By Mary Beth Chapman, Co-founder of Show Hope
I cannot believe we are here … 2019 … 10 years of caring for children at Maria’s Big House of Hope!
I clearly remember the day we stood on a bare piece of land in China, dreaming of someday taking care of children who are medically fragile. Our dream of giving back by way of providing care to children who otherwise may not survive was finally being realized. The plan was in place, and we, as a family, could not believe that we were on the verge of helping launch our first Show Hope Care Center.
Then, 2008 came, and everything changed. That May, our precious Maria was taken home to heaven too soon, and life, as we were walking it, stopped and gave way to complete devastation and utter, soul-wrenching sadness.
As the Chapman family was trying to survive and come to grips with such unspeakable loss, an extraordinary thing happened: You. People from all over the world began loving us in a way that was—and still is—unimaginable. A fund was established called “Maria’s Miracle Fund,” and a big blue building with big white clouds and flowers began to emerge from that bare piece of land.
In no time, as we were walking through devastation in our world, Maria’s Big House of Hope was built in another land. And it was made possible because God used generous individuals like you, our Show Hope family.
Now, 10 years later, more than 2,600 children have been cared for in our Care Centers with more than 770 of those kiddos now coming home to the love and security of a family through adoption.
The work at Maria’s also continues to flourish. In addition to loving and attentive medical care, we have the opportunity to train nannies in attachment care, to more adequately equip them to meet the unique needs of children who experienced early childhood loss, giving them a holistic and loving environment. A big blue house with a preschool, physical therapy, and loving caregivers was made possible because a lot of people cared about a family named the Chapmans, a family that was in an incredible amount of pain. Simply put, love showed up, and love showed hope!
I do have to be honest, though. (And if you know me at all, you know, I have to be honest.) I would give up and take away all of it if Maria could be with us. I miss that little girl with all the miss a mom can bear. The pain of that day and the axis shift it put our family on has been a brutal journey. We have been holding, clenching, clinging on to God and the reality of His goodness for 11 long years. It’s one thing to say God is good all the time; it’s another thing to believe it with the awful reality our family faced on May 21, 2008.
Maria’s Big House of Hope is a holy place where miracles happen every day, and I firmly believe that. As we journey there this summer to celebrate 10 years of Maria’s, though, I’m not sure what I will feel. On one hand, I know there will be the same tangible pain I feel every time I visit and see Maria’s picture hanging in the foyer. Because of her short life, this place came to be—and that is really, really hard. On the other hand, the more beautiful reality is that because of a little girl named Maria—who is fully alive, healthy, and whole in her Father’s house—many more children are able to receive the care they need and get to go home to their families.
As we, the Chapmans, stand on the ground to celebrate 10 years of God’s goodness to Show Hope’s work in China, I want you to know that I carry with me a piece of each of you who have made this possible. We have been prayed for, cared for, and supported in tangible, life-giving ways, and because of generous people like you, this work continues in the name of a little girl who I won’t get to hug and slobber-kiss for a little while longer. Make no mistake, though, slobber-kiss I will. Then, every question I have will be answered, and every wrong will be righted—and we will understand.
Until then, “thank you” falls short of my gratitude to all of you who make the work of Show Hope possible. You have joined our family in caring for orphans and loving well a bunch of little ones who are in desperate need of a family.