He’s 15 years old. Only a child when you think of it, but too old to be adopted in the eyes of so many.
His name is Davion, and The Tampa Bay Times introduced us to him this week in a must-read article, “An orphan goes to church and asks someone, anyone to adopt him.”
We learn a bit about Davion – his sad history, the bad decisions he has made. We discover that he has begun to turn his life around, but that his heart still bears the scars of years of not belonging.
Yet he wants to belong.
So much so, in fact, that the idea to go to a church with this humble, bold request for family was his own.
Davion’s plea was simple and heartfelt:
“I’ll take anyone … Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don’t care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be.”
Just like Davion, there are thousands of legal orphans in foster care systems across the country who are waiting for adoption. Davion’s story is only one of many, but it represents the plight of the older orphan very well.
- There are 100,000 waiting children in the U.S. today, and the average age of those kids is between 9 and 10.
- In child welfare terms, children start to be classified as “special needs” because of the difficulty in placing them around the age of 5 or 6.
- About 35,000 children waiting to be adopted are age 10 and over.
Clearly, there is a lot of work to do to give these children a home. If Christians, who have been adopted themselves into God’s family, won’t rise up and take on the challenge, who will?
As many of you know, I was an orphan. I know firsthand the pain of being caught up in the foster care system while having no one truly know me. My heart aches for these kids. I want every one of them to find their “forever homes” before they reach 18 and age out of the system. I want to see churches wrap around adoptive families with love and practical help.
Here at Focus, we work diligently to do our part through our adoption and orphan care efforts. Maybe you’ve heard of our Wait No More conferences. During these events, we bring together state and local child welfare officials, child placement agencies, churches and ministries to educate families about adoption from foster care.
God has been faithful to bless our team’s hard work. So far, we’ve seen 2,560 families start the adoption process, many choosing to adopt hard-to-place kids like older children or those with special needs. Results like this are the reason why the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute has named Wait No More a national best practice in foster care adoption recruitment.
Our next Wait No More gathering is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 26 in Oklahoma City. If you’re in the area, may I suggest that you consider attending? Who knows?… God might awaken or confirm a calling to adopt in your heart!
And please join me in praying for Davion and all those children like him who so desperately want to be part of a family.