As many of you know, in honor of his daughter Maria Sue, Steven Curtis Chapman wrote a CNN article entitled, “Our Tragedy and God’s Love for Orphans.” It is a great example of how vertical love (God’s adoptive love for us) can move horizontally (our adoptive love for an orphan). Steven’s article about Maria and God’s love for orphans moved me deeply because of the two adoption stories God wrote in our family through the illness and death of our firstborn son, Daniel.
God used our son Daniel’s untreatable illness and untimely death at three years old to send our family on two wonderful adoption journeys. Ten months before Daniel died the Lord brought Isaiah Owen into our family through adoption. A year after Daniel’s death God gave us Noah Daniel (Noah means rest). We named our second adopted son “Noah Daniel” to remind us of the “rest God had given Daniel.” Since then, we have come to see God’s gracious provision of adoption within Scripture’s story of redemption as the story of God’s gift of rest to His afflicted children. It is through the consummation of our adoption—the redemption of our bodies—that God gives us rest from all of our affliction (see Romans 8:23). Our family sees a strong connection between the affliction and death of our first son Daniel and the treasure of the gift of adoption. So in honor of this wonderful connection, I share the tribute I wrote for Daniel’s memorial service in November 2002. Click on the article image link below to read the entire tribute.