“I’ll take anyone. Old or young. Dad or mom. Black, white, purple. I don’t care.”
When Davion Only, a 15-year-old boy who had spent his entire life in foster care, stood up at the pulpit of a Baptist church in Florida and begged for someone–anyone–to adopt him, people listened. “I know God hasn’t given up on me,” Davion told the church congregation. “So I’m not giving up either.”
Davion was born when his mother was in jail. A few months before he stood up in the Florida church, he had learned online that she had passed away. His entire life had been spent in foster care. He had lived with one foster family until he was seven years old, and after that had been bounced from placement to placement, often living in group homes.
It was a hard life.
“People sometimes don’t know how hard it is and how much we try to do good,” he said in an interview with ABC news.
Davion’s story went viral. It appeared in newspapers, in magazines, and on TV. Hundreds of people reached out, saying they would be willing to adopt him.
Finally, a family was chosen for him: A pastor in Ohio had offered to open up his home to the boy. It seemed like a good fit, and a year after he made his plea in church, Davion moved in with the family with high hopes.
Unfortunately, the placement didn’t last long. Following an altercation between Davion, one of the family’s younger children, and the father of the family, Davion was sent back to a group home in Florida.
Davion was shattered. Throughout his life, there had only been one person who had always been there for him: his caseworker, Connie Going, a single mom who had known him since he was seven. When he was younger, Davion had asked Connie to adopt him. Her life circumstances precluded the possibility at the time, but he wondered if things had changed.
He decided to try again. He called her up. “Hey… Miss Connie… it’s me… Do you remember what I asked you before? Well, how do you feel about adopting me now?”
This time the answer was yes.
Connie already had three children, two biological daughters and a teenage son, Taylor, she had adopted two years prior. And as it turned out, Taylor and Davion had lived in a group home together. They had, in fact, been close friends. Davion fit in well with the family, and, in 2015, at the age of 17, he was finally adopted into his forever family.
This April, he celebrated his 2-year anniversary as a member of the Going family.
The Daily Mail reports that learning how to be a member of a family has admittedly not been easy for Davion, but it’s a process that has brought tremendous joy to him and his entire family.
When Davion was first adopted, he was taking multiple psychiatric medications–now he’s not on any medications. But that’s not the biggest change he’s undergone. Connie says, “The biggest change that I’ve seen in Davion since he became a formal part of the family is that he’s happy. He’s happier; he laughs a lot. He likes to tease me and jump out and scare me sometimes, and I think he’s just generally happier with his life, that he finds his way and works through things. So I think being more comfortable, maybe feeling a bit more safe than he did in foster care. I think he talks more than he ever did before, but I like that.”
Davion puts it this way: “I feel like I’m a lot more safer because I have my home now–and I don’t have to really watch my back around here. I have a lot more opportunities; you know, I’m able to get into sports. I have a job. Now I have a family who actually cares for me, and it’s a pretty good feeling to know that there’s people that care about you and want you to succeed in life.”