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How Adoption Wrecked Me

by Mary Beth Chapman, Co-founder, Show Hope

Adoption wrecked me. But it wrecked me in all the right ways.

The minute Shaoey was placed in my arms, I got it. Finally, everything I had been taught to believe growing up in church, it all made sense. You see, all of those years ago, standing in that hallway in China, I was confronted with my own adoption story. I finally understood what God did for me. He adopted me too—not because I was good enough or did enough but just because I was me—and nothing is going to separate me from that adoption. God loves me no matter what. That was a huge day for me. Shaoey was placed in my arms, love took me in, and everything changed.

Now, before you stop reading because this wasn’t your experience, know that what I just said does not mean everything was beautiful and went perfectly to plan. Far from it truthfully. But what I do want you to know is, the decision to adopt was a personal family decision for us—one that would change the course of our lives forever and eventually leave us asking if God is good. 

Not long after Shaoey’s adoption, Stevey Joy came into our lives as well as our precious Maria. And while those days of parenting have flown by so fast, our journey has been marked by difficult days and seasons. We have frequently wondered if God heard our pleas during the hard and our praises during the good. And in all of that wondering, I am here to say: Yes, He is good

So when I think back—some 23 years ago—to standing there with Shaoey in my arms, I made a commitment that no matter what, she would always know where her home with us was—a place where she would always belong. But that hasn’t always been easy for her. Like many, Shaoey has questions, and those questions do not have answers we can give her. However, I do believe that because of God’s presence in my life, she has a better understanding of God’s presence in her life. And I believe He had an amazingly perfect plan that day. He knew I needed to understand deep within adoption in my own life, so in turn, I could do my best to model adoption in her life. And I hope I have. 

Mary Beth Chapman

Mary Beth Chapman is a New York Times’ best-selling author, speaker, and the wife of GRAMMY® and Dove Award-winning recording artist, Steven Curtis Chapman. She is also Show Hope’s Co-founder and Chairman of the Board. Mary Beth delights in overseeing the work of Show Hope as she continues to do all she can to help restore hope to children living as orphans. Learn more at

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