Every since I started taking my medicine a few months ago I have had the weirdest dreams in the world.  They aren't scary or out of this world, but yet the exact opposite.  They are very very real.  Some mornings I wake up truly wondering if it really happened or if I dreamed it.

Last night I had a fabulous dream.  Aaron and I were on a plane to China with Mary Beth & Steven Curtis Chapman and also one of my best friends in the world Shawnah Shingleton.  We were all on our way to pick up our baby girls that we were adopting.  It was so real to me.  We were sitting on the plane in a booth (like in a restaurant – cool plane, uh!) and our kids were in another booth.  Shawnah had none of her kids since they are all practically grown, but the youngest Chapman girls were there and all four of ours were as well.  Mary Beth was teaching me how to get the kids in the seats to lay down to sleep since we were flying all night. Steven and Aaron were hanging doing boy things and talking music.  Then we just all rested and flew to China.  That was it.

Usually my dreams come from stuff that's on my heart or on my mind.  This one has only one explanation and that is how I was thinking about the Chapman family lots yesterday.  It was the anniversary of the death of their youngest daughter and they were on my heart.  For many of us in the adoption community this couple has had a huge impact on our decision to adopt.  You see this Chapman family never directly impacted our decision to adopt, but because of their voice in adoption they did.  When we began our adoption journey with Deacon the people that we ran to for advice, comfort and information were people that were directly impacted by Steven and Mary Beth.  We were friends with their family members (Yolanda and Jim Chapman) that we went to church with.  I also taught at a homeschool tutorial with Gwen Oatsvall and during my first year of teaching she was on her first adoption journey to her daughter Emily.  The Oatsvall family was directly influenced to adopt from Steven and Mary Beth's oldest daughter Emily (Mr. Oatsvall was her teacher).  So, you see Steven and Mary Beth did influence our journey.

oatsvall famlily

*The Oatsvall clan and four of their kids – they are waiting on 2 more from Africa!

We also were helped financially with our domestic adoption through Show Hope's financial assistance program.  What a blessing that was to our family.

So, you see yesterday as they mourned another year away from their precious daughter, I too was thinking of them and thinking of the impact they have had on the orphan status in the current world. They have been fabulous advocates for the orphan and fabulous encourages for the parents on this journey.

Thank you Steven & Mary Beth for all you have done not only for our family but all the families around the world that are adopting, because of your voice our family has 3 beautiful children through adoption.

maria sue

Jamie Ivey