Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Davion Only takes foster care story to Gov. Rick Scott, Florida Cabinet

Davion Only, going through the adoption process, could have a family by Christmas.

Davion Only, going through the adoption process, could have a family by Christmas.

TALLAHASSEE — He spoke up for himself and received international attention.

On Tuesday, Davion Navar Henry Only took his story to Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet to speak on behalf of all Florida teenagers looking for their forever family.

"Even though I'm going through an adoption process right now at the moment, I still hope that other kids in foster care get the benefit that I'm going to have to be adopted and to have somewhere to call home and to have a bed to call theirs," he said, shaking off his nerves as he spoke to a packed meeting.

Davion, 15, has bounced from home to home his whole life. He shared his story at a St. Petersburg church a couple of months ago, hoping the right family would answer the call to adopt him. His story, first published in the Tampa Bay Times, went viral. It has been overwhelming for everyone involved, and Davion is not being allowed to do more interviews right now.

Meanwhile, his caseworkers have whittled the thousands of people who said they wanted to adopt Davion to a few that he now is in the process of meeting. They hope to have him matched with a family by Christmas.

Dressed in a black suit and navy button-down shirt, Davion talked about teenagers in foster care needing that extra push to "see the light at the end of the tunnel."

"I think, like, when someone comes and grabs that kid and brings them and welcomes them into their heart, they will feel better about their self and I think that they will be able to tolerate a lot of things," Davion said.

Zack Gibson, director of the governor's Office of Adoption and Child Protection, said more than 8,400 children have been adopted since Scott took office. The Department of Children and Families has focused on finding families for sibling groups, children with special needs and teenagers.

"We are extremely proud of these adoptions because each adoption represents a child," Gibson said, "a child who wants, needs and deserves a loving and permanent family."

After the speeches, Davion and handful of local families in the process of adopting kids were called up to the front to take a picture with Scott and the Cabinet. Davion was in the center, right next to the governor and holding the proclamation that recognizes this Saturday as National Adoption Day.

While photographers took dozens of shots, Davion and Scott whispered back and forth. Scott's office said the governor was curious about the adoption process and offered to help Davion if he needed it.

Contact Tia Mitchell at (850) 224-7263 or tmitchell@tampabay.com..

Davion Only takes foster care story to Gov. Rick Scott, Florida Cabinet 11/19/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 10:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay small businesses give Tampa B+ for regulatory climate

    Corporate

    In a recent survey about small business sentiments toward state and local government policies that affect them, Tampa Bay ranked at No. 25 out of 80 — a B+ overall.

    Tampa Bay ranked No. 25 out of 80 in a recent survey about how small business owners feel about state and local government policies that affect them. | [Times file photo]
  2. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  3. Seminole Heights murders: fear and warnings, but no answers

    Crime

    TAMPA — Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan elicited loud gasps from the crowd of about 400 who showed up at Edison Elementary School on Monday night to learn more about the string of unsolved killings that have left the southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood gripped by fear.

    Kimberly Overman, left, comforts Angelique Dupree, center, as she spoke about the death of her nephew Benjamin Mitchell, 22, last week in Seminole Heights. The Tampa Police Department held a town hall meeting Monday night where concerned residents hoped to learn more about the investigation into the three shooting deaths over 11 days in southeast Seminole Heights. But police could give the crowd at Edison Elementary School few answers. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. Juvenile justice reform seen as help for teen car theft problem

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations has decided to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year.

    One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations, Faith & Action for Strength Together (FAST), voted Monday night to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year. FAST believes civil citations could help Pinellas County?€™s teen car theft epidemic by keeping children out of the juvenile justice system for minor offenses. [ZACHARY T. SAMPSON  |  Times]
  5. U.S. general lays out Niger attack details; questions remain (w/video)

    War

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Special Forces unit ambushed by Islamic militants in Niger didn't call for help until an hour into their first contact with the enemy, the top U.S. general said Monday, as he tried to clear up some of the murky details of the assault that killed four American troops and has triggered a nasty …

    Gen. Joseph Dunford said much is still unclear about the ambush.