It's clear that Davion Navar Henry Only's story has touched the hearts of countless Americans across the country. After TheBlaze reported on the 15-year-old orphan's search to find a permanent family willing to adopt him, we were inundated with emails and social media messages from readers looking to provide Davion with a home.
The generosity and interest were equally overwhelming. And it seems his adoption agency, too, has been flooded with hundreds of requests for more information -- a welcome change from the dynamics surrounding the original story we told just two days ago.
As TheBlaze reported, it initially seemed as though the teen, who has been in the foster system since he was born, would continue to face an uphill battle, even after he stood before the St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church congregation in St. Petersburg, Fla., last month and pleaded for someone to adopt him.
The tides have now changed.
On Thursday evening, TheBlaze received a statement from Eckerd, the organization that runs Carlton Manor, the group home where Davion resides. It seems Davion might be closer to finding a permanent home, though specific details were not given.
Davion Navar Henry Only's profile on Heart Gallery
"Thank you so much for letting us know that Davion has touched your heart," a statement read. "The response has been tremendous and we are excited to know that we are closer to finding a forever family for him."
Davion isn't alone in his quest, either. Eckerd noted that there are 200 other children in the same situation who are also looking for families (information and stories about these orphans are available on the agency's website).
Connie Going, Davion's caseworker who accompanied him to St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church last month, is confident that a family will be found for him. She's committed to ensuring that Davion doesn't "age out" of the foster care system, which happens when a child hits adulthood -- usually age 18 -- without being adopted by a family.
"Davion required some specialized recruitment efforts," Going told Newsweek in a recent interview. "There is a family out there for him; we just needed to do more to find that family."
Davion is unique in that, unlike other children in foster care, he has no problem openly proclaiming that he wants a family of his own. While many foster kids want the same, they sometimes have trouble saying it aloud, Jody Grutza, Eckerd's vice president of Strategic Partnerships, explained.
St. Mark Missionary Baptist wasn't the only house of worship Davion visited. Going told Newsweek that he has been to at least one other church to share his situation. Neither house of worship resulted in him finding a lasting family unit.
"My name is Davion and I’ve been in foster care since I was born … I know God hasn’t given up on me,” he told the St. Mark congregation after the pastor invited him to the pulpit. “So I’m not giving up either.”
And Davion truly hasn't thrown in the towel: he continues to search for his family -- something that the sudden media attention has greatly assisted.
As TheBlaze previously reported, Davion's decision to step out fervently in faith came as he attempts to make changes in his life.
For years, his situation left him harboring anger, which resulted in struggles in school and emotional outbursts.
He hoped so much that his birth mother, whom he never met, would one day come back to retrieve him, but his outlook changed when he finally learned that this would no longer be possible.
Davion’s mother passed away in June — a detail he learned after stumbling upon her mugshot and obituary. After that revelation shattered his dream of reuniting with her, he decided to make some changes. The 10-grader lost 40 pounds, tempered his rage and began earning A’s in school, The Tampa Bay Times reported.
“He’s come a long way,” said Floyd Watkins, the program manager at the Carlton Manor residential group home where Davion lives. “He’s starting to put himself out there, which is hard when you’ve been rejected so many times.”
On Thursday, Davion took ABC News on a tour of his small room at Carlton Manor and described his circumstances.
"People just don't know sometimes how hard it is and how much we try to do good," he told ABC.
It's unclear exactly where the process stands with Davion's adoption prospects. TheBlaze has reached out to Eckerd and is awaiting a reply. His profile on Heart Gallery, an online portal featuring foster children who are available for adoption, still reads "I am available."
We will continue to update you as the story unfolds.
For those interested in adopting a child like Davion, Eckert can be reached at 1-(866) 233-0790 or contacted online.