Stephen Curtis Chapman, a talented performer in the Christian music world, lost his five year old daughter, Maria, just a few weeks ago. Maria was playing in the driving way with many other little ones when her teenage brother came home in an SUV, running her over. She died from this terrible accident.
The cute little five year old was a spunky little girl who was adopted by Stephen and his wife Marybeth when she was first born. She was one of three little girls they adopted. Quite an ambitious task since the Chapman’s had already raised their biological children, two boys and a girl, who were now in their teens. I guess they really love children!
Adoption was one of the Chapman’s passions. They even started Shaohanna’s Hope, an organization that helps financially challenged families adopt children. I’ll never forget how touched I was when my husband and I went to see Chapman in concert up in Lancaster, PA, last year. Chapman explained what Shaohanna’s Hope was all about and then let us know that black buckets would be passed around the audience for us to drop our change in which would go towards the cause if we wanted. Little did I know when I dropped in my change that we would go to the recipient on stage that night. Towards the end of the concert, Chapman brought the local family out that he was helping in the Lancaster area and they had their entire family, including a new baby boy, that they’d be adopting thanks to the audience who donated $2,000 and Chapman who would donate the rest. Apparently he does this at all his concerts.
Bringing Maria into his home was only natural to Stephen since this topic was so important to him and his wife. They loved and cared for her their other two adopted daughters as if they were their own. We even got to so much of them on videos at his concert, we almost felt like we knew her. Check out his website and you’ll see her all over it there too.
One song in particular was just written for Maria. It’s called Cinderella and it talks about how short life is and how as a father, Stephen has so much to do in his daily life, but he needs to remember to take time to be with his “Cinderella” since the clock will soon strike twelve and she’ll be gone. When he wrote those lines he meant that she’d grow up quickly and get married. Little did he know she’s literally gone be from his life at only age five.
My heart really goes out to the Chapman family. Not just for the little girl they lost – she’s in a better place called Heaven – it’s the family that I feel sorry for. In particular, I feel so bad for the son who had the misfortune of entering the drive way that day. No doubt her feels terrible and I hope that he’ll be able to continue on without blaming himself for this unfortunate accident. I pray that the Stephen and Marybeth are able to go on as well and to continue to run the organization to help families adopt little ones and to continue to perform on stage. It touches so many lives and it would be ashame for those things to be discontinued. Finally, I pray for the little sisters that spent much of their time playing with Maria and who are now without her. May they, and the rest of the world, remember her always.