Davion Only Still Waiting To Be Adopted
Six months after orphan Davion Only made his heartfelt plea for adoption, he still is waiting for a family he can call his own. October of last year, Davion, then 15 years old, stood before the congregation at St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in St. Petersburg, Florida and asked to be adopted by “anyone who will have me”, “Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don’t care.”
When his heart-wrenching story became viral, requests to adopt him poured by the thousands into his foster care agency, Eckerd Community Alternatives. The requests for his adoption came not just from around the country, but from countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Mexico, India and Iran. The sheer amount of requests nearly caused the agency’s website to crash. At one point, 60 people were assigned to man the phones to field inquiries about adopting Davion.
At sixteen, Davion only has a few months before he is technically pushed out of the foster care system once he reaches the age of 18. The adoption process usually takes 9 to 12 months, perhaps more. This means that he only has a few months in which to find a family and undergo the process of legally and officially becoming a member of that family.
Davion has been in search for family, even at his young age. His mother was serving time in prison when she gave birth to Davion. With no other relatives coming up to assume responsibility for his care, he was placed into the foster care system. A year ago, he obtained access to his birth certificate and his birthmother’s name.
He searched for his mother online through a computer at the public library. He was able to find her. Sadly, he was a few weeks to late. One of the things he found was her obituary, dated a few weeks earlier. The discovery of his mother’s death only made him more determined to find a family. Although he had some behavioral issues in the past, he worked hard to get good grades in school.
His journey towards being adopted was also not without its bumps and obstacles. Although the media played an important role in spreading his story, some reports gave the wrong details about his adoption status. News went out that he had already found a family just in time for Christmas. This turned out to be wrong – the foster family he spent Christmas with had no plans of adopting him.
Terri Durdaller, spokesperson for Eckerd, explains the reason why Davion remains an orphan despite of requests for adoption pouring in. She explains that adoption is a process and several factors need to be considered, including whether the family and the child has bonded and whether the family has the full capabilities to care for the child.
Even with the wait and his impending “aging out” of the foster care system, Davion remains optimistic. “I know God hasn’t given up on me.” Even while his adoption is pending, he has become the spokesperson for teenagers who are likewise searching for their forever family.
Last year, Davion stood before Florida Governor Rick Scott and his Cabinet. He states, “Even though I’m going through an adoption process… I still hope that other kids in foster care… (can) have somewhere to call home and to have a bed to call theirs.”