A Public Letter To Emily
So what happens when a young teenage girl decides she needs a sister, but not a sister like her, a sister from across the globe, and pesters her parents until they adopt from China? Well if your name is Emily and your father is Steven Curtis Chapman a lot happens.
The Chapman’s were forever impacted by their adoption of their 3 Chinese daughters, and they were moved by the need they saw to enable more people to follow suit. If you have as many Grammies, Dove awards, and #1 hits and albums as he has had, the cost of the adoption process is nominal, but he remembers his roots and knows he is the exception, not the norm. Many people would simply look at the problem, maybe write a brief essay on the issue for Charisma magazine, and walk away, but he didn’t. Instead the Chapman family decided to start a foundation called Shaohannah’s Hope to assist others in the financial burdens of the adoption process. The primary vision of Shaohannah’s Hope is to build a larger vision for international adoption here in the Church in America, one of the avenues they do this is by allotting grants to families in the adoption process. To date they have helped over 700 families complete their families.
Yes, my family is in that 700. Our grant came through at a point in time that we were wondering what kind of a mistake we had made in doing this adoption with our current financial structure. In fact our agency had told us there was no way we were going to complete this adoption without accruing adoption debt. We were at the point that not only were we looking at debt, we didn’t know if we had enough credit cards that we could max out to cover the cost of the adoption. It was during this low, low valley that Shaohannah’s Hope called us and let us know we had been accepted as a grant recipient. Yes, this teenage girl, who is now a young woman, is the voice that started it all. But the story doesn’t even really end there, you see her voice, her story actually had a role in starting this adoption as well. Several years ago we were at the Habitat for Humanity’s House Party in Raleigh. SCC was performing there and during his concert he showed some promotional material about Shaohannah’s Hope. We went home from that concert and looked into adoption, but the only countries we were aware of that you could adopt from internationally were Russia and China. We looked into the program and discovered that we were too young, but the seed was definitely planted. Had we been older we would have a Chinese daughter as well right now. SCC had told us how his daughter had pestered them until they conceded, and watching the video for the ministry that was birthed our of that young girl’s heart stirred up our desires for adoption as well.
We actually began to pray for our future adoptive children on a regular basis at that point. My wife on a near daily basis, me I’m sorry to admit, not so regularly.
Emily, thank you for telling your parents you wanted a sister. Thank you for planting and watering a seed that has directly touched the lives of my family and thousands of others. I have personally spoken to many other families that watching the Shaohannah’s Hope video sparked something inside of them and pushed them down this road as well. You have no idea how many families you have impacted, how many adoptions you have influenced, how many families have heard your cry, “I want a sister.” For the most part we all look at the glam and the glitz and the big names attached to anything. In that regard when it comes to Shaohannah’s Hope everyone call’s it Steven Curtis Chapman’s program, but without your voice, without your plea, without you moving your parents to action, this would have never existed. It was your desire, placed in you by God, for a new sister, that has birthed an organization that has worked at birthing that same desire in countless numbers of hearts around the globe. It was your persistence that persevered and helped bring home one of my sons and one of my daughters. My family has been forever branded by your plea for a new sister.
Emily, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. My life will never be the same, my family is forever touched, and although we may never meet, you are always welcome where ever my home may be.
To My Faithful Readers:
If you would like to know more please visit Shaohannah’s Hope and show them some love www.shaohannahshope.org