Just Really Blessed
by Angela Sanders, Freelance Writer
“…He leads me beside quiet waters.” Psalm 23:2b
Polite and unassuming, 15-year-old Nicholas enjoys living at OBHC and is grateful for the opportunity to make his home here for as long as he needs to do so.
“I got here about a year ago,” Nick says, adjusting his posture and lifting the bill of his cap. “I’m here for a better education. I kind of had a little bit of anger issues too, depending on what someone does.”
“My mom was the one who found this place. My parents and I were looking for places together, and I thought OBHC looked the best. I went to another place before this one, but there were lots more kids, and it was hard to be there. This is much better because there’s not as many kids and a lot of stuff to do that I wouldn’t get to do if I still lived at home. Adjusting to living here was pretty easy. I wanted to be here.”
Nick is grateful for the companionship and support of his houseparents, the Dallalios, and looks for opportunities to help them like they’ve helped him. “They’re really nice and funny – just easy to get along with them,” Nick says with a contented shrug. “They help me when I need it, like with my schoolwork, and they just talk to me when I’m not feeling great about stuff. Sometimes I go find them to talk, but other times they just know. They are that way with the other guys, too. They’ve helped me learn how to handle stuff. Like if something is going wrong and I don’t feel comfortable, they tell me that I can just go somewhere and not be around it. They also take us to church and do devotions with us in the morning. That helps a lot. One thing we do together every day is read the Bible. They also remind us to pray. Someday, I’ll do the same things if I have a family.”
Nick was a follower of Christ before coming to live at OBHC. “I’m adopted,” Nick explains. “My biological parents didn’t go to church, but their parents went to church. I remember I used to try to sneak out and go with them to church, but it didn’t work. I always got caught. My biological parents would always smoke and drink around us and beat us, so I went to foster care.
“When I was in foster care, I got to go to church, so that was good. Then I got adopted, and I went to church all the time. After a while, I realized what it meant to walk with the Lord. After one service, my mom, dad and pastor sat me down and we prayed together, and I got saved. It has made a big difference in my life because I’m not worried anymore about what’s going to happen.”
Nick is very optimistic about his future. “I’ll probably be a mechanic working on cars or be a chef,” Nick says with a smile. “I’ve been thinking about being a mechanic for a little while because I like building and stuff, and I think doing that would be really interesting. I also like food, though, and like to cook sometimes. I could probably cook just about anything, but I haven’t had a chance to practice much yet. I make great grilled cheese sandwiches, and I can cook fish. My parents think I would be really good at being either one of those things.”
Nick’s relationship with his parents remains strong. “Home is really far away for me,” Nick says, “so I only get to go on big breaks. When I visit, they see how much stronger I’m getting while I’m here. I can lift things without struggling, big stuff. They also see how my work effort just keeps getting better and better and how I’m doing a lot more things than I could have done there. Like, I can weld some now. I think they like seeing what all I can do.”
Nick is very aware that places like OBHC don’t just materialize on their own, and he is eager to thank those whose financial gifts support the home away from home he’s come to love. “If I didn’t get to be here, I would probably still be getting in trouble,” Nick says.
“Because I came here, I know how to not get in trouble now. I also appreciate all the stuff you give us that lets us have fun and do things we couldn’t do at home. We are just really blessed by you. Thanks!”Nick