Matea: Gift from God

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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.

1 COMMENT

  1. 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.

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