Catch up on what’s currently happening on showhope.org. Show Hope is a non-profit organization that mobilizes individuals and communities to meet the most pressing needs of orphans in distress by providing 1) homes for waiting children through adoption aid grants, and 2) life-saving medical care for orphans with special needs.
By Olivia Stanton, Coordinator of Student Initiatives at Show Hope
On June 7, I boarded a plane headed for Beijing, China, with two of my Show Hope colleagues and 17 high school and college students from across the country. We were embarking on Show Hope’s first Student Global Training Trip of the summer of 2019 to spend time at Show Hope’s flagship Care Center, Maria’s Big House of Hope (Maria’s), in Luoyang, China, and to spend time with the precious children cared for there.
As I was preparing to co-lead this trip, I battled strong feelings of inadequacy. How was I supposed to lead students into a country and culture I had never experienced myself? To be honest, I didn’t know if I had it in me to do this big thing that God was asking me to do.
After a couple of long travel days, our big bus pulled into Maria’s for the first time. My eyes filled with tears as I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and assurance—the Lord was with me and would provide all that I needed for this journey.
Many of the students on the team had experienced the pain and brokenness of this world in profound ways. It feels like an understatement to say that it was a gift to spend time with them and hear their stories. By saying “yes” to this trip, these students were choosing to take all of their hard and use it to bring hope and joy to the lives at Maria’s. When they shared the sacred details of their testimonies with me or with the team, I usually found myself at a loss for words. I didn’t know what to say, and I didn’t know how to “fix” their hurt—but it was through my inadequacy that I was able to experience God’s sufficiency. He wasn’t expecting me to come up with the right words or solve anything; he just wanted me to be—to listen and to love unconditionally.
I also felt God nudging me to be as I spent time playing with the children. For the most part, if the children were old enough to talk, they spoke Mandarin as did their nannies. I was truly surprised at how little this language barrier mattered. I spent hours smiling, singing, and playing with the kids, and laughing with the nannies over the silly and sweet things the children would do. They weren’t expecting anything from me; they simply loved someone being there to play with them, hold them, or just sit with them. It was a sacred experience to spend hours of uninterrupted time engaging with the kids. I didn’t know anything about their pasts or their futures—or much else about them beyond their names and ages. Even still, each one of them became precious to me.
From that time, I was reminded that this is how Christ sees each one of us. As he looks into our faces, he is not remembering all of the ways in which we have fallen short in the past or are sure to in the future. We are his precious children in whom he delights, and we are invited to come and be still before him—exactly as we are.
Ultimately, it turned out that I didn’t have it in me to do the big thing that God was asking me to do. I couldn’t say the right things, and I certainly couldn’t heal anyone’s brokenness—but that is not what God required of me. I just needed to be present, and he did the rest. He helped me use my own afflictions to walk alongside the students as they worked through their trials.
Ephesians 3:20-21 says, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” When we show up in obedience to Christ and allow him to do his work through us, he does far more than we could have ever imagined.
Meet Killian. He has been a joy to know since first coming into our care as a baby with needs stemming from a gastrointestinal condition. Since that day, he has made his way into our hearts with his charming smile and endearing personality.
Killian is kind, and from the moment you step into his room, he will greet you with a big smile and a sweet “hello.” His nannies are proud of how smart he is, and they’re always excited to teach him new words. Killian is also proud of himself whenever he learns something new—whether it’s a word, game, or task, he is always on board with a smile on his face.
Some of his favorite toys are building blocks and musical instruments. Killian is attentive, clever, enthusiastic, and joyful, so he easily excels in activities that center on both his favorite toys. His nannies always cheer him on and encourage him to build the tallest tower he can, and they are his best audience when he’s “putting on a show.”
In physical therapy, Killian continues to get stronger and accomplish new feats. His resilience and determination are apparent as he concentrates on each new skill.
Like so many waiting children around the world, Killian’s most foundational need remains —to be firmly rooted in the love and nurture of a family through adoption. Will you join us in praying that he, along with all the other children who wait, will soon have that opportunity?
By Emily Chapman Richards, Executive Director of Show Hope
At the very core of who we are exists a deep desire and fundamental need for connection, belonging, and security found only within relationship. This eternal truth can be traced back to the very beginning of time.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’ … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).
The mutual exchange of love between the Father, Son, and Spirit is imprinted on the human soul—we bear the Imago Dei, “image of God.” As the creation narrative unfolds, God reflects on his creation of Adam, remarking, “It is not good that man should be alone …” (Genesis 2:18). God’s response to Adam’s solitude is the creation of Eve, Adam’s partner. The height of joy and depth of trust experienced through loving relationships and secure attachment are fundamentally God’s idea and God’s design.
More than 2,000 years later, we take our place in history longing for connection—remembering this foundational truth and holding onto this eternal hope for ourselves, for our neighbors, for our communities, and perhaps most importantly for our children. Yes, indeed, God created us to be in relationship—at peace within ourselves, with him, and with others. And yet, with the fall of mankind into sin, we now experience the pain of broken relationships and the vulnerability of isolation. This is the painful reality for many of the children Show Hope seeks to serve—children who have been orphaned.
It is not uncommon for children who come home through adoption and foster care to have had exposure to adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, trauma, loss, and/or neglect. As these children enter our families and our stories intertwine with theirs, tensions may surface. We must ask ourselves, How do we effectively communicate the truth of the gospel—an invitation into a forever relationship with Christ—to our children who may carry attachment injuries and associate belonging and connection with fear?
As scientific research expounds, our understanding of the human brain is only beginning to grasp the fullness and complexities of God’s design. And as only God could design, the human brain is pliable and can be rewired. Developmental psychologist and advocate for children Dr. Karyn Purvis once said, “Our children were harmed in relationship, and they will experience healing through nurturing relationships.” When we step into the journey of caring for children who have been impacted by early loss and trauma, an incredible invitation is extended. We have the opportunity to help rewrite the narrative … to help lead our children to places of emotional, physical, and neurological healing by being the hands and feet of Christ.
Furthermore, by choosing to love children from difficult beginnings, we are afforded a front-row seat as God’s miraculous work unfolds. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the sacredness, beauty, and peace of Imago Dei is reimagined and reaffirmed as our children become at home within our love.
Surely, no one person could do this work alone or without the encouragement and support of a wider community. This is why Show Hope’s Pre+Post Adoption Support exists. We understand—as many of you do—that the adoption journey doesn’t end the day a child is welcomed home. Because of the difficult beginnings many of our children have experienced, we must work diligently to help them reimagine home and experience belonging and connection.
One way in which we do that is through our Empowered to Connect Conference, a two-day event and simulcast that is specifically designed to help equip adoptive parents, ministry leaders, foster parents, and care professionals.
This year’s Empowered to Connect Conference included Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) methods developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross from the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at TCU, which exists to bring attachment and connection in families. TBRI “is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children.” At its core, TBRI works to promote trust and connection between caregivers and children by addressing physical and emotional needs while also disarming fear-based behavior.
And, so, while TBRI may be perceived as clinical in nature as it involves the complexities of science, at Show Hope, we believe that at its core, TBRI is an expression of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In “Created to Connect: A Christian’s Guide to The Connected Child,” Dr. Karyn Purvis, with Michael and Amy Monroe, wrote, “The longing of the human heart is to connect and belong. We long to connect with our Creator, in whose image we have been made, and by God’s grace such a connection is possible. As relational beings we also have a deep need and desire to connect with those around us. One of the most important and meaningful human conditions is undoubtedly between a parent and child.”
Being made in the image and likeness of Christ—and this eternal truth—“See what kind of love the father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are (1 John 3:1)”—are the foundations that we, at Show Hope, continue to build upon as we work to care for orphans by engaging the Church and reducing barriers to adoption. We lock arms with countless parents, siblings, caregivers, professionals, church leaders, social workers, teachers, and coaches who continue to show up and show hope, day in and day out, to our children who desperately need our love.
Will you join with us today in showing up and showing hope?
We’re happy to introduce you to Quianna. She has the sweetest soul, and we love spending time with her.
Since coming into our care, Quianna has grown into a gentle and loving 8-year-old. She delights in affection and will smile from ear to ear when you call her name or give her a kiss. She is content to sit on your lap and snuggle her head on your shoulder but giggles with glee when she dances to music in a friend’s or nanny’s arms.
She enjoys playing in her room and attending physical therapy or preschool. In preschool, she loves to play with the musical instruments and hit the keys on the piano. In physical therapy (PT), Quianna is doing well. Her physical therapist says she enjoys going to the PT gym to bounce on the trampoline or practice using tactile tiles, building her confidence to move around the room.
Quianna was born with visual impairment and a nervous system condition. She is a beautiful reminder of hope and resilience. We are praying for Quianna to continue to grow into the kind, confident girl she is, and we pray she will soon be welcomed into a secure and loving family through adoption.
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.
Meet Sapphire! We have adored this beautiful girl since she came into our care at 2 years old. Now, Sapphire is 3, and we’ve loved watching her grow, learn, and explore the world around her.
Sapphire lives at Maria’s Big House of Hope. She came into care with a condition that affects her face and hands. She spends her days playing with toys and friends and being loved and snuggled by her nannies.
Twice a week, Sapphire goes to preschool. She enjoys music time and likes to play with the piano and bells. Sapphire is great at doing handprints with paint, and she often rubs the paint between her fingers to feel how cold, wet, and gooey it is.
Everyone around her loves Sapphire’s giggle and smile. She is strong and gentle and a joy to have in our care. Our prayer is that Sapphire would soon have the opportunity to know the love and nurture of a family through adoption. Thank you for coming alongside us in this prayer.
I have had the unique privilege of experiencing Show Hope from the very beginning and through many different lenses. Yes, I was an original signee of the contract my older sister, Emily, wrote—explaining how the Chapman children were both willing and able to pitch in and help out however necessary if our parents were to adopt. I was there when Shaoey was placed in my mother’s arms, followed years later by Stevey Joy and Maria. I spent several years working inside the Show Hope offices and have had the joy of seeing the mission of this organization carried all over the world. As a part of my father’s band for many years, I saw countless hearts moved to care for these children. And, now, alongside my brother, Will, and our band, Colony House, we continue to find ourselves overwhelmed and amazed to see how deep and wide Show Hope’s roots have grown.
Throughout all of these different seasons, I have observed my parents walking—and oftentimes faithfully hobbling—along this road we call Show Hope. For anyone who has followed the Chapman story, you know we spend a lot of our time hobbling. There are so many things I could say about my parents and how grateful I am that they helped open my eyes to a world much bigger than my own. But as their son, something I have always been proud of is their willingness to “hobble” for everyone to see. We are living in an age of “smoke and mirrors,” and it is easy to paint a picture that says, “We have it all together.” In my opinion, nothing threatens Show Hope’s wonderful work more than a well-mannered facade. I admire the courage it takes to not only acknowledge brokenness but embrace it—believing that God is faithful to make all things new. The truth is, Show Hope was founded by broken people and is run by broken people to help broken people taste and see that the Lord is good even—and especially—in the ugly moments. “ … In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
When I was asked to write this, the prompt was to explain what the work of Show Hope means to me as a son, a father, and a believer. I could write thousands and thousands of words dissecting all of my thoughts on Show Hope and how much it means to me, but it all, ultimately, comes back to love. One of my favorite scriptures has always been 1 John 4:8, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” I see Show Hope like a torchbearer carrying love like fire into the darkness, whether that be for the children who have not known the love of a family or for the families who are laying down their lives for their children. These countless stories are beautiful pictures of the gospel that have defined my faith and shaped my understanding of love. And these will be the true stories I tell my children of how faithful our heavenly Father is.
Judy-Alexis is a beautiful, spunky 4-year-old girl living at Maria’s Big House of Hope. She can often be found rolling through the halls in her wheelchair greeting all of her friends—even calling their names to capture their attention.
In the mornings, Judy-Alexis goes to preschool where she enjoys reading books, coloring, painting, and watching fun videos to learn sign language. She always chooses to sit in the purple chair since that’s her favorite color, and if she’s picking out books to read, she’ll find all the books about elephants every time.
Judy-Alexis’ work and determination in physical therapy are remarkable. She uses her strong arms to practice climbing stairs and chairs. It’s not all hard work, though. Judy-Alexis loves the trampoline, and she giggles as she bounces up and down.
The rest of the time, Judy-Alexis spends her day playing with friends and nannies. She likes to pretend to be a doctor and give checkups to her friends, checking their hearts and temperature. One of her favorite games is to make everyone pretend to go to sleep, and then wake them. She is certainly full of fun and joy.
Judy-Alexis came into our care shortly after she was born with needs surrounding spina bifida and a nervous system condition. We have loved watching her grow and learn, and we can’t wait to see the big things God has planned for her. Our hope for Judy-Alexis is that she would be able to enter a loving family through adoption. Would you join us in praying for this?
This past weekend, Show Hope hosted its second Care Centers Reunion. We celebrated with more than 70 families from across the country who have welcomed home a child once under care at one of Show Hope’s Care Centers in China. The Franklin, Tennessee-based event was unforgettable as we honored all children from our Care Centers and remembered the life of Maria Sue Chapman, the namesake of Maria’s Big House of Hope.
In the midst of her college experience, Shaohannah (Shaoey) Hope Chapman will return for a second summer to volunteer at Show Hope’s flagship Care Center, Maria’s Big House of Hope in Luoyang, China.
She is hopeful, excited, and expectant for her second summer there.
“I’m most excited about seeing the children again. I can’t wait to see the familiar faces of the little ones I know, as well as make friends with the children who have come since last summer,” Shaoey said. “I love them and they bring me endless joy.”
Last year, Shaoey focused on creating playful environments in the rooms for the children and learning more about the attachment care training that is being provided to nannies and staff. This year, her main focus will be leading and helping out with the various sponsor and student trips that will be visiting Maria’s over the summer.
“I can’t wait to work more with the trip participants who come to Maria’s,” Shaoey said. “I remember forming relationships with team members last year, but I’m looking forward to getting the opportunity to really invest in them and their experiences this year.”
Shaoey realizes God used the people around her and her experience last year to help her process and dig deeper into her own story, and she’s eager to see what God teaches her this summer.
“Every time I visit China, God reveals more about hope in the world and hope in my life,” she shared. “Hope is something that has always kept me moving.”
Will you join us in praying for Shaoey as she prepares for her second summer at Maria’s?
Check back for more updates on her trip throughout the summer!