A 15-year-old foster child who went to a St. Petersburg church to plead for a family earlier this year is getting to spend the holidays with his prospective adoptive parents.
When he heard his birth mother had died last spring, Davion Only decided to find someone to adopt him. He went to St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church and told a story that prompted a nationwide response with more than 10,000 inquiries from potential families.
Davion, who was born in prison and raised in foster care, has been living in a group home with 12 other boys and has never had his own room.
But Davion recently moved out of his group home and into a foster home where he is getting to know the family who hopes to adopt him, said Jody Grutza, a vice president for Eckerd, which contracts with the state to handle foster care in southwest Florida.
"Eckerd is humbled at the continued outpouring of support for Davion and his quest for a forever family. We know that there is great interest in who will become Davion's forever family, but we request patience and understanding as we protect the delicate process of identifying the most appropriate family for Davion," she said in an email.
She added that the teen is very excited to bond with them over the holidays.
Davion's story was published in a front-page story in the Tampa Bay Times and went viral on social media and was picked up on news sites and television shows around the globe. His simple, heartfelt plea struck a chord around the world.
"I know God hasn't given up on me," he told the congregation. "So I'm not giving up either."
Davion said he's pleased his story has raised awareness about the struggle of other foster teens to find a home. Last month, the newspaper reported he spoke to Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet on behalf of other Florida teenagers looking for their forever family.
"Even though I'm going through an adoption process right now at the moment, I still hope that other kids in foster care get the benefit that I'm going to have to be adopted and to have somewhere to call home and to have a bed to call theirs," he said.
Approximately 750 children currently are waiting to be adopted from Florida's foster system. Teens are often the most difficult to place.