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.
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.
Our 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.
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