‘Ten fingers are overrated:’ Adopted boy determined to live a life of independence

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LAGRANGE, Ga. – It’s a big step for a couple to decide they want to adopt a child. It can be even more daunting if the child they want to adopt is from China. We introduce you to a special family from LaGrange, The Deavers. They have an incredible story to share about their little boy named Mei who captured their hearts.

If you could read the mind of 7-year-old Mei Deavers, you might be surprised at how creatively he thinks. He’s a first grader at Lafayette Christian School in LaGrange. He has to read between the lines sometimes to figure out how to do certain things that come easily for his classmates. His t-shirt gives you a hint about the challenges he faces. It reads “Ten Fingers are Overrated.” Mei was born in China without lower arms and with severely deformed feet. He was adopted five years ago by Tracey and Shannon Deavers. Tracey, a pastor in LaGrange, was traveling in China in 2009 when he first saw Mei in an orphanage for special needs children.

“I spent most of my time just playing with him because he really grabbed my heart. I can remember praying at that point that God would allow me to come back and take this boy home.”

Tracey and Shannon prayed before his trip and felt led to adopt a child from China. After learning how Mei’s life started, they knew he needed more than hands, he needed hope.

“Not a whole lot of hope or a whole lot of future for him there.”

Tracey and Shannon prayed and watched God miraculously open the door for Mei’s adoption in 2010, but his arrival in the states was met with tough decisions.

“About four months after we got him home, we were taking the feet that he was born with and having them amputated so that he could get prosthetic legs and have mobility and  not be confined to a wheelchair. And as you saw him today, he’s running all over the place.”

Mei’s teacher attests to his incredible tenacity. “Mei is very determined.  He wants to do everything himself that he possibly can do.”

During playtime, he snaps together Legos without relying on anyone’s help, but his classmates are there for him when he needs his lunch box and water bottled opened. Mei is just as independent at home.

“He completely dresses himself, including these long prosthetic socks that he puts on all by himself. He brushes his teeth. He fixes his hair.  He does it all on his own.”

At meal time he’s developed a very effective technique for feeding himself.

“Just to watch him and watch him overcome, and just his bravery and his outlook on life, his joy.  I think it has changed all of us.”

In the game of life, it’s clear that Mei is swinging for the fence. What do Tracey and Shannon see in Mei’s future?

“The biggest dream we have for him is that he would grow up and just be used by God to do whatever. He’s told us he wants to be like daddy. He wants to be a preacher. He wants to go back to China and tell people about Jesus.”

“Daddy’s prayer is that he would grow up to be a preacher.”

You have only met one of The Deavers’ children. They actually have seven. They range in age from 17 to 7. Tracey and Shannon have four biological children, Bailey, Shelton, Caleb, and Brianna. They have three adopted children from China, Mei, Eli, and Zoe. They’re in the process of adopting another, his name is Liam. They hope to have him join the family around the first of April. The Deavers are thankful to God for the way he has helped them through the adoption process.

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