Pin It
Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Matea: Gift from God


I had a very odd dream on the eve of Thanksgiving in 2004. A woman who looked like Kate Hudson handed me a very trendy Moses basket with a perfectly blond, blue-eyed baby boy inside. She looked me in the eyes and said, “Here is your new baby, Liam.” I looked at her incredulous and responded, “This is not my baby! My baby is going to have dark hair and her name will be Matéa. She will be from God not from a Hollywood starlet.” Then I woke up laughing and fascinated that I used the name Matéa. I had never heard that name before. As I rubbed the flaky mascara out of the corners of my eyes, I remember thinking, “Matéa? What an unusual and fantastic name.”


My husband and I had already started talking about adopting. We had two children aged 13 and 6 at the time. We had never discussed names and hadn’t even finished our homestudy yet. We were pretty sure, however, that we would adopt from Guatemala. I clumsily found my way into the kitchen, desperate for a cup of coffee. Just as I was about to grab the beans to grind, my husband peaked his head out from under the music magazine he was reading and said, “If we have a little girl, let’s name her Téa.” In shock I told him about my dream of the baby girl named Matéa (Téa could be her nickname).


Christmas shopping was in full swing and I hadn’t been successful in finding the meaning of the name Matéa. After shopping in a Christian bookstore, I realized I had forgotten a gift and ran back into the store. In the ‘wrong’ section of the bookstore (in the toy section) I found a book on Hebrew names. Under the name ‘Matéa’ I saw the meaning. Matéa meant “gift from God.” Wow! I then noticed that a scripture was written by her name:


“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)


In November 2005 at the age of eight months, we brought home our Guatemalan baby girl Matéa. We tell her that we didn’t name her but that God did.


When Matéa was about a year and a half, she shouted out after a prayer a joyous, “Amen Jesus,” sounding like Aretha Franklin or James Brown. The other night (at the age of 5) she was sleeping on a sleeping bag in our room (she does that sometimes) and shouted out in her sleep, “Praise you Lord!” And this past weekend after I came home from a women’s retreat, she proceeded to hand me a picture that she had drawn in my absence. At our retreat five women prayed over each other. Three prayers stood out as significant: one prayer warrior envisioned a rainbow with hearts over a woman who had endured much heartache, proclaiming God’s covenant and love; another prophetic prayer was over a woman who saw the gift of healing poured into another woman’s hands; and the last was about a joyful heart. Upon arrival home, Matéa handed me picture of a rainbow with hearts, a hand glued to the rainbow and a cut-out heart with the word “joy” written in it.


Matéa is a gift from God. She continues to remind us that it is Jesus’s grace that saves us and even names us sometimes.

© 2011 – 2012, Deanna Jones. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:

How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law

A whole year of arguing in the making

Primary School Privilege

Time outs due to whistling versus school's out due to poverty

Circumcision Wars

She fought her Turkish in-laws on it--did she succeed?


Deanna Jones is the author of the number one Amazon adoption book To Be a Mother and is the founder of Mother of the World (

Leave us a comment!

1 Comment
  1. CommentsSheryl   |  Thursday, 10 February 2011 at 6:01 pm

    What a wonderful history! And how wonderful to be able to pass it along. Matea has a lovely history and wonderful stories of God’s grace and provision to help her stay focused as she grows older.

Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!

Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!

What Cultural Norms Around Bare Feet Taught This Mother in Guatemala

Her baby's bare feet ended up being a lesson on poverty and privilege.
[…] the breastfeeding culture in Mongolia compared to America. Did you have any idea that something as simple as breastfeeding attitudes can […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
My mother born in the 1930's is originally from the northern part of Germany. I am in my mid fifties and have a terrible relationship with my mother. She is domineering and hurts those where it hurt...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
[…] JC Niala, InCultureParent […...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
[…] […...
From Breastfeeding Around the World
Although humanity is one Man (in a generic sense, including woman)has identified himself endless groups, religious, nationalistic, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, etc. Once you separate ME from YOU on...
From What’s an Asian? Race and Identity for a New Generation
[…] […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
Some great tips here but not many working mothers could feed baby every hour especially if you work in a major multi-nationa...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
So true!!! Thanks for being so honest and self reflective. It's a proof of true characte...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
As a first-time mom I've spent the last two months of my four-month-old's life stressed out about her sleep and I recognize how crazy this is. It's clearly not working for me! I'm wondering how non-...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep

More The Religious Life of Children