The boy who captured hearts around the nation when he asked a church to help him find a forever family in 2013 finally has one.
Connie Going, Davion Navar Henry Only’s former caseworker, is currently finalizing the teen’s adoption and expects to sign the paperwork on Wednesday.
Only attracted nationwide attention in 2013 when, on a Sunday, he decided to stand in front of St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in St. Petersburg, Florida, and make a public plea to be adopted. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Florida orphan Davion Only (left) is set to be adopted by his former caseworker Connie Going (right).
That June, the then-15-year-old Florida orphan who had been in foster care his entire life looked up his birth mother’s name online and discovered that she had a criminal background. The boy also found her obituary — she had died just a few weeks earlier.
Only said then that he’d cried in the library, but made a decision not to let his family’s history define him. The teen then decided to take matters into his own hands and find a lifelong family for himself. He said at the time:
I’ll take anyone. 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’m praying and still hoping. I know God hasn’t given up and I’m not either.
The response to the teen’s plea was overwhelming, with tens of thousands of calls being made to adoption agencies looking for information on the boy.
Requests poured in from all over the country, as well as from around the world, including from Canada, India, Mexico, Australia, Great Britain and Iran. Agency workers named it “the Davion effect.”
2. Going said: “He has such a special spirit and he hasn’t given up hope. I think it’s a human’s right to be loved and wanted.”
The teen previously said:
I just wanted to let people know that it’s hard to be a foster kid. People sometimes don’t know how hard it is and how much we try to do good.
The boy explained at the time that, despite his age, he still needed a parent. He said:
Just ’cause I’m not going to be a kid doesn’t mean you’re still not my parent. I’m still gonna be your child. I’m still gonna need you down the road.
In 2014, the teen was removed from the home of a potential adoptive family. According to the Eckerd adoptive agency, which is overseeing his adoption process, the 16-year-old had an altercation with a member of his prospective family after moving in with them for a 90-day trial period.
3. Going, who was photographed straightening Only’s tie that faithful day in church, said at the time that he was an inspiration to other children awaiting families.
Going, who was photographed straightening Only’s tie that faithful day in church, said at the time that he was an inspiration to other children awaiting families. She said:
He has such a special spirit and he hasn’t given up hope. I think it’s a human’s right to be loved and wanted. … When you don’t feel that you are, it’s hard to succeed in life.
And now she is set to take the boy into her family. A spokesperson for the Going family said:
Connie, Davion and their new family appreciate the outpouring of support and well wishes. Right now, they are taking some quiet as a family but look forward to sharing their story, knowing it will inspire and give hope to others.
In the meantime, they encourage everyone to follow their hearts no matter how difficult it may seem and to “be the change you wish to see in the world.”
4. Teen orphan’s “view” on family: “anybody who will love me” — an ABC News report.
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