His Name Means BeLoved

A Pastor in Knoxville Tennessee writes...


It’s not every day that an article in the newspaper gives me a lump in my throat, but some of you may have seen the article with the headline, “Orphan goes to church and asks someone, anyone to adopt him.” 

The article tells the story of a 15 year-old boy named Davion who showed up in at another St. Mark church last month in Florida – the St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church – with his foster care caseworker. Davion’s mother was in jail for petty theft and drugs when he was born, and he’s spent all of his life – fifteen years - in the foster care system. He’s living now in a residential group home for boys, but he’s looking for a permanent home and a family to adopt him. That’s why he showed up one Sunday morning last month in a donated suit that was too big for him and stood before the congregation and said, “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.”

Life hasn’t been the best it could be for Davion. Being shuffled around the foster care system would be hard on anybody, and Davion developed some anger issues that probably affected his adoptability. He threw chairs, blew his grades at school, and pushed people away. But when he learned this summer that his birth mother had died in June, Davion decided to make a change, to go in a new direction with his life. He worked on controlling his anger, dropping his defenses, dropping some extra weight he’d been carrying, and raising his grades. He’s in the 10th grade now and has A’s in everything but geometry. 

Davion has three years before he’s released from the foster care system and is on his own. He’s decided he can’t wait any longer for someone to find him; he’s got to go out there and find them. “I know they’re out there,” he told his case worker. “Maybe if someone hears my story.” So even though he’s shy by nature, he got the idea of speaking at a church and sharing his story with them.

“My name is Davion, and I’ve been in foster care since I was born,” he told the crowd of over 300 people in the church that morning. “I know God hasn’t given up on me. So I’m not giving up either.”

Davion wants what I think we all want. He wants to be loved. He wants a family where he can be loved. That’s what his name means – the name his parents gave him when he was born - “Beloved.” And that’s what he wants. He wants to feel, deep down in his heart, that he is beloved.

As of last week, no one has come forward yet to adopt him, even though there are some couples who have expressed an interest. But I would say that, in going to church and sharing his story with them, Davion went to the right place. In fact, he went to the best place. Because the church is the place where we proclaim a God who, as Davion already believes, doesn’t give up on any of us, but rather “has destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:5-6).

God bless you, Davion, and may you find the family you’re looking for.

Marie Briggs