My heart is breaking for Steven Curtis Chapman this morning.
His daughter Maria, just five years old, was struck and killed in Chapman’s driveway yesterday afternoon. According to the Tennessean, the SUV that struck the little girl was driven by Chapman’s teenage son. He never saw her.
I’ve always felt a bond with Chapman, and not just because he was a proponent of international adoption. We met him and his wife MaryBeth at an event for our the adoption agency that helped our kids come home, and they were as warm and personable as could be. It was obvious that Steven had that incredible, deep abiding love for his children, and he understood the joys and challenges of raising a child who was born on the other side of the world.
There are many misconceptions about adoption, especially international adoption. Please do not think that the pain is any less for Chapman because Maria was not his biological offspring. I can tell you that the sought-after child holds a place in your heart that you can never get back.
My daughter has recently become a daddy’s girl (finally!), and with every hug and “I love you”, the thought of losing her becomes more and more inconceivable to me. I cannot help but to weep at the mere thought.
I pray that Steven Curtis Chapman can feel the loving embrace of his Heavenly Father in this awful, awful time. One thing adoptive fathers understand instinctively is that no child is ‘ours’ – they belong to God, and only come under our care for a while. She is back with Him today, and I pray that Steven can find at least a small measure of solace from that knowledge.