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Choosing to SEE and Chapter four of our Adoption.

Mary Beth Chapman is married to Steven Curtis Chapman, who is a phenomenal Christian music artist.
The first song of his that I remember loving was the one he wrote to her called “I will be here.”
I was single and in my early twenties,
and I remember wanting to find a husband that felt about me the way he obviously felt about her.
It was the first time they would influence my life from a distance.
{Go here if you want to hear him sing that beautiful song about his commitment to his wife.}
I kind of half-way kept up with them through the years, and I loved watching their family go from 
one child to three children to four children to six children.
I loved their hearts for adoption, 
and I know that God used them in some way to plant a seed of desire in my own heart.
Fast forward many years, and we started our own journey to bring our daughter home from China.
Something I haven’t shared with you is that the Chapman family played a major part in our story.
They have the most amazing grant that they give to families who are pursuing adoption.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to fund an adoption.
Some people take out loans and some people save every penny before they start.
Not us.
We knew that we didn’t want to take out a loan…we were trying to do things the “Dave Ramsey style.”
But, we also knew that we didn’t want to wait until every last penny was saved.
We wanted to start the process and trust God for provision as we went.
No matter what path you choose, it’s all trusting God.
Anyway, we applied for their grant not knowing when we’d hear from them or even if we would.
Imagine our surprise when our adoption agency called us and informed us that we’d received $3500.
This family that I’ve never met had not only influenced our hearts for adoption 
but had financially joined us in bringing her home.
We had been home from China with our daughter Lydia for five months 
when tragedy hit the Chapman family.
Their youngest biological son, Will Franklin, had tragically hit
 their youngest adopted daughter with his vehicle in their driveway.
She was running toward him to ask for help getting on the monkey bars, and he never saw her.
I joined thousands of people from all over the world who prayed and wept for this family.
I’d never met them, but my life had been so influenced by their marriage & family.
Mary Beth courageously wrote a book called “Choosing to See.”
It is about their journey through the loss of their sweet Maria Sue.
She captures very honestly what it has been like to have this be part of their family’s story.
You see how they determined together as a family to hold steadfast to their faith in God.
She writes about how loud their silent house became when Maria wasn’t there anymore.
She tells countless stories of little Maria’s life and how she impacted each person that met her.
Mary Beth affectionately refers to her as their “little nugget” and their “goofy goober girl.”
You will laugh and you will most certainly cry.
Every truth this family ever stood on in their faith was tested with Maria’s tragic, too-soon death.
She writes so vividly from her heart that you can almost feel the pain that they experienced in their loss.
Your heart will ache with them, and your faith will be challenged by theirs.
She tells a story of Steven finding a picture that Maria had been drawing before the accident.
It was the picture of a six-petaled flower with a green stem and two leaves.
Only one of the petals was colored blue, which was Maria’s favorite color.
The center was painted orange.
He saw something bleeding through the other side of the paper.
Ends up, she had also drawn a butterfly and the word SEE.
Mary Beth knows that it was no coincidence that the flower had 6 petals, 
and that only one petal was colored in.
Blue. Maria’s favorite color.
They have 6 children, and only one has gone to be with the one who made her.
This family is choosing to SEE that heaven is real and the gospel is true.
You will cherish how this family finds hope in the midst of asking God the hard questions.
Shattered dreams are never random.  
They are always a piece in a larger puzzle, a chapter in a larger story.
The Holy Spirit uses the pain of shattered dreams to help us discover our desire for God, 
to help us begin dreaming the highest dream.
They are ordained opportunities for the Spirit to awaken, then to satisfy our highest dream.
~Larry Crabb
{taken from “Choosing to SEE”}

56. dinner with a new friend tonight.
57. clean sheets on all the beds.
58. a new hair cut
59.  wooden building blocks that have occupied my kids for five weeks.

Janie Fox - I read this book. It was so sad. I could relate to a lot of her grief since we lost our sons. I love the way they loved Will through the tragedy. I also love Steven's music.

Farmgirl Paints - Oh girl that family has crossed my mind so much over the years. I saw Steven perform in MN before the accident and his heart for adoption really opened my eyes and heart to it too. But we are done and that's okay. You have to be in agreement on something that huge.

I didn't know about the letter. I'm not sure I could read that book. Just thinking about their story and what the family has went through is so hard for me. I love how through that unspeakable tragedy God is still given the glory and HE is still using them in such a positive way. All things for good…even those we don't understand.

Tricia - Every single time I hear one of Steven's songs on the radio, I think of his little girl and his son too and feel so sad for their family. I think that book would be really hard for me to read. I had never heard the story about the flower…it's sweet and sad all at the same time.

the vintage bricoleur - I love that song. My brother sang it at my sister's wedding. I had heard about the accident and the word SEE and I have heard the CD that he made afterward. I now want to read the book. Thanks for sharing. Terry

Life with Kaishon - I am weeping as I read this. Weeping for this family. I remember when it happened. I was devastated for them. I will get her book today. Thank you for reminding me of it. You are a blessing.

Debby - I don't know if I could read that book. I went to a church with my kids the week-end following their sweet girl's death. One of the pastors had been at the service and spoke about it. I was in tears just hearing the story. Something they will never forget. The drawing is so amazing.
I am babysitting for a little CHina girl right now. She is so much fun.

janis - no tears…just a sweet smile. For I too was amazed at the Chapmans loving story. I too remember in disbelief when this tragedy happened & how strong the Chapmans are. I remember the book, although I did not buy it, rather had it on loan. Maria Sue was and is indeed a beautiful Angel that has touched so many lives. I was not aware that the Chapmans have a grant set up but not surprised. That is the kind of people they are. How Blessed you are that you were able to be included in their generosity. From reading your Blog, I believe Lydia is a very lucky girl to have God choose your family to raise her.
Blessings to you all♥

Tessa - oh I remember that song! of course i know their story too. what would shatter most has strengthened their faith. its unbelievable. i wouldn't be able to read the book. but i hope wriiting it has brought her healing. no matter though, she will forever feel pain. it takes a courageous heart to go on and live like she is living. just thinking about their loss is almost too much to bear. xo, Tessa

Kim B. - I too read her book on my kindle & LOVED it! What an amazing story of healing & trusting God in many instances along their journey. I HIGHLY recommend this book. You'll be glad you read it :)

Megan - I saw him in concert when I was 18 and have always adored him and his family. I love that they have had such an influence and and impact on your life! It still makes my heart hurt to think about their loss, but so inspiring to know they are choosing to see!

hometown girl - gosh i had not heard of them. i can hardly imagine what they have been through…..hope you are well my friend. hoping things are well with you and your family. susan

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs - Wow I so very much remember when that tragedy happened to her family ~ it is unreal!
I didn't know Mary Beth wrote a book ~ I totally want to read it but know it will be heart wrenching ~

LLH Designs - Of all days I would get to peek in on my bog friends, it's no accident that it would be YOU today and for THIS post! My husband and I are passionate supporters of Show Hope. It's at the top of our giving list each year. We've met the Chapmans in person in a small setting and were moved to the core (once before the loss of Maria and once after). They are absolutely the REAL deal.

Hugs to you, sweet friend!

LLH Designs - P.S. And I loved her book.

Deb - What a beautiful post. I knew of the Chapman's tragedy but had no idea that their daughter was adopted… I stumbled across your blog and I am so glad I did… looking forward to reading more about your adoption journey as we begin our own!

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