He’s never had a home of his own and never really knew what it felt like to be loved. His mother was in jail when he was born. This past summer, sitting in a library with his birth certificate, looking for his biological mother, he learned she had died. Tragically, La-Dwina Ilene “Big Dust” McCloud, age 55, had died just a few weeks prior.
He’s lived his entire life in foster care and can’t remember how many different places he’s lived. But he’s never had a real family. A family of his own. He’s not the only child who’s had this experience. But, believe it or not, his name is Only – Davion Navar Henry Only.
According to Lane DeGregory of the Tampa Bay Times, “Davion always longed for a family. His caseworker took him to picnics, put his portrait in the Heart Gallery. But he had thrown chairs, blown his grades, pushed people away. When he learned his birth mother was dead, everything changed. He had to let go of the hope that she would come get him. Abandon his anger. Now he didn’t have anyone else to blame. He decided he wanted to control his behavior and show everyone who he could be.”1
“All summer, he worked on swallowing his rage, dropping his defenses. He lost 40 pounds. So far in 10th grade, he has earned A’s – except in geometry ... Davion decided he couldn’t wait for someone to find him. In three years, he’ll be on his own.”2
So, this past September he left Carlton Manor in St. Petersburg, FL, where he lives with 12 other teenage boys, all with problems; and went to church. St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in St. Petersburg. But this time he wouldn’t just be attending, he would be speaking. In a remarkable demonstration of courage, the 15-year-old foster child stood before the congregation of 300, took the microphone and began to speak. His message left the audience stunned, and what he shared has gone all over the world.
Here’s what he said: “My name is Davion and I’ve been in foster care since I was born.” He went on to pour out his heart, begging for someone to adopt him, asking for a family. “I’ll take anyone, ” Davion told the congregation. “Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don’t care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be ... I know God hasn’t given up on me. So I’m not giving up either.”3
According to ABC News, “It was an act of courage, taking his future in his own hands. More than 100,000 families from all over the world reached out, offering to take him in. After he spoke with ABC News, and then appeared on ABC’s ‘The View,’ his story touched hearts around the world.”4
The final story on ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, last night (December 23rd) was about Davion Only. And it looks like he’ll finally be home for Christmas. He’s going to be adopted.
But that’s not where the story ends . . .
You and I have a similar story. Over 2,000 years ago, in a tiny town called Bethlehem, a baby was born. His name was Jesus: The Only begotten Son of the Father. Like Davion, He was looking for a family and He wanted a home – in people’s hearts. The Bible says, “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God ...” (John 1:11-12).
John goes on to say, “children of God ... who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13). Do you know what that means?
It means we’re ADOPTED, too!
© 2013. Barry L. Cameron
[If you’re looking for a family ... come to Crossroads today at 3, 4:30 or 6. It’s our annual CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHT COMMUNION SERVICES. You’ll feel right at home.]
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.