Sunday, April 10, 2011

Show Hope

The week we left for China, we were surprised with an amazing and unexpected, but hoped for, notification. We were given a grant from a charitable organization called Show Hope.

Show Hope was founded by Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth. You may have heard of them several years back when they lost their precious daughter, Maria, who was adopted from China. When we applied for a grant back last November, we felt a common bond given our loss of our child.

The interesting part is how Show Hope was weaved into our adoption process. Jimmy's Aunt Karen initially called us back in 2008 from Steven Curtis Chapman's concert. She was all fired up and told us all about his organization and how they were helping to fund adoptions. She knew that in our hearts we were ready to pursue another adoption, but we weren't sure if it were financially feasible.

So I started to write them a letter. But I never completed it. I never sent it. I didn't feel that it was absolutely necessary at the time.  We proceeded with our adoption process and depleted most of our resources bringing Daniel home. It was worth every penny.

We knew this time around we needed their help. I found the letter that I started two years before, and I finally finished it. I told them all about Daniel and about our common loss of our children. We shared our story with them, and they bestowed upon us a gift that we will forever remember. They helped us bring Charlie home.

Part of the application process was that Jimmy and I both needed to write a statement of faith. Jimmy procrastinated for a week or so, and then one night he sat down and spilled it all out. I was so proud of his profound words and his faith that he seldom shares. He is such a special person. I realized just how inspirational he is down deep in that beautiful heart of his. I cried when I read what his heart had put on paper. And here, I thought I was the writer in the family. Here is what he wrote:

"My journey towards finding my faith started when my wife and I began the process to adopt our first daughter from China in 2006. We searched many churches and finally found the perfect home that was right under our nose, and it was filled with our friends and acquaintances. We started attending St.Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church, and it was the perfect fit to revive our faith. We entered into the RCIA program and as each class ended we realized how much we were in missing in God.

The congregation accepted us with open hearts and arms as if we were already family. It was fantastic to feel so close to God. We brought our beautiful daughter Madi home on a Thursday, and that Sunday we made our first family trip to church. Madi, as well as we, loves that Sunday Mass that brings us closer to God. 

We realized how deep our faith was when we brought our son Daniel home from China last February. Daniel had Tetralogy of Fallot and needed open-heart surgery. We were confident that God would guide us and protect us through this surgery. Daniel’s surgery on May 11th was successful, but his lungs became an issue and many other problems arose. One evening, very late at night, we were called into the hospital for an emergency procedure. My wife Lisa and I called our closest family members and friends, but no one answered. We realized this was part of God’s plan to prepare us that no matter what happened, he had a greater plan for Daniel. People all over the world were brought together for prayer chains in Daniel’s name. Some that had distanced themselves from God were now getting closer because of this little boy and our strength in our faith. That night, as we walked the empty hall of the hospital, we realized the possibility that God had another plan for Daniel as much as we wanted him with us. We began to realize there was a strong possibility he would not come out of the hospital alive. We felt this feeling of calming and warmth knowing that if he was called to Heaven, he was where we all want to be someday. 

Daniel passed away on May 30th.  It was Trinity Sunday. We saw this as a beautiful sign that Daniel had spread the word of the Lord and it was his time. We will never truly understand why the plan was put in place but we know Daniel touched a lot of people and also solidified our faith as we found comfort in the saddest day of our life.
We have now been matched with another beautiful boy from China with a small hole in his heart. With the love of family, friends, and God, we know he will be safe. We are thankful that Daniel is watching over him and watching over our family. Faith will forever be the most important rock for this family."

We could not be more grateful to Show Hope for their financial assistance bringing Charlie home. We know that our sweet little Daniel had a hand in their decision, and that makes this gift even sweeter.  We hope to pay it forward someday.  

Please consider supporting Show Hope or an organization that helps orphans.  Whether you are called by God to pursue your own adoption experience or to make a charitable contribution to Show Hope to help others answer their call, God's orphans are out there in the world.  And they are waiting. Waiting for families to take them, to love them, to keep them, and to show them hope.

3 comments:

The Gemma's said...

Wow...that's just beautiful.

Jennifer and Greg said...

I have been a fan of Stephen Curtis Chapman for many years, since shortly after they brought home their first daughter from China. The Chapman family has also had a difficult road in losing Maria their youngest daughter from China.

Show Hope is a wonderful organization.

Congratulations on the grant!

Blessings,
Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Awesome...I find myself at a loss for words but many tears are / were streaking my face as I read that entry.
- Tracy Simmons