Davion Navar Henry Only is 15 years old. He has been around people all his life, in and out of foster care and under the watchful eye of a caseworker, but he has never had a family.
In a church in Saint Petersburg, Florida, on a Sunday in September, in front of a crowd of hundreds, he took it upon himself to change that.
"My name is Davion and I've been in foster care since I was born," he started. "I know God hasn't given up on me. So I'm not giving up either."
He asked the crowd for help in finding what he has been so reluctant to admit he wants: An adoption, a family, a home.
Though his caseworker, Connie Going, has rallied hard for any adoption opportunities for Davion, the teen has had some difficult episodes. His grades weren't great, he's had some anger issues. According to a report in the Naples News, Only's behavior hinged on his hopes of someday finding his birth family.
That all changed in June, when Davion searched for his real mother online. She had been in jail at the time Davion entered the foster system. Sure enough, he found her records, which included details of cocaine possession and petty theft.
She had passed away earlier that month, merely weeks before Davion had sought her out.
Connie Going says the discovery spurred something inside Davion. He improved his grades and his health. He started making changes that allowed him the hope of someday having a family of his own. "He decided he wanted to control his behavior and show everyone who he could be," she said. Coming to the St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church was something he had thought of himself.
As he stood at the front of the church, he laid his feelings bare.
"I'll take anyone," he said. "Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don't care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be."
So far, several families have come forward and shown interest in adopting Davion, but none has actually started the adoption process. Eckerd, the adoption agency handling Davion's case, released a statement regarding the interest in the young man's story:
"Eckerd has received more than 300 phone calls, emails and inquiries from across the world about Davion’s story. People are interested in adopting Davion, providing other opportunities for him and adopting children in general. Eckerd is hopeful that these inquiries lead to a family for Davion and raise awareness for the needs of the hundreds of other children waiting for families in Tampa Bay area."
HLN spoke to Leigh Ann Tuohy, the adoptive mother of football star Michael Oher, whose story was immortalized in the book and film "The Blind Side." Tuohy discussed the importance of people opening their hearts to children in need.
"How do we know if someone doesn't offer Davion hope and love and opportunity, that he would not become the next greatest teacher or airplane pilot or police officer?" she said. "All he needs is a chance."