A 15-year-old's heartfelt plea at a St. Petersburg church for someone to love him as his "forever family" reverberated around the world. Tens of thousands of people have called a local child service agency after Davion Only appeared on national television. Now Davion, born in prison and now living in a group home, has even heard from his extended family. His caseworker at Eckerd is confident he soon will be adopted.
Davion's story is reminder that personalizing and investing in the fates of children left without a family almost always pays off. Then-Gov. Charlie Crist realized that in 2007 when he established an office in his administration solely devoted to promoting adoption through streamlining procedures and coordinating campaigns. For two years, the state set adoption records, with more than 12,000 foster children adopted before Crist left office. Gov. Rick Scott and his wife, Ann, have continued the push. And government programs are striving to become more supportive in helping families handle the financial demands of adopting a child.
But the work is not done. Every day, children face the disheartening prospect of growing up without ever having a parent who will love and care for them unconditionally. Every day is an opportunity to educate potential adoptive parents that their love and guidance is needed.
As Davion reminded us, every day holds the promise that a child can find his forever family.