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Steven Curtis Chapman will perform in Bakersfield October 9, 7:30 pm, at the Fox Theater.
Acclaimed Christian performer Steven Curtis Chapman is coming to the Fox Theater this month, promoting his new album, The Glorious Unfolding. Chapman's been writing and singing songs since the 80's, releasing 18 albums, earning 5 Grammy's and 56 Dove Awards, and selling more than 10 million albums. Chapman and his wife Mary Beth reside near Nashville, TN, where they've raised 6 children. He's a man of deep faith who fiercely loves his family and serves God, despite tragically losing his youngest daughter, Maria Sue, to a car accident in 2008. I recently had the opportunity to chat with him about music, family, and faith:

Have you always been a Christian?

When I was 7, my parents and brother committed their lives to Christ during a revival at our church. After that we prayed together, read Scripture, and my dad started creating music about his faith, planting the first seeds in me to sing and write Christian music, and start my journey of following Jesus.

You started as a songwriter; did you always want to sing?

My older brother was the singer with the golden pipes; songwriting was my thing. In college I wrote songs for Sandi Patty, the Imperials, and Glen Campbell. But I always wanted to sing in front of an audience, to share those songs personally; there's nothing quite like that. And I knew that most of those songs would never be recorded unless I was the guy singing them. So that was always the hope.

You already had 3 biological children; what prompted you to adopt 3 more from China?

At 12, our daughter Emily went to Haiti and saw children there without families. She came home and said "We've got room; I'll share my room, my stuff." We told her adopting a child isn't like getting a puppy that you can give to someone else if it doesn't work out, it's forever. Then she started leaving us letters, asking us to pray. God was speaking through her; Emily's prayers and encouragement led us to pray about it, and eventually adopt Shaohannah, then Stevey Joy, and Maria Sue. We look back now and can't imagine the last 13 years without those girls.

What would you tell someone contemplating adoption?

To the degree we open ourselves up to pain, heartache and risk, that's the degree we'll experience the life God created us for. I didn't know what life was until I married and had children. Adoption took us one layer deeper into understanding the Gospel, what God has done for us. He's adopted us, called us His children. That's adoption. These girls are forever a part of our family and nothing can change that. And that is the Gospel. When you consider adoption, you don't know what you're signing up for. We had no idea what was coming.

Would we have still taken the journey if we'd known we'd walk through devastating grief and sadness? To say no would be side-stepping grief, but also the joy and depth of life we've come to understand. We believe the Gospel is true, that we'll see her again. So even with the broken hearts that we have, we can say it's been an incredible journey and wouldn't have missed the joy we've experienced.

What's your favorite thing about being a dad?

Being in relationship with these people, you get to watch their story unfold with a front row seat to this miracle. With other relationships, even close friends, you move in and out of their lives. But being a dad, you get to watch this incredible story in the lives of your children, the hard, painful, tearful, wonderful… all of that. There's no other way to experience that.

Steven Curtis Chapman will perform in Bakersfield October 9, 8pm, Fox Theater.
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Tags: Featured Story, Parenting

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