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Brooke Blossoms at Broyhill

August 25, 2011

By W. James Edminson

Just outside Blanton Cottage, there are flower beds. Seasons come and seasons go, and the beds are always made to look their best.

Sixteen-year-old Brooke and cottage mom Margaret Grantham are weeding beds and planting fresh flowers. Brooke moved to the transitional living cottage on Broyhill campus in Clyde only a few days before.

“I am dependable,” Brooke asserts. She has lived at Broyhill for nearly two years. “It’s important to me for people to know they can count on me.”

Brooke learned how to be responsible out of necessity. Before she came to live at Baptist Children’s Homes, she was solely responsible for the care of herself and her mother.

“I was 12 when I began to notice my mom’s drugs and drinking,” she recalls. “Mom was sick a lot. There were times she was in the hospital.

I started cleaning and cooking. I made sure she was okay.”

Things only got worse as time went on. Her home became a place of affliction. At times, Brooke suffered neglect and abuse. She was at risk. The people she felt she could trust the most let her down and trampled her self esteem.

“It is hard for me to trust others,” she says. “The abuse I experienced and the way adults treated me makes it difficult.”

When her father learned of his daughter’s plight, he stepped forward and Brooke came to live with him. But unforeseen challenges from her past forced him to let Brooke live at Broyhill. Both were relieved. Brooke began to feel safe.

“When I first came, I didn’t want to trust anyone,” Brooke says. “I was scared. But I’ve learned it’s okay – I learned I was going to be okay. People here are trying to help – they are here for me.” Gradually, she looked forward to a better future. Hope began to blossom.

Brooke is more focused than ever and is intent on making the most of her new opportunity.

“I will get through this,” she contends, reflecting on her past life and marveling at her future possibilities. “You have to decide, you can go down a road to a bad place or you take a road to become a better, stronger person.”

Like the flowers she and Grantham are planting, Brooke is taking root and blooming into the special person she is meant to be.

“I was saved last year on 10-10-10,” she says, beaming. “God has helped me a lot during these rough times. I guess my biggest accomplishment is learning I can trust Him – knowing that He is going to be there for me.”

Brooke is aware of her many caring supporters, and she is thankful for Broyhill Home. She is amazed at all that is lovingly provided. It is very apparent, she says, when a person comes from a place of hardship to have food on the table and clothes to wear. . .and a safe place to flourish.