When Daquane Shamar Jacobs and Tavon Lamar Jacobs were born, the odds were already stacked against them.
Their birth mother hadn't even known she was expecting twins. She didn't have any prenatal care and did drugs while pregnant, so her babies were born addicted to crack and weighed just 2 pounds. The infants were immediately removed from her care and sent into the foster system.
The brothers were adopted by the Woods family when they were 2 years old, and their names were changed to Davon and Tavon Woods. Normally an adoption is every foster child's dream, but life with the Woods family was far from a happy ending.
"We had a very difficult childhood with our adoptive family," Davon explained. "We got physically and verbally abused, we were never given a voice, and they never once told us they loved us. It felt like we were just a paycheck, but we were too young and afraid to tell anyone what was happening at home."
As a child, Davon recalls fantasizing that his mother was white and lived in Alaska. The siblings knew nothing about their biological family and next to nothing about their adoptive family. Sadly, this lack of family history and support led both boys to rebel in their teens. They turned to drugs to numb the pain, nearly failed out of school, and Davon even attempted suicide more than once. The only thing that stopped him was knowing his brother would be alone in the world without him.
It took the violent death of their 17-year-old younger brother to convince Davon and Tavon to change the direction of their lives. They moved to Georgia, where they got involved with gangs before making a chance decision to join a friend at church one day. That decision became a turning point for both men, and they resolved to spend the rest of their lives helping foster kids feel loved and accepted, with or without a family of their own.
They've done just that, but their stories weren't over yet!
Davon was working at a car dealership when something amazing happened. The Wilkinson family came in to buy a car, and Davon wound up sharing some of the details of his tragic life story with the sympathetic strangers. They were moved to tears.
"After walking away from the street life, I worked a bunch of different jobs," Davon said. "Most recently I was working at a dealership, and as I was selling a car to the Wilkinson family, I told them my story. It brought them to tears and we had an instant connection, kind of like the one I had dreamed of having with my biological family."
On his birthday, the Wilkinsons called him up and took him out to dinner. From that moment on, they took Davon under their wing and essentially adopted him!
"I spend holidays with them, and I know my kids will never be short on family with them around," Davon said. "It was very emotional to me because they gave me love that I've never received, and often we think because of the color of our skin, we’re supposed to be separate, but I’m blessed to have them in my life.
In them, I’ve gained a mom and dad, brothers and sisters, and a niece. I’ve gained the white family I made up as a confused child. It goes to show: color doesn’t make you family, and neither does blood. Love makes you family.
Davon understands how it feels to be living without the safety net of a family, so he is determined to become the advocate foster kids everywhere need. "No one ages out of needing the love of a family," he explained.
He and Tavon dream of building a facility to shelter and care for society's forgotten children.
"We refuse to sit by and do nothing while children are suffering and facing the deadly failures of this system," he said. "There is hope for a better future for them, and by any righteous means necessary, we will bring them that hope.”
It's easy for many of us to take family for granted. Davon's story is a beautiful reminder of how important it is to feel loved and supported in our lives — and to give that love and support to anyone who needs it!
Don't forget to share this story to touch someone's heart.
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