Maria Sue Chunxi Chapman
May 13, 2003 – May 21, 2008
Maria Sue Chapman, youngest daughter to Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman, was adopted in 2003 from China. In 2008 she passed away in a tragic accident, but her legacy lives on. Through Maria’s Miracle Fund and Maria’s Big House of Hope, lives are being changed.
In loving memory of Maria, donate to Maria’s Miracle Fund>>>
As Steven Curtis Chapman’s heart for China grew more and more through his family’s two adoptions of Shaohannah and Stevey Joy, he continued to visit China. After leading worship at Beijing International Christian Fellowship in April 2004, he ran into some missionaries who let him hold one of their Chinese babies. When Steven asked if she was theirs, they said no, but they were trying to find a home for her. He asked, “What is her name?” They said, “Maria.” Immediately, a song Steven wrote years ago, called, “Who’s Gonna Love Maria,” started playing in his head. Steven couldn’t believe the coincidence of her name, and was shaken to the core. When Steven posed the thought to Mary Beth that they were to adopt her, she jokingly responded by saying, “Well, she better play an instrument because she is then going on the road with you.”
Steven couldn’t get Maria of his mind, but he certainly had not planned to adopt another child. Because Maria was already placed with an agency in a special needs program, Steven thought maybe they were just supposed to help her find a home. But when he returned to the states, Mary Beth already had the paperwork out and said, “I think we’re supposed to go and get Maria.” The pieces fell into place, and a couple months later he once again returned to China to pick up Maria Sue Chapman. Before the adoption was completed, Maria was re-diagnosed as healthy, and her healthy heart began to constantly overflow into the hearts of those around her. As the youngest of the family, she was certainly a handful, but Steven and Mary Beth knew that their family would never have been complete without her.
Throughout it all, Maria has been the beloved youngest daughter in the Chapman clan. Quick to greet you with a big smile, and the first to throw up the “rock fingers” for a little bit of sass. She was also one of the two inspirations behind Steven’s hit, “Cinderella.” Boisterous and full of life, she loved flowers, ladybugs, birds, anything with wings, coloring, washing dishes, playing make-believe, the color pink, being “butt-naked,” water, and her family. Her family loved her, and through the love of her family, she became beloved by the entire world.
On May 21, 2008, an unspeakable tragedy struck the Chapman household, as Maria Sue Chapman was rushed to the hospital after having been hit by a car accidentally in the family’s driveway. She passed away that day, and saw her eternal adoption at last finalized, as her Heavenly Father took her home to be with Him.
Through story, song, and day-to-day life, the Chapmans remember Maria. They will go on remembering Maria, for God’s glory is wrapped up in her story, and through the simple act of remembering Maria we can bring glory to God and hope to a world in desperate need of Him.