I saw the paramedic getting out of his truck in the driveway. I ran toward him and grabbed his arm. "You've gotta save my little girl!" I screamed over and over . …
So writes Mary Beth Chapman, who relives in heart-shattering detail the death of her 5-year-old daughter, Maria, in her new book, Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope (Revell). In the chapter titled "May 21, 2008," Chapman — the wife of Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman — remembers sitting at the dining room table, working on wedding plans for their oldest child, Emily.
She goes on to recount the horrible events of that afternoon: son Will pulling into the driveway, accidentally running over his little sister, the chaos, the panic, the blood, the 911 call, the emergency personnel, the hospital, the brutal news that Maria had passed away, the screams of "No! No! No!" giving way to Mary Beth telling her husband, "We have to let her go, sweetie. It's time to let her go."
That kind of gut-wrenching honesty and vulnerability runs throughout the book as Mary Beth, married to Steven for 26 years, shares the story not only of Maria's death and the family's subsequent grieving, but also of her own continuing feud with the Creator — a difficult childhood and teen years, adulthood battles with depression, and more.
Maria was the third of the Chapmans' three adopted girls from China; Shaohannah Hope (10) and Stevey Joy (7) are the others. Their biological kids are Emily (24), Caleb (20), and Will Franklin (19). Mary Beth is also the president of Show Hope, a nonprofit organization that cares for orphans worldwide by providing financial assistance to families wishing to adopt. Last summer, Show Hope opened Maria's Big House of Hope ...1