Waiting To Be Adopted

October 21, 2013 at 5:15 am Leave a comment


15-year-old Davion Only with his caseworker Credit:  Tampa Bay Times

15-year-old Davion Only with his caseworker
Credit: Tampa Bay Times

It’s heartwarming and heartbreaking all at the same time.  15-year-old Davion Only attended St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in St. Petersburg, Florida on a recent Sunday with a request:  “Somebody, anybody, please adopt me.”  Lane DeGregory of the Tampa Bay Times sets the scene of this boy’s dark past:

Davion Navar Henry Only loves all of his names. He has memorized the meaning of each one: beloved, brown, ruler of the home, the one and only.

But he has never had a home or felt beloved.  His name is the last thing his parents gave him.

He was born while his mom was in jail.  He can’t count all of the places he has lived.

In June, Davion sat at a library computer, unfolded his birth certificate and, for the first time, searched for his mother’s name.  Up came her mug shot: 6-foot-1, 270 pounds – tall, big and dark, like him.  Petty theft, cocaine.

Next he saw the obituary: La-Dwina Ilene “Big Dust” McCloud, 55, of Clearwater, died June 5, 2013.  Just a few weeks before.[1]

It’s hard to imagine how this young man’s childhood could have been more heart-rending.

By Davion’s own admission, he has had rage problems in the past.  His caseworker once took him to a picnic hosted by an organization devoted to helping foster kids find permanent homes, but he lashed out – throwing chairs and pushing people away.  But the death of his mother changed him:

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,” [his caseworker] said.

So someone would want him.

The only thing more heartbreaking than the story of Davion’s past is that state of Davion’s present, encapsulated in this one line:  “So someone would want him.”

There’s a reason the Bible often uses adoption as a descriptor for the Gospel.  Paul writes, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-6).  Elsewhere in his writings, Paul makes it clear that God’s adoption of us as His children is in no way based on our desirability.  Quite the contrary.  Paul minces no words explaining just how undesirable we are:  “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one” (Romans 3:10-12).  Our adoption as God’s children is not based on our desirability, but on His grace.

The Gospel, then, is this:  We do not have to wait for someone to want us.  For we know that someone does want us – so much, in fact, that He’s willing to die for us.

Lane DeGregory’s article ends with this postscript:  “At publication time, two couples had asked about Davion, but no one had come forward to adopt him.”  Praise be to God that when we are slow to adopt, our Lord is not.  He signed the papers for us 2,000 years ago.


[1] Lane DeGregory, “An orphan goes to church and asks someone, anyone to adopt him,” The Tampa Bay Times (10.15.2013).

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