The Zoo Kids

The Zoo Kids
Finally Together

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Today is Thanksgiving. Today is the one day a year we set aside to give thanks for all our blessings (although we should be doing this every day of the year). We are very thankful for...
  • Abba Father moving so many mountains over the past year so we could bring Mei home
  • Friends and Family who have listened to the Lord's prompting and responded by giving to help us finance the journey to bring Mei home
  • Friends and Family who have diligently prayed for our journey to bring Mei home
  • Our Friends in China who spend many Saturdays with Mei for the past 6 months and how this is helping our transition so very much
  • Shannon's parents who stayed with our other blessings (children) while we were gone to get Mei
  • Our Friends here in Cochran (Church family and students from our ministry) who helped Shannon's parents while we were gone
There are so many things we have to be thankful for over the past year that we could create the longest blog ever by listing them all...but we won't. I will only add one more: I am thankful for how Abba Father will continue to provide and work things out as we continue the journey to raise all our children and find the best medical care for Mei He can find.

Thank you Father for the so many ways you have chosen to bless me. I am so undeserving of your blessings. You are truly faithful beyond understanding. Hallelujah! Amen.


Mei is adjusting very well. We have been researching online to find out how to help adopted children adjust to their new environments and how to help children with jet lag adjust as well. The research seems to be paying off. The past two nights Mei has slept very well. He is sleeping on a mattress on the floor next to our bed so we can get him used to this to eventually move him into the boys room on his own bed. He sleeps soundly until about 1:00 AM and then he tosses and turns for the next 6-7 hours. After 1:00 we either have to put our hand on him to settle him down when he begins to whimper or last night I just laid down with him for the rest of the night. I think we are all adjusting well, but Mei is doing great.

The other day we got in the car to go somewhere. This was the second time Mei had ever been in a car seat. The first time was from the airport and that time he threw a fit for about 10 minutes and then he settled down - I take this as a blessing since it was a 2 hour drive and he could have pitched a fit for the whole two hours (I have heard stories of adopted children crying for 3 hours from the airport to home). The second time he rode in a car seat he would begin to whimper and Caleb would put his hand on Mei's head and Mei would settle down. If Caleb took his hand off Mei would begin to whimper again. Caleb would put his hand back on Mei's head and Mei would settle down again. It was quite comical and cute.

Over time we will all adjust just fine! Thanks to everyone who is praying for us. The prayer more than anything else is what is helping all of adjust. Thanks!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Deavers Zoo Together at Last

All the kiddos together at last!

Revised Sleeping Arrangements

This is so tough! Raising children is tough enough, but then try to raise one who has been in another person's care for an extended period of time. Add to that getting them right in the middle of the time when most children are going through their terrible-two or titanic-three stage. Add all of this up and you get some very confused parents for a little while until they figure things out and learn what makes this particular child tick (and then he will be older and there will be a whole new set of things to learn and deal with). This is the joys of parenting children regardless how they became a part of your family.

We had a tough night last night with Mei. He just has such a difficult time sleeping right now. He tends to calm down once you pick him up and hold him and most of the time he will sleep in the bed next to you and rest well. I believe we are going to err on the side of being too easy with Mei instead of exercising tough love. We just don't have any clue what is going on in his little mind. Tough love may not be the right answer with him. He has gone through a major transition over the past two weeks and on top of that his little body is trying to adjust to jet lag like our older bodies are. I have a feeling tonight Mei will be in the bed with us until he can get comfortable and used to his surroundings. He needs time to adjust and so do we.

We have raised four children, but this is a whole new ball game. It is a great game to be engaged in and we would not trade it for anything in the world.

Thank you Father for letting us be a part of your story!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sleeping Arrangements (Nov. 21, 2010)

Since we got Mei he has had a hard time going to and staying asleep. We began trying to get him to lay down with a bottle in a crib, but that wasn’t happening at all. He would stand up in the crib and cry and scream. We decided while we were in China we would just let him sleep as long as we could in the crib and when he wakes in the middle of the night let him sleep with us until morning. That worked pretty well.

Now we are home and trying to get Mei used to sleeping at night. Tonight he was very tired and ready for bed. We thought we would put a mattress on the floor next to our bed and get him used to sleeping on a mattress. Shannon laid him down while he was asleep and then he woke up crying. There was nothing she could do to console him. So we decided it was time to just do the crib thing and let him learn to get himself asleep.

Under normal circumstances it would not be a major issue. But with Mei we are so unsure what his little mind is going through to make him cry and throw such a fit. I remember the 2nd visit I made to the orphanage and how he cried when I had to put him back in the crib and leave. Watching him cry after I had to put him down and walk away ripped my heart out and that is all I can think about when I see him crying in his crib. We don’t know how much attention he got in the orphanage. We know he was the favorite of most of the caretakers, but surely they did not hold him all the time because there is no way they could do that and care for all the children. We also know when most visitors come they play with the kids for a short time and then put them back in their cribs, walk away, and never return again. We have no idea what he is thinking.

We decided that tonight was the night for Mei to learn to sleep on his own. He cried and cried. When I went back in the room to put his bottle in his crib he reached out to me and tried to hold on to me with his little nubs and once again I had to leave and walk away. The difference this time is that I know (if the Lord wills it) I will wake again in the morning and be right there to pick him up and take him out of the crib. This is what He needs to learn– that we are going to be there in the morning. We are not going to leave him. We will be here for him as long as there is still breath in our lungs.

Over time Mei will learn that we will still be there for him in the morning. He will lean this through experience the same way we learn that the Lord Jesus Christ will always be there for us. We reach out for him and find Him there. We sometimes walk away and sometimes it seems as if He is not near. But each time we look for Him and every time we reach out to Him we find He is there! He never leaves us or forsakes us! We learn this through experience.

Finally Home (Nov. 21, 2010)

We are finally home! The journey to bring Mei home is complete! Mei’s journey/story is just beginning! This journey began with Romans 4:18a & 21 and I will add my final paraphrase here: “Against all hope the Deavers family in hope believed being fully persuaded that Abba would give them the boy they prayed for if it were His will! It WAS His will!”

We praise you Lord! Your faithfulness to us is overwhelming. You have blessed us by letting us be a part of Mei’s story for your glory. Forgive me when I am not a good steward of this story and help me be a better steward along the way of all my children and all the blessings you have allowed me to be a part of. This story has been and continues to be such a great reflection of your love for us. You love me even when I am not very lovable. You never stop loving me. As stained as I am with sin you pick me up, cleanse me, and make me new! I am so beautiful to you. “How could you love me” is all I know to think! “How could I not love you” is your thought toward me! I am so unworthy of your love. Thank you for your love to me!

All of the children have had a chance to meet Mei now. They are about to smother him to death! He is doing very well and is getting used to the house and the family.

To be continued…

The Stares (Nov. 22, 2010)

While we were in China we got a lot of stares from the Chinese people. It is so very hard to try to determine what people are thinking as they stare. But we were able to understand what some of them thought.

One college aged young man actually walked alongside us and asked questions about why we had a Chinese boy with us. He asked a few questions about his deformities as well. We were thankful for someone to actually ask questions instead of just staring and never engaging the issues. At least we knew what this young man though about the whole thing as he walked away giving us the thumbs up saying, “Good! Good!”

We asked one of the guys with the agency there about the stares. All the adopted families we were with were getting the looks, but we seemed to be getting more of them since we had a special needs child with us. The guy with the agency told us that special needs children are not seen that often in their culture (he is also Chinese and lives there in Guangzhou). Most special needs children in China are given up to an orphanage and many are aborted before birth if the parents find out ahead of time that they are going to be born with a special need (lest we get too haughty at this point I would love to know the percentage of Americans who decide to abort when they find out that their child will be born with a special need). The few who are born special needs and stay with their biological family are rarely taken out in public. There is such a stigma about this in their culture.

So when most Chinese people see an American couple walking down the street with a Chinese child they will stop and stare out of wonder. Some will smile and give some sort of sign of approval when and if they realize the adoption connection. But when most Chinese people see an American couple walking down the street with a Chinese child with a special need they stop and stare because they don’t often see either an American couple walking with a Chinese child or a special needs child. We were indeed an oddity walking around over the past couple of weeks in China.

I want to be careful not to paint the Chinese people in a bad light in any way. There are many great Chinese people with a heart for the poor and outcast. There are many great Chinese people with a heart for the Lord. I have had the privilege of meeting many Chinese people who are wonderful and amazing people so I in no way want to put them in a bad light. I am simply making observations here about the culture more than anything else.

Visiting Mei's Orphanage (Nov. 12, 2010)

Today we visited the orphanage that has been Mei’s home for the past 2.5 years. Thankfully he will not have to call that place home again. There are many good things to be said about the orphanage, but it is still an orphanage where children are abandoned by their families. The conditions at this particular orphanage are great compared to the standard for orphanages in this particular country but compared to the standards in the US the doors of this place would have been closed a long time ago.

Due to security reasons we have opted to not give specifics related to the conditions of the orphanage in this blog. However, if any of you would like to hear more about the orphanage we would love to share with you in person. We believe people need to know how children are living in orphanages around the world. The only way people will ever work to make changes is to know that changes are needed. There are already some great folks working to help make changes in this particular orphanage and orphanages around the world, but there is still so much work that needs to be done. Feel free to ask...we will be glad to share.

I am glad Shannon, Bailey, and Bryan got to see the orphanage for themselves. Bailey had a very difficult time and broke down because it was such a hard thing to see. I pray the Lord uses this experience in his life. I pray the Lord will use this as a catalyst that helps Bailey grow to have a desire to make a difference in the world for Abba’s glory among all nations. Bryan who has no children of his own, was loving on and holding these children.

Update on Opportunities to Share Mei's Story (Nov. 11, 2010)

We did not get to go to the local Christian church today. We have had a pretty full day with the adoption group. I did get to talk about Jesus with one of our guides today. He is a Buddhist. We visited a Buddhist temple today and the group went through a Buddhist blessing. Everyone knelt down with their hands in a praying position while a monk chanted a blessing over them. Our family just watched the procedure and chose not to bow during the ceremony. Maybe we should have just joined in, but I felt we needed to take a stand for Jesus and refuse to bow even in something like this. No one seemed to be offended that we did not participate. After we went to a store where Martin began asking me questions and one thing led to another before I finally found a way to begin talking about what Jesus means to me and how I choose to spend my days serving Him instead of trying to make a lot of money or anything else.

Please pray for us as we continue trying to scatter seed wherever we go. Tonight they are throwing a pizza party for all the adoption families and then we are coming back to our room to (hopefully) Skype with our church back home.

One more week and we will be home! We can’t wait!

More Opportunities to Share Mei's Story (Nov. 10, 2010)

Goodbye Air Supply Hello Speaking Opportunity at a Three-Self Church Sunday

Bryan and I went to the concert. It was a good show. We got to go backstage with the guys after the concert for a short time just to say thanks for letting us come to the show. We had front row seats – crazy! I did not get to share any more with the band, but the lead singers both said that our story was challenging to them. Maybe what little we shared with them did something for them.

One thing the connection with them did do was get us an invitation to go to a Three Self Church this Sunday here in Guangzhou. While waiting to get into the concert we were approached by an American. As we talked he told us he was the pastor at one of the local Christian Churches (Three Self Church). I shared with him a little about our story. By the end of the concert he came up to me and wanted us to come to his church on Sunday and share some of Mei’s story. We are going to do all we can to go. This is a great opportunity to share Mei’s Story for Abba’s Glory and encourage hungry believers here in the heart of China. May the Lord use us however He sees fit!

Opportunities to Share Mei's Story (Nov. 10, 2010)

Email Update Sent to Prayer Warriors:

Hey guys,

I wanted to send you updates on the adoption process while we are here. I cannot access our blog to update it so this will have to do for now. Things are going well. We have Mei now and yesterday we finalized all of the paperwork on the Chinese side of things. Next week is all about getting things ready on the American side of things to get him back home. Thank you to everyone for all of the prayers.

Mei is very playful. He brings a lot of joy to the room! He has been sleeping very well, which is a major blessing on top of so many other blessings! He is very busy as well. Briena will have a partner in crime when we get back as I am sure she will quickly recruit him to join her in her constant mischief around the house! Mei did get a little car sick on the way to the adoption office yesterday, but other than that he is doing pretty well. We could not ask for things to be going any better, but please continue to pray for things to go just as Father wants them to go.

Continue praying that we see and seize every opportunity to share Mei’s story for Abba’s glory. Here are a few of the opportunities we are engaged in that you can be praying about:

- The band Air Supply is staying at our hotel and we met them around the pool last night and spoke with one of their instrumental guys last night at dinner for a little while. I have had the opportunity to share a little of Mei’s story with them and they have put us on the guest list for their concert tonight here in Guangzhou. They also invited us to go backstage after the concert so pray we have the opportunity to share more of Mei’s story with them and brag on how amazing God is.

- Our guide with United States Asian Affairs is not a believer and we are trying to brag on God every chance we get with him too. We are spending a lot of time with him.

- The head basketball coach for the Qatar national team is here (with the team) for the Asian Games. He approached us last night and started a conversation with us. Pray we will have more opportunities to talk with him and to brag on God more.

We have prayed all along that the Lord would use Mei’s story for His glory. I have two opportunities to share Mei’s story for Abba’s glory as soon as we get back to the states, but I never thought we would have this much opportunity while we were here in China. We want to be good stewards of the amazing story Abba is writing through Mei’s journey.

Brush With International Celebrities (Nov. 9, 2010)

This afternoon we went to play in the pool here at the hotel. While we were there we ran into a bunch of guys hanging out and drinking at the pool. Come to find out these guys are the band Air Supply and they are here on tour. We got our pictures made with them and I was able to share just a little about Mei. They invited us to be their guests at their concert tomorrow night. We are on the guest list and have back stage access. They wanted us to stick around after the concert.

We also ran into the basketball coach for the Qatar National Basketball Team. He is actually from Missouri and he came up to talk to us when he saw us with Mei. He has some friends back home who just adopted too and we talked for a little while.

We have been saying we want to share Mei’s Story for Abba’s Glory whenever and however we had the chance. I am praying that if we go to the concert tomorrow night the guys will ask me about the adoption process and I will be able to share with them about how the Lord has done so many amazing things. Actually … I had my chance to do this tonight when one of the lead singers asked me if it has been a long process. I hate I did not take that as my chance to dive in to proclaim the Lord’s Amazing Faithfulness and Sovereignty.

Lord, give me another chance to share Mei’s Story for Your Glory! Forgive me for letting a great opportunity slip through my hands. Give me the strength and boldness to not let another chance slip through my hands. May I learn to be a good steward of the amazing story you have let us be a part of.

The First 12 Hours (Nov. 9, 2010)

I am waking up after the first 12 hours with Mei. He is such an easy baby. We got him yesterday. We were in a room with nearly 20 other families who were getting their children yesterday too. Some of these children were little babies and a couple were much older. One little girl had a major fit and threw herself on the ground crying and screaming. I felt sorry for that family and knew their transition would be a difficult road ahead, but such a rewarding one in the long run.

When they first brought Mei to us Martin took us to a private room in the back (nice to have an agency with good connections). The other families were all in a room together trying to bond with their children with a lot of crying and noise all around! The only time Mei cried was when we had to go back to the main room for a few minutes. When he got around the other children crying he decided he needed to join in. He wanted his nanny, but we had to hold him and let him work through it.

Mei slept through the night like a champ. He sleeps hard – reminds me of Caleb and how he can sleep through just about anything. Mei likes to play, likes to get down and walk on his own, but doesn’t mind being carried and held either, and he loves to throw balls and anything else he can get his hands on. Bailey has been great with Mei. He is a great big brother.

Today we go back to seal the deal. They give us several hours with him before we seal the deal just in case we decide we don’t want to go through with it. There is no chance of that happening. Today we seal the deal and continue the journey to get our son through all the loops here and back home in the states.

I have had a few opportunities to share bits and pieces of our story with Martin (our guide through USAA). I don’t know how much to share, but after we are able to seal the deal today I will feel much more comfortable opening up and sharing more of Mei’s story for Abba’s glory. I want to share the faithful love of my Lord with Martin and others while we are here. I know Father will open those opportunities because I know He wants me to share His faithful love with them because He longs to call them His sons also!

Gotcha Day!!! (Nov. 8, 2010)

Today is “Gotcha Day!” Today is the day we will get Mei and he will forever be a son of the Deavers Zoo! It is finally here. In about 9 hours we will have him with us. Our lives will never be the same again and this is a great thing. We don’t want our lives to ever be the same again. We want to look more like Christ and be more of a reflection of His love for all men. In about 9 hours we are going to be a much better reflection of His love and how He extends the invitation to all men to join His family as His sons and daughters! What a great day! What a great God!

This morning I was reading my One-Year Bible reading plan. The reading in Hebrews for today continues to flesh out the fact that Jesus Christ is our Great High Priest who once and for all gave the final and ultimate sacrifice for the sins of all men so that we might be able to enter into a relationship with God the Father – Abba! Then in the Psalm reading for today I saw how over and over the Children of Israel sinned against the Lord and in His justice and holiness He let them feel the weight of their sins by allowing their enemies to destroy them. But even in the midst of allowing His justice and wrath to be poured out (justifiably) He looked upon His children and had compassion for them and showed them mercy.

This led me to reflect on how Jesus, as our Great High Priest, has paid the penalty for our sin. Someone had to pay the price for the sins of men if we were ever going to be able to have an intimate relationship with the Father. Until someone did something the only way we had a chance to relate to the Father was by being an object of His wrath and a receiver of His just punishment because of our sin. But someone did do something! God the Father did something! He had a perfect Son – Jesus – and He sent His perfect Son to come to earth and to become the sacrifice for our sin. Jesus died for our sin so that we might be able to have an intimate relationship with the Father and not have to worry about being an object of His wrath any longer.

As I reflected on these great truths I began to wonder what I would share with the Warrior Workout crew when I get back and share Mei’s story with them. I wondered would I get the chance to spell out God’s amazing plan in detail like I was thinking as I reflected on the truths I read this morning in Hebrews and Psalms. Then I came to the final reading for the morning – Proverbs. The Proverb for the day is found in 27:10, however that is not the verse that popped into my mind when I saw that reference. Months ago I memorized Psalm 27:10. When I saw 27:10 this morning I thought, “No way!” No way is that verse part of my reading plan for this morning.” Well…it wasn’t, but the Spirit used Pr. 27:10 to point me back to Ps. 27:10 so I guess even though it is not technically part of my reading for the morning it is part of the Spirit’s plan for my reading this morning.

Psalm 27:10, “Though my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close!”

There is no doubt that this is part of what Abba wants me to share with the students when we get back and share Mei’s story for His glory. It is so cool how the Lord works things out and I have seen this through the adoption and every day we walk with Him and listen to Him talk to us through His Word. He always wants to speak to us if we are willing to listen! Today could be Gotcha day for someone to enter into Abba’s family!!!

What's in a Name? (Nov. 6, 2010)

Shannon and I began talking again last night about what we are going to call Mei. For the past few months we have had this conversation. The concern is twofold: 1) Mei is really a girl’s name here in China and if he does ever get to come back here in the future for an extended time we don’t want to set him up to be ridiculed over his name. 2) We will name him Samuel Mei, but if we call him Mei will it make it more difficult for him to feel like he is a part of our family and culture? We have figured out finally that Mei is his “family name” after the city he is from – Meizhou. All the children at his orphanage have the same last/family name for this same reason. Shannon believes that what we choose to call Mei at this point will be a big deal to him someday and I agree.

We had this conversation last night before I began reading my Bible reading for the day. I arrived at the conclusion that I did not care what we called him because the thing that really mattered was that I got to call him “son”. That is the most important part! What we call him really is not a significant issue to me.

So I began reading my One-Year Bible reading plan. I was reading two days worth of the plan since we flew right through Friday and 11/5 and I did not read on the plane. In the OT reading I am in Ezekiel. I had read through 12:1-15:8 when I took a break for a moment. During this short break I prayed, “Lord, I really don’t care what we call Mei. We have not asked you if you have a name you would like us to use. You name him! If you have a particular name you want us to use you make that clear and we will use it.” In my mind I had envisioned falling asleep like Sarah in the Bible and having a dream where the Lord speaks and gives us a specific name. That is not quite what happened, but close!

After my short break and my prayer I sat back down and picked up where I had left off…with Ezekiel 16:1. This is where I felt the Lord speaking clearly to me about what we should call Mei:

16:4-5 – These verses speak of Israel being abandoned at birth: “on the day you were born, no one cared about you…no one had the slightest interest in you, you were unwanted, dumped in the field and left to die.” These verses are so similar to Mei’s situation! Because of the way the Lord chose to create Mei his parents abandoned him at birth. They left him on the steps of a government building in Meizhou. They at least left him where he could be found and hopefully cared for by someone, but the bottom line is that his parents abandoned him and left him all alone after his birth. His situation is very similar to the depiction of Israel’s situation being described here.

16:6-14 – But the Lord came by, saw Israel lying there abandoned and left to die, and He had compassion for her. He gave her life, helped her thrive, and she grew into a beautiful jewel (vv.6-7a). The Lord pursued a love relationship with Israel. He initiated and entered into a covenant relationship with her. Israel became His beautiful jewel – His bride (vv.7b-8). The Lord provided for Israel. He washed off the blood (afterbirth) she was lying in and cleaned her up. Since she was an infant she could not clean her self so Abba did for her what she could not do. Abba also provided for her the finest clothing and best foods. She grew and her beauty increased more and more (vv.9-13). Israel’s “fame soon spread throughout the world because of [her] beauty.” The Lord “dressed [her] in [His] splendor and perfected [her] beauty.” The Sovereign Lord has spoken (v.14)!

The Lord saw little Mei lying there abandoned and the Lord had compassion on him. He gave him a chance to live and had him placed in a good orphan institute here in China. The Lord has been with Mei all along. Though his parents abandoned him the Lord stayed with him all along (Psalm 27:10). The Lord is pursuing a love relationship with Mei and some day he will enter into a covenant relationship with the Lord. From the beginning we have been saying “Mei’s story for the Lord’s glory.” Mei’s story will spread throughout the world because of the beauty he possesses in the Lord’s eyes – Mei’s story will spread to increase Abba’s glory. God will take care of him and will perfect Mei’s beauty for His own glory!

Samuel Mei Deavers is his name! We will call him Mei! Why? Because the Sovereign Lord has spoken. The Lord says, “By calling him “beautiful” I will use him to draw attention to the fact that all men are beautiful in my eyes regardless what others may say about them. I want all men to know they are beautiful to me and that even through the world around them may abandon them I will never abandon them. I want to all men to join me in a covenant love relationship where they are my beautiful children! Call him Mei – which means beautiful and resilient! He will remind men that they are beautiful in my eyes and of that I desire to have them be my beautiful children.”

Beauty goes so much further than just what we can see on the outside. Beauty is within! We are worried how others might receive him if he has a girl’s name and how he might fit in if he has a Chinese name in an American family and culture. The Lord says, “I am the Sovereign Lord! I want him to stand out! I have set him apart! Trust me!”

We will call him Mei. His life will be a witness to the amazing love Abba Father has for all men. His story will bring Abba glory and will draw others to the Father whose love is not conditioned by what is seen on the outside. Since we are all born saturated and stained by sin we are filthy and ugly in the eyes of a holy God who cannot tolerate sin. Sin is disgusting to Him and He has every right to look at us in our disgusting state and turn His back to us. But He does not do that at all. In spite of the deformity sin has placed on us the Lord looks at us and says, “Ahhh, my beautiful creation! Let me take you in and clean you up and call you my beauty – Mei – beautiful!”

Arrival in Guangzhou (Nov. 6, 2010)

We arrived in Guangzhou China today after 21 hours of flight time and very little rest. The Asian Games begin in a couple of days here in Guangzhou. These games only take place once every four years. Just like the Olympic Games, cities from all around Asia vie to see who will host the event. Guangzhou won the privilege of hosting the event for 2010 and we just happen to be here during the middle of it to get Mei.

Guangzhou is a beautiful place and it is especially beautiful right now. Guangzhou means “flower city” and they have planted many flowers all around town in preparation for the Asian Games. They are also using flowers to create sculptures depicting the many different athletic events being contested during the games. Shannon, Bailey, and I went out on the town for a few hours, had dinner and walked around taking in the sights. We walked all around the downtown area where the Asian Games are going to be held. There are lights everywhere and tall buildings with amazing architecture and lights that accentuate their beauty. There are many large screen television advertisements all around town that make the one big screen in New York look lonely and small. There are nearly 7 million people in the heart of Guangzhou city and if you add to that the people who are in the outer lying areas (what we would call suburbs in the states) there are about 15 million people in the Guangzhou area. What an amazing place.

In about 36 hours we will get Mei and seal the deal making him officially ours. I have spent a little time this morning reading through journal entries from the very beginning of this process when I began longing and praying. We have come such a long way and the Lord has done so many amazing things. Wow!

Mei's Story for Abba's Glory (Nov. 3, 2010)

This semester we have led a workout on campus through the BCM. The workout is called the Warrior Workout. Slowly we have been building relationships with students, but we have not had any real opportunities to have significant conversations with anyone until yesterday. (We have had several students connect to the Hangar ministry due to the workout connection, but personally we have not had any significant conversations.)

Yesterday we talked about the adoption a little and all throughout the semester I have been keeping the students in the workout up to date on what has been happening. One girl asked why we didn’t adopt from the U.S. I shared how orphans are cared for in other countries as compared to the system we have here in the U.S. She got it! She is also a product of our foster care system in the U.S. and admits she had it very good by comparison.

This conversation led me to ask if the class wanted our last workout day (the Tuesday before Thanksgiving) to be a time to meet Mei and hear his story. They all agreed. Our prayer is to pack out the room so we can share Mei’s story and show Christ’s desire to bring us into Abba’s family inspite of all our imperfections. I am praying to see many come into Abba’s family as a result.

We have been committed all along to share Mei’ story for Abba’s glory whenever we have the chance. This is just the beginning – no – a continuation because it is already being shared and being used to bring Abba glory!

The Smith Family Connection (Oct. 26, 2010)

The Smith's are sending us another $2000. He called this morning and said they were praying and felt the Lord telling them to cover whatever we were short still for the trip to bring Mei home. They have now invested $4000. Their initial $1000 came in time to help us get the application in the mail to get this all started and now here they are to help us close the deal (alpha and omega).

God is good. The Smith’s are great friends and very generous with the finances the Lord has provided them. We have been blessed through this process to have many families and individuals who have been generous with what the Lord has provided them so we can all be a part of the story He is writing through Mei’s life.

Abba Continues to Provide (Oct. 18, 2010)

We are preparing to travel in November. We are booking flights and they are booking our hotel. The Asian games are going to be held in Guangzhou while we are there. Because of this our hotel cost went up about 3x more than we were originally quoted. Instead of having more than enough money in the bank we have gone to being about $3000 short.

Out of nowhere today we received a check from our friends from Prattville, Chad and Kelli Smith. They sent us $1000. They did not have a clue about us being short on funds, but Abba knew.

Brie's Understanding of Adoption (Sept. 12, 2010)

Brie asked Shannon yesterday, “Do you know who Mei’s mommy is?” Shannon said, “No baby, we don’t know anything about Mei’s mommy.” Brie said, “You are Mei’s mommy!”

Our three year old has a better mindset on the spirit of adoption than we do! We are Mei’s mommy and daddy! An adopted child is just as much my child as my biological children.

Praise the Lord for adopting me!

Show Hope (July 10, 2010)

I sit here with a letter in front of me from Show Hope. Show Hope is the organization started by Stephen Curtis Chapman and his wife to assist others in adopting children. We applied for a grant and the letter we received yesterday from them says they have granted us $5000.00! This is just one more major miracle in this whole process. I believe this is the max they give.

Abba’s mighty hand has been all over this adoption process. It all began with a prayer and a verse – Romans 4:18a & 21, “Against all hope Abraham in hope believed…being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.” While in China, after spending a 2nd visit with Mei, I read this verse. I prayed, “Lord, I do not have a promise from you that this boy is to be part of our family. I would love a direct promise that I might believe by faith and watch it happen. However, what I do have is a heart that longs to make this child a part of our family and that heart reflects your heart. I pray and ask you to move mountains and let us adopt this child.”

That was nearly a year ago. We began the process in hope and against great odds. Then one mountain after another began to crumble. A few days ago we received our referral from China. Now I sit here with a letter from “Show Hope!”

Against all hope Abraham in hope believed! Because we were willing to show hope in God we have been extremely blessed to see many miracles through this process. We could write a book of Mei’s Story for Abba’s Glory.

I believe a lot of why we have seen such amazing things take place is because we have allowed the Lord to align our hearts with His heart in regards to caring for orphans (James 1:27). Imagine what amazing things we could see on a regular basis if only our hearts were aligned with His in other ways (i.e., hatred of sin, reaching the lost, helping the helpless, for the glory of God to all nations, etc…).

Lord, align our hearts with yours. Only you can do this. I pray you would use our family to display your glory to all nations. I know this means it has to begin with me so let it begin. Please break me, remake me, and use me for your glory. This is urgent because life on earth is so short. I don’t want to waste my life. I want to live my life fully for you. I want to BLead for you! God help me! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

China Referral (Jul. 8, 2010)

We received word from the China guy with the Agency yesterday that our referral from China has come in finally. Now we begin the final leg of the journey. We have about a 40% chance of traveling in September and if not then a 100% chance in November. I would love to go in September, but I am praying for Abba’s timing! We are so ready to bring our son home! I can’t wait to begin writing history. I need to get our friends in China to write his story from their perspective and their time with him interacting with their family.

Abba, thank you for letting us be a part of Mei’s story for your glory. This is a miracle story indeed. And it is just beginning. I pray you use our entire family to spread the fame of your name all over the world. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Initial Skype (Mar. 28, 2010)

Friday night Shannon and I got to watch Mei play at our friend’s house in China via. Skype. We were able to talk to him and watch him interact with their family. What a blessing. This is just one more in a line of many blessings attached to this whole adoption process thus far.

The Arms that Hold the Universe (Apr. 18, 2010)

Shannon and I were riding down the road last night. We were having a conversation that led me to think about how I would feel if the adoption fell through all of the sudden. At that very moment “Arms That Hold the Universe” by Steve Fee came on the radio. It was like Abba was telling me once again, “Everything’s gonna be alright!” I had a great moment of peace from this. I clearly felt Abba speaking to my heart.

Initial Skype (Mar. 28, 2010)

Friday night Shannon and I got to watch Mei play at our friend’s house in China via. Skype. We were able to talk to him and watch him interact with their family. What a blessing. This is just one more in a line of many blessings attached to this whole adoption process thus far.

Our Special Needs Children (Feb. 26, 2010)

Over the past couple of weeks we have learned that Shelton has Tourette Syndrome. We will now have 3 special needs children when we bring Mei home (Caleb with his nerve deafness, Shelton with TS, Mei with bone deformity).

I was reviewing my verses this morning. Romans 4:18a & 21 was the key verse God gave me in China this past summer.

“Against all home Abraham in home believed…being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what He had promised.”

I had just finished reviewing it when Martha called to say if we could go ahead and get our Dossier together this weekend we could shave a month off our time and let China know we are sincere about bringing Mei home! Cool stuff!

Prints Cleared FBI (Feb. 11, 2010)

Shannon’s prints cleared the FBI this week! This afternoon we leave for Orlando to celebrate Chinese New Year with other families who have adopted from China and who have worked with Martha and our agency.

Blog Debacle & More Fingerprinting (Jan. 29, 2010)

We had another roller-coaster day yesterday. The ladies from our adoption agency saw and read my blog. They did not like that I had said some negative things about them. I went back and edited out names and places from the blog, but left the content because there is far more positive in there about them than negative.

While I was dealing with that frustration Shannon was dealing with the FBI. Her 2nd print submission was rejected. However, she now has a great connection at the FBI who is doing everything she can for us. She processes prints and as soon as Shannon’s 3rd set arrives she is going to process them. If these don’t go through she is personally going to take Shannon’s name check forms to the other department and make sure it gets processed then.

Once again, as soon as we hit a bump we are also given a glimmer of hope. I now wonder if the delay in our prints has not all been for us to have the chance to have these ups and downs with the ladies from California. This way we have even a greater chance to show them God’s love.

Martha told us, “Every adoption is different, but she has never had one like this where the enemy was working so hard to hinder it.” The Lord must have some big plans for Mei!

Approval from Agency (Jan. 24, 2010)

It now sees that the agency we are using will approve of our special needs adoption. Shannon’s new set of prints cleared the GBI so prayerfully they will clear the FBI next. Our prayer now is that the prints would be expedited.

In church this morning we sand a song by Hillsong, “Mighty to Save.” In the chorus it says, “Savior, He can move the mountains…” This makes me think of my prayer at the beginning of all of this. When I was still in China after meeting Mei and having the longing to make him part of our family I prayed, “Lord, move mountains! Move mountains. If it is your will let us bring this child home! Move mountains!”

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Meaning Behind Mei's Name

From what we are being told the children at Mei's orphanage are given the family name Mei after the city Meizhou. Meizhou means Plum City. So Mei means plum and not "beautiful" as we originally thought. But the plum blossom is considered very beautiful in China.

According to Wikipedia.....   The plum blossom is..... "One of the most beloved flowers in China, the plum blossoms have been frequently depicted in Chinese art and poetry for centuries. The Chinese sees its blossoms as both as a symbol of winter as well as a harbinger of spring. It is precisely for this reason that the blossoms are so beloved, as they bloom most vibrantly amidst the winter snow, after most other plants have shed their leaves, and before other flowers appear. They are seen as an example of resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity..."

As the Chinese people consider the plum blossoms beloved so Mei is a beloved son of the Deavers Zoo! One day, prayerfully, he will become a beloved son of Abba Father. His story is not only an example of how all men have the opportunity to be adopted as beloved sons into the family of God, but also an example of resilience and perseverance in the face of much adversity. We have had the privilege of watching him play through skyping with our friends and he is very determined and displays great perseverance.

May Abba continue to receive much glory through Mei's story!

The Blog is Back!

After some time in hiding we believe it is safe to bring the blog back. I will fill in the blanks later and share all that has happened since we shut it down (sorry for the break in communication).

Okay - we are getting ready to travel. We will get on the plane headed to get Mei in about 38 hours from now. Bailey is going with us and our excitement and anticipation continues to grow.

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and could  not go back to sleep. I am reading a book entitled "Adopted for Life" and as I read it I began reflecting on my last visit with Mei. I specifically reflected on the way he cried and struggled to get back on his feet after I laid him down in his crib. I reflected on how I stood watching and fighting back tears on the other side of the glass. I remembered the longing in my heart that day to make this little boy a part of our family. And I remembered thinking at that moment, "I will do whatever I can to return and take you out of this place. I will not forget you. Lord, do not let me forget this moment and may it spur me on to do whatever it takes to return and take this child home."

Here we are...15.5 months later getting ready to go get him!!! How amazing is my God. My God is the GREAT Mountain Mover. I look forward to sharing the journey as we continue to share Mei's story for Abba's glory!