Feeling like life dealt you a bad deck of cards? If so, it’s time to take some lessons from Davion Only.
The 15-year-old Florida teen – who has been in the foster care system since birth - went to church in a donated black suit that was too big for him and asked for the one thing that he wants most – a family.
“I’ll take anyone,” he told the Tampa Bay Times. “Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don’t care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be.”
Born in jail to a mother who couldn’t care for him, Davion has been placed in one foster home after another, never finding a permanent home or adoptive parents.
Feeling unloved, Davion has struggled with anger issues. Now living in a group home with 12 other boys, Davion – who learned in June that his birth mother is deceased after he searched her name on a library computer – grew tired of waiting for someone to find him and offer him a loving home.
So he decided to find them.
The teen lost 40 lbs., worked on his anger issues and started paying attention in school, earning A’s in every class except geometry.
“He decided he wanted to control his behavior and show everyone who he could be,” said his caseworker.
Then last Sunday, the teen went to St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in St. Petersburg, Fla., to ask the 300 churchgoers if one of them would adopt him.
After the sermon, he was invited to the alter to address the parishoners.
“My name is Davion and I’ve been in foster care since I was born,” he said. “I know God hasn’t given up on me. So I’m not giving up either.”
Sadly, Davion’s story of lifetime in foster care is common in the U.S. There are currently 399,548 children in the system across America, many being cared for by foster care parents.
And like Davion, there are many older teenagers, but fewer than 10 per cent of children adopted from foster care are between 14 and 17.
The average number of children who age out of the U.S. foster care system each year is 20,000.
For more information about Davion, call 866-233-0790.