Davion Navar Henry Only is a new hero of mine. This boy’s life started rough and seemed to stay that way. He has spent his entire life in foster care. That whole time, he waited for his birth mother to come get him back. That day will not come now, as he found out through the internet in July that she had died. So, earlier this month, he went before a church full of people in the only suit he owned and asked to be adopted.
I can’t begin to imagine how scared this boy must have been, risking himself and his heart like that before all those strangers, asking only to be loved and to have a family. His story has gone all over the media and social networks. Thankfully, his efforts seem to have paid off, and he will be going to a family that wants him.
This happy ending is wonderful, but obviously also rare. There are nearly 425,000 children in foster care in the United States. 425,000 children who don’t sleep in their own beds. 425,000 children living in a place where they have to lock up anything they own because they cannot trust the other foster children they live with. 425,000 children who don’t have the benefit of something so small as seeing their parents in the morning before they go to school.
Many ultra-conservatives on the political circuit, both elected and the self-promoting personalities, love to rattle on about the right to life. I myself find abortion a horrible thing, but I am not comfortable with forcing women to have children they don’t want either. Now, before you start tuning up your angry harp, I am NOT even remotely suggesting we start exterminating children if they don’t have a family. I mention this because someone actually accused me of that once. What I am saying is, where are all these chest thumping right to lifers AFTER the children who need someone are born? I have heard so often that there are people waiting for a baby to adopt, and so people should not be allowed to have abortions but should give that baby up for adoption.
Davion’s mother’s parental rights were obviously terminated at his birth, or he would not have gone into foster care. So, where were all the people willing to adopt a baby when Davion was born? When he was one, or two, or three? Fifteen years he waited for someone to love him and take him home, until he had to go before a bunch of strangers and beg for a family.
Fifteen birthdays, with no family to sing to him. Fifteen Christmases, spent with strangers. I mention Christmas because it seems to be a big issue with fundamentalist Christians to ban abortion at all costs. Fine, we will ban abortions, and we will start going to churches at random and each one will be assigned a foster child until they all have families.
Davion should not have had to go before a church to beg for a family. This child, with only the strength of his own love and conviction to support him, went before strangers and asked for one of the most basic things every human being wants: to be loved. He is braver than many adults I know.
So I challenge any of you who have ever voted or spoke out pro life. Go out there, find your Davion, and give that desperate child a home. If you dare invoke the name of Jesus Christ, whose name I consider sacred, then you better go out into the world and love someone who needs it like he taught us. If you are going to talk the talk then you had surely better walk the walk. Instead of telling everyone else what they should do, look in the mirror, stare at your soul, and do what YOU need to do.
And you don’t have to be Christian to do this. People complain all the time about our world, but don’t want to go out and do anything about it themselves. All of you, look in your heart and find something you are willing to do to make this world better. For me, I have volunteered at homeless shelters, volunteered to coach and mentor children, and I even have volunteered with the Guardian ad Litem program as an advocate for children’s rights and best interests in the court.
So what are you going to do?