When the worship band Casting Crowns signed up to tour with recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman in 2004, they had no idea that their musical collaboration would inspire lead singer Mark Hall and his wife Melanie to adopt a child from China.

    While traveling on the 84-city “All Things New Tour,” the Halls watched a video presentation each night which profiled the Chapmans’ dedication to adoption awareness and they felt led to respond to the great need for orphan care.
    “About the 12th night of the tour, I went to my wife Melanie and said that I felt like God was leading us to adopt a child,” Hall recalled.  “She just calmly looked at me and said, ‘This is something that I have known for some time … I’ve just been waiting on you.’”
    In addition to his work with Casting Crowns, Hall is the student pastor at Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough, Georgia.
    After spending some time praying about adding a fourth child to their extremely busy family, the Halls added their name to a long waiting list and started the necessary procedures for international adoption.
    “The adoption process is long and drawn out,” Hall said. “There’s a lot of things to do and hoops to jump through.”
    In May, after being on the waiting list for three years, the Halls traveled to China to receive their two-year-old daughter named Hope. Steven Curtis Chapman’s wife, Mary Beth, joined them on the trip and provided guidance, support and encouragement along the way as they prepared to welcome the new addition to their family.
    The adoption trip was filmed and will be included on Casting Crowns’ live CD/DVD project, Until the Whole World Hears, which will be in stores Aug. 31.
    On Mother’s Day, the Halls were overwhelmed with emotion as they held Hope in their arms for the first time and remembered reading reports that just a few days after her birth, she had been abandoned outside of a hospital — wrapped in a red blanket.
    With the trauma of medical treatments and living in an orphanage behind Hope, she is now enjoying the freedom of a new life and experiencing what it means to be loved.
    “She is already running the house,” Hall beamed. 
    For families considering adoption, Hall does have some helpful advice.
    “There’s only so much praying you can do about it,” he said. “The need is so great for children to live in a godly home.  Once you start praying about adopting a child, it’s just a matter of time before love takes you in.”