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Alex Reaches New Heights And Sets Lofty Goals

November 27, 2006

By W. James Edminson

Alex stands head and shoulders above everyone. The 17-year-old junior stands six feet and five inches tall, but it is not just his physical height that sets him apart from the other children at Mills Home in Thomasville. It is his character and determination to succeed that makes him a stand out.

Life for Alex has been hard. He is a by-product of two people who didn’t love each other. His father and mother were never married. His mom used drugs and drank heavily often putting her young son at risk. After one horrific episode, Alex was taken from his mother and went to live with his father. His father had his problems, too. But with his dad he felt safe.

Just when he thought life was better, his father became seriously ill. And it was Alex who held his father in his arms as he took his last breath. He was the one who placed his hand on his father’s eyes and closed them for the last time.

It was at this time that a close friend stepped forward. Alex had known Joyce since he was four years old and she knew what he had suffered over the years. Her daughter and son-in-law opened their home to the 12-year-old boy.

Laura and Brett became Alex’s family. But there was immediate conflict. Living with his dad, Alex was used to a tremendous amount of freedom. Now he lived with boundaries, structure and discipline.

Alex was a handful. “I was angry,” he remembers. “I needed them, but I wanted to live on my own. I wanted things to be the way that it was before my father died.”

Things escalated over time and the couple who had reached out to help Alex now needed help themselves. They turned to Baptist Children’s Homes.

Living at Mills Home has been good for Alex. “They help me to look at things differently, I’ve stopped being so defensive,” he says. “I’m on a better path.”

Life with Laura and Brett has improved, too. The relationship between the trio has strengthened. Alex credits the couple’s determination and commitment to him for making the difference.

“They have stayed with me through so much,” Alex says. “It is amazing!” Hopeful about his future, Alex dreams of becoming a professional athlete. He is working hard at school and is looking forward to returning home soon.

“There are some who would say ‘poor Alex,’ but I believe this is God’s plan for me,” Alex confides. “I wouldn’t be where and who I am if it had not been for all that has happened to me.”