Steven Curtis Chapman 'Desperately Hopeful' After Death of Daughter

Steven Curtis Chapman talks to "GMA" about honoring Maria in his new album.

ByABC News via logo
December 14, 2009, 8:51 AM

Dec. 14, 2009 — -- Grammy-winning Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman is "desperately hopeful" about the future, a year and a half after the death of his daughter.

On May 21, 2008, 5-year-old Maria Sue Chapman was accidentally hit by Chapman's son, Will Franklin, after she ran into the path of his SUV in their driveway. Maria later died at a Nashville hospital.

Chapman, 47, told "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts that faith is "keeping us going as a family."

He also delivered a message from Will "straight out of his heart."

Will, 18, wanted his father to "tell them I'm hanging in there. I have some really hard days. I have some really good days. I know I'm going to see my little sister again. It really is my faith that keeps me going."

Chapman and his wife Mary Beth were already the parents of three biological children when they adopted three little girls from China -- Shaohannah, Stevey Joy and their youngest, Maria Sue.

The experience of adopting the girls would lead the Chapmans to found Show Hope, a nonprofit that seeks to provide information and resources to families considering adoption. The ministry's goal is to help families reduce the financial barrier of adoption, and has provided grants to more than 2,000 families wishing to adopt orphans from around the world. They recently opened Maria's Big House of Hope in Luoyang, China.

"Maria's Big House of Hope is a special needs orphanage," Chapman said. "There are about 130 beds there where special needs orphans in China are loved and taken care of."

During the holidays, Chapman said it is "the message of Christmas" that sustains his family.

"[God says] you're not alone and I am with you … I will walk with you."

Chapman's new album is called "Beauty Will Rise," and he told Roberts that "these are really my psalms."

"They really came out as my journal and I want to share them with people," he said.

He wrote one song, "Heaven is the Face," because "I'm thinking about heaven … I have a daughter living there now."

In the last year, two of Chapman's older children got married. On 23-year-old Emily's wedding day, the family set a butterfly free in memory of Maria.

"We had the most amazing wedding for Emily, at the very same place where this horrible tragedy took place," he said. "It really was a day of redemption."

And 20-year-old Caleb "married his fourth grade sweetheart," Chapman said.