexis has plenty of time to choose a vocation. For now, she can practice her care-giving skills on the OBHC bunnies. “I love them!” Alexis says, expression softening. “Sometimes we even get to go to bunny shows. I won a trophy with my favorite bunny, Rachel, once. Then there’s Ruth. She’s so fluffy and fat and cute, but she’s really old. I used to think she was trying to talk to me when I held her, but now I think maybe she’s just trying to breathe.” Alexis laughs. “We also used to have a bunny named Boaz.” Alexis raises an eyebrow. “Notice the Bible names? This is the Children’s Home, you know!”
Alexis is thankful for all of the OBHC adults who have come alongside her family, but she has a couple of favorites. “Sylvia is great!” Alexis says. “She is our family advisor and lives in our cottage with us. She’s nice and caring and treats us like family. People call my mom her daughter and she never corrects them. I also really like our counselor Phyllis. She doesn’t judge, but just accepts you how you are, like Jesus does.”
To those who support OBHC financially, Alexis offers her most sincere thanks. “I’ve learned a lot here about being a Christian and taking care of my money. I know how to treat people and when to spend and save. That’s all important. Thank you so much! You’re helping the kids who come here have a better life. You make sure we have money for school clothes, we get to school and we learn.”