Davion Navar Henry Only was born while his mother was in prison. The 15-year-old has been in foster care his entire life. In June, he learned that his mother had a criminal background including drugs and theft, and that she had died just a few weeks earlier.
Knowing that he was now alone in the world, Davion went to the front of St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in St. Petersburg, Florida and made a plea for a family. "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." In an interview with ABC News, Davion said, "If you can, reach out and get me and love me until I die. I'm praying and still hoping. I know God hasn't given up and I'm not either."
Now it appears Davion will get his wish. Since his story aired, some 10,000 people have asked about adopting him. Requests have come in from across the country and overseas, including Canada, India, Mexico, Australia, Great Britain and Iran.
There are more Davions than you may know. Today over 100,000 children are available for adoption through the foster care system across the U.S. Their situation is a symptom of an ongoing crisis in our culture. Our country leads the industrialized world in teenage pregnancy: one in three girls in America becomes pregnant before the age of 20, 81 percent out of wedlock. Four out of 10 births in this country take place outside of marriage.
Today, only 48.4 percent of American households have a married couple; only 20 percent contain married couples with children living with them. "Marriage" and "family" continue to be redefined; on Monday, New Jersey became the 14th state to legalize gay marriage.
How would God redeem the breakdown of the family in our day? First, he wants his people to advocate and model biblical values for the home (see Ephesians 5:21-33). Second, he calls many of us to engage personally with children and families at risk. Have you prayed about adopting a child? About becoming a foster parent, or mentoring a child, or supporting such ministries with your intercession and finances? There are many excellent Christian ministries to at-risk families; I especially recommend Buckner International, an organization Janet and I have supported for many years.
Davion Only says, "I just want people to love me for who I am and to grab me and keep me in their house and love me no matter what." That's how God loves him, and every other at-risk child. Will they feel his love in ours?
Jim Denison, Ph.D., is a subject matter expert on cultural and contemporary issues. He founded the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, a nonsectarian "think tank" designed to engage contemporary issues with biblical truth in 2009 and is the author of seven books, including Radical Islam: What You Need to Know. For more information on the Denison Forum, visit www.denisonforum.org. To connect with Dr. Denison in social media, visit www.twitter.com/jimdenison or www.facebook.com/denisonforum.
Publication date: October 23, 2013