Holding On To Hope

IMG_7661[1]I’ve been in China since January 22nd and come home on January 31st. It has been an amazing trip…a reminder of what God is up too…a tangible visual exposure to the miracles that happen at a place known as Maria’s Big House of Hope.

Steven and I have had to privilege of working along side of Show Hope now for many years, recipe and the stories of each and every person affected by the work of Maria’s Big House and the surrounding Special Care Centers that Show Hope has in China is staggering. But on this trip… something very special happened. I watched Fahlin become Fahlin Maria XueFang Chapman. She is officially my niece.

Fahlin has been in care at Maria’s since 2010 and has a very serious heart condition. When I first met Fahlin, she was a tiny little person residing on the 5th floor palliative care of Maria’s Big House. I met her on a trip to China. I was drawn to her immediately and wanted to help. I searched high and low for help at a hospital in the US that would take her case. I finally got to talk with some folks at UCLA children’s hospital and what I feared the most is what I heard. Her case was too difficult…nothing can be done. So, Fahlin was going to pass away peacefully at some point in the loving care of Maria’s with dignity…except…she kept living.

IMG_7741[1]As time went on, I received great news. I heard that she was being adopted…Fahlin would have a home in New York…And receive care by a doctor there. Our whole family who had been praying for her was thrilled. She would finally have a home and a family. Then I received some news. The doctor who reviewed her case in the US felt that her condition was so severe that she would not be able to survive the transition or flight…she would not be able to receive her family. She would live out her days in the loving care of Maria’s…with dignity and peace…and she kept living.

But all along a family is what she needed. It is a long God story…a total miracle, but somehow in His infinite wisdom He made a way. My brother and his wife were immediately taken with her story, she became available for adoption, and now she is coming home. Fahlin is very sick. And she may not be with us long. We don’t know how long we have with her, but she will know the love of a family…and she will hear about her heavenly home and about the Father who waits for her there.

IMG_7634Our family has suffered loss. We have grieved the loss of Maria, our little girl who had to leave way too soon for our liking. We miss her, ache for her and long for the day when we will SEE her again. Our family knows the pain of saying goodbye before we were ready…we live gripping the hope that only He can give that we will hug her again and understand the plan that He had. We believe that Fahlin is also a part of that plan. We may have to say goodbye before we are ready again. We may have to lay her in the arms of Jesus when it seems time has not been a friend. But we know that in reality…it will only be the beginning of what God is doing in His redemptive work. The thought of Fahlin and Maria in heaven is all most too glorious to bare, while painful and sad…the reality that those two, former Orphans, will be glorious before the Father…and whole…no pain, no broken heart, no sad…just whole and complete.

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Until that time comes, and because this has been too much of a miracle to even try and pen…we will pray without ceasing for a medical miracle that will keep Fahlin with us for as long as He sees fit to allow. But with hope we lay her future in the hands of the One who gave her the name Chapman…For He is good, and His plans are for us…Even when we don’t fully understand. I long for the day that we see clearly and not as through a dim glass.

Holding on to hope,
Mary Beth Chapman

  • Emily

    Amen. To God be the glory.

  • Jenn Smith

    LOVE to you and yours and praying for your niece!

  • Sandra Taylor

    Amen to that Mary Beth. We’ll be praying for your niece.

  • Ah! Hiding on to hope! When that’s all you can do! He’s enough!

  • Kami

    Every child deserves to know the love of “family” if even for a moment. I pray that she has more time than what doctors may predict and only God knows when the time will be right for her to be with Him. I can’t imagine the struggle to go on each day without Maria, but I have an inkling. My sister who was adopted from Korea at 6 months of age, died while out of country visiting a family friend at age 17, after a horse riding accident. She was 3 hours from what we would call a “clinic” but it was their hospital in the main city…a head injury that was too much to heal from in the facilities available. She too, like Maria, was a huge joy and light in our lives. It has been 20+ years since her passing. Our hearts learn not to ache so much but it’s never too far under the surface of our beating hearts 🙁 She was from a family of 6 with 4 of us being adopted and I was the oldest. My husband and I have gone on to adopt 3 girls from 3 different countries in Asia. I was so thrilled when your Emily had adoption on her heart and I’ve watched your family find the joy that all of that brings. I cried with you all when tragedy struck your lives and I’m so sorry. I so admire your honesty with your struggles. You don’t know how many people you are helping with each word that you write. May your family be blessed by Fahlin as you are all blessing her with your love. Truly is what God’s love is all about. Hugs, Kami

  • Tammy Wood Byrd

    Precious! Prayers for this sweet girl and her family! God is good all the time and all the time, God is good!

  • Oh, oh, OH my. This is the most achingly beautiful story I’ve heard in a long time. Maybe ever…apart from God sending His own son to die for us. Sobbing on a Friday night. I’ve thought of you all week. You have the very best reason on earth to be “missing” a birthday party. But the truth is, you haven’t missed a thing! You are living and SEEING. That’s what I want more of this year. Love you!

  • Debbie Hillyer

    We, too, are praying for this precious little one and holding onto hope with you. ..in Colorado. Bob and Debbie Hillyer

  • Estrella

    Love that is unafraid to be hurt…. beyond beautiful. Praying for this precious girl and your family. It brings tears to my eyes thinking that she will know what it is to be held, loved and treasured. What an amazing gift to be blessed by this little life. #thisislove

  • Michelle Litle

    WOW!! What an amazing story!! Thank you for sharing! Praying for her and for all of you!!

  • Dawn ~ Delaware

    Before there was time as we know it, there was Maria, Fahlin, my beloved Brandon, and many more! What a beautiful legacy

  • Laura Carhart

    Wow that is amazing story and powerful I cried

  • KarenS

    She is beautiful and God is FAITHFUL but you know that.

  • Nydia Ducharme

    As a mother of a kid with congenital heart defects. What I know it is that God it is the ultimate Cardiologist, HE deal with the broken hearts physically and spiritually. and seems he has a plan for this little one…will pray for her to be strong enough the travel and get to America to get medical attention.
    My miracle baby just turn 11 and back there the doctors predictions where not very encouraging.
    The one who decides the time and day it is GOD and he is in control.

  • Brenda gilligan

    What a beautiful and amazing story. I will keep the family in prayer

  • Andrea Donaldson

    What a great example of loving how Jesus loves. Thank you for sharing.

  • Rebekah Wright

    Thank you for these beautiful, truth filled words. We are praying for Fahlin’s physical health and also her precious heart that is beginning a beautiful and heart wrenching journey of letting go of all she has known and learning what it means so be a daughter, sister, niece, granddaughter–a Chapman! These kids are braver than most people really get to see or understand. And her journey is really just beginning in so many ways. Praying for abundant grace and space for her to feel all she needs to feel over the coming weeks/months/years and that she can melt into the arms of her loving family and begin to embrace and know the love of her Father who fully knows and fully loves her. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow! Such a gift to watch His stories unfold.
    Love, rebekah wright

  • Diane Hill Roark

    Mary Beth,

    Thank you for sharing Fahlin’s story and journey. Every child desperately needs a loving family and a chance to know God loves them. God has great plans for her. I pray for a medical miracle with you. You and your family are so encouraging to me. You have NO idea how much God is using you to encourage my family and so many others. If your family had to go through the loss of Maria and another chance of loosing someone again, I hope you not only continue to find comfort in God and Family BUT in knowing others pray and love your family too. Your struggles make me step back and think about how my extremely difficult situations are in God’s hands.
    Many, many blessings to you and your sweet family!
    Diane Roark

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