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Soaring: A New ABCH Graduate

Lauren* is a young girl in care at our Decatur campus. She came to our Campus Care home after leaving a home of drugs and abuse, and has since grown in her relationship with God and overcome her past with His great redemption! Not only is she thriving in her everyday life, but she has also overcome her circumstances by graduating a semester early from high school!

Jim Harris, one of Lauren’s house parents, says, “Lauren needed a place where she could excel! She came to us scared and without direction. She came as a stranger who became family. There’s no need to look back when she was only a caterpillar, because now she is a beautiful, awesome butterfly.

“Since she has been with us, she has matured into a fine, Christian young lady! She has trust and confidence that few achieve. She is an academic honor recipient, church missionary, leader in the youth, as well as at children’s church, a leader in our cottage and on campus, and has held several paid positions in our city. She needed safety, and now she’s soaring like an eagle! We are blessed to have had her in our home!”

We are so proud of Lauren and can’t wait to see God’s plan continue to unfold in her life. This is her story, written in her own words . . .

 

I came to Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes (ABCH) two days after my thirteenth birthday . . . I didn’t have any family that could take me, so I was placed at ABCH. For about two years I didn’t want to get close to anyone because I thought I was going to leave and go home.

After my grandmother died, I decided that I didn’t want to go home. ABCH was the only foster home I had ever been in, so when I was offered the chance to go to court and sign papers saying I wanted to stay there and never go home, I took that chance. I decided that ABCH had become family and was the best place for me, and even though I will be moving soon due to college, ABCH will forever be family and I will always come back to visit.

My experience with ABCH has been great. I have learned a lot of life skills and have also grown closer to Christ. I have learned that blood family isn’t always everything; there are people in the world who love you and treat you like you should be treated. My favorite part about being at ABCH is probably the vacations we get to go on. I had never been on a vacation until I moved here, and I have some great memories that I never would have had if ABCH wasn’t a part of my life.

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One of our cottages in Decatur

 

I decided to graduate high school early because, like most children in foster care, I was behind and was older than everyone else in my grade. I finished in December at the age of nineteen. No one else in my family has ever been to college, and I have made one of my main goals in life to finish college and am now attending Calhoun Community College!

I want to finish with a degree in special education. I decided to do this because I have worked with special needs children in school for four years and also have a special needs brother and sister, so I have been around it my entire life. Because of this, I have decided that it is something that I would love to do [as a career].

If a child was scared to leave behind everything they know to come into care, I would tell them that ABCH is one of the best things that could happen to you, if you let it impact you in a great way. You have people all around you who can help you with what you are going through; you just have to let them help you. You can always make new friends that are sometimes better than the old ones!

 

Praise God for His faithfulness in Lauren’s life! If you would like to learn how you can be a part of providing for the needs of students like Lauren, please visit alabamachild.org/13ways!

*Name and photo has been changed to protect her identity.

 

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