Davion Navar Henry Only is finally set to get the happy ending more than 100,000 children in U.S. foster care dream of.
Connie Going, his former caseworker, is in the process of finalizing his adoption and is expected to sign the papers Wednesday, according to a family spokesperson. Going has two biological daughters and an adopted son.
"Connie, Davion and their new family appreciate the outpouring of support and well wishes," the Going family said through the spokesperson. "Right now, they are taking some quiet as a family but look forward to sharing their story, knowing it will inspire and give hope to others. In the meantime, they encourage everyone to follow their hearts no matter how difficult it may seem and to 'be the change you wish to see in the world.'"
The world was introduced to Only in 2013. The then-15-year-old Florida orphan had been in foster care his entire life. On a Sunday, he'd decided to stand in front of St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in St. Petersburg, Florida, and make a public plea for a family. That June, he'd searched his birth mother's name online and learned that she had a criminal background. He'd also found her obituary. She had died just a few weeks earlier.
He said then that he'd cried in the library, but had decided then and there that his family's history wouldn't define him. He decided to take matters into his own hands and seek out a lifelong family.
"I'll take anyone," Only told ABC News then. "Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don't care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be. ... I'm praying and still hoping. I know God hasn't given up and I'm not either."
The national response was overwhelming, with tens of thousands of calls made to adoption agencies seeking information on the teen. Requests poured in from across the country and around the world, including calls from Canada, India, Mexico, Australia, Great Britain and Iran. Agency workers called it "the Davion effect."
According to a 2013 report by the US Department of Health and Human Services, 101,737 children in foster care are waiting to be adopted.
"I just wanted to let people know that it's hard to be a foster kid," Only said previously. "People sometimes don't know how hard it is and how much we try to do good."
He told ABC News then that, despite his age, he still needed a parent.
"Just 'cause I'm not going to be a kid doesn't mean you're still not my parent," he said. "I'm still gonna be your child. I'm still gonna need you down the road."
In 2014, Only was removed from the home of a potential adoptive family. The 16-year-old had an altercation with a member of his prospective family, according to the Eckerd adoptive agency overseeing Only's adoption, after moving from Florida to Ohio to be with the prospective family for a 90-day trial period. The move was the first step of the adoptive process.
Going, who'd straightened Only's tie that day in church, told ABC News previously that he was an inspiration to other children awaiting families.
"He has such a special spirit and he hasn't given up hope," she said. "I think it's a human's right to be loved and wanted. ... When you don't feel that you are, it's hard to succeed in life."