Hi! I am Jacqui. I am 26 years old and I am in the process of completing an adoption from India. Welcome to my story!
When I was a little girl, I was fascinated with St. Mother Teresa of Kolkata. I remember looking at photos, reading books and imagining visiting her missions in India...one day. A girl can dream, right? Well, about two years ago, that dream to visit India became a beautiful reality!
When I was 12, my mom passed away unexpectedly. I was the fourth of eleven children, and the sudden and unexpected loss changed me in ways I never could have imagined. God uses every moment in our lives to stretch our hearts and open them to His healing and love. That pain made me experience great doubt and searching in my faith. I battled with the desire to run from Him. I fought the urge to blame Him. Through His grace alone, that pain made me draw nearer to Him alone who can heal such deep wounds.
Scripture was my stronghold. I prayed a lot with anything having to do with orphans. Although I had only lost one parent, for a twelve year old girl to lose her mother, it felt like I had lost everything. I distinctly remember praying through the book of Job. One verse has continued to stick with me: Job 29:12
"because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist them."
From February 2014 - May 2016, I lived at a monastery, as a religious sister. I spent that time praying and living the life of a monastic sister. I loved every moment and will forever be grateful for the blessings and the many graces experienced while there. In my time of discernment, the one topic that continuously was brought up in my prayer was the fact that my heart was one of a mother. I love children. Being secluded from them was one of the daily sacrifices I just wasn't sure God wanted me to live out.
I eventually discerned that He was calling me to leave religious life, for marriage and family life. While my time as a sister was beyond blessed, I am so grateful that the Father so clearly called me to be a mom! After leaving there, I began to recall my dream of going to India. I googled "Orphanage in India for kids with special needs," and within 24 hours, I had booked a four month trip to India! God works miracles when you listen to His voice!
In January of 2017, I arrived in India. In my four months there, I saw and experienced life in a way that is simply not possible here in the US. The many photos and stories I had read/seen, "to prepare," had done nothing to truly open my heart to the reality of what my life was about to be like.
In the midst of such poverty and destruction, there was a life of such beauty. Here I was living amongst the "poorest of the poor," yet, I had never felt more free. I had never felt more alive. I'd never felt more me! God had called me to be brave and to step out into the world (the other side of the world!), to find Him in new and amazing ways!
The morning after I had arrived, I was taken to one of the foster homes I would be spending the next four months in. As I walked through the door, I heard in my heart, "She is here." I wasn't sure what that meant, but I began to pray about adoption. I was blessed to see many children go home to their "forever families," while there. I also witnessed those who had not been found, question where their Mommy and Daddy were. It broke me. I knew that pain. I knew that longing.
As my time in India drew to a close, I realized that He was calling me to adopt. Not in 10 years, as I had originally assumed. No, He was asking me to jump in and say, yes. So, I took one year to quietly pray about it and seek counsel. I talked to agencies, adoption friends, my spiritual father, and those that I trusted most closely with my heart. At 25 years old (the legal age to adopt from India), I applied. The past year plus, I have been filling out paper after paper, attending meetings and trainings, reading up on anything adoption related, etc.
I recently was blessed to be awarded a $1400 matching grant from Lifesong for Orphans, as well as a $1600 matching grant from their partners, Fairfield Christian Church! That's correct: a total of $3,000 matching grant. Abba provided in His beautiful timing! This matching grant helps me greatly to be closer to meeting the $45,000 adoption fee. Through your help and God's grace, we can bring a child home!!!
Thank you for reading and prayerfully considering helping with my adoption!
STRIPE charges an online processing fee of 2.2% +.30 USD per transaction.
Your donation will be decreased by this amount. You may also send in a personal check payable to: "Lifesong for Orphans." In the memo line please be sure to write "McNeill 8444," which will enable them to credit it to my adoption account.
Lifesong for Orphans
PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744
Lifesong is blessed to have partners who have committed to underwrite all US administrative and fundraising costs. This allows for 100% of your donations to directly aide in the adoption of orphans!
In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong for Orphans. They retain full discretion over the use of your donation, but intend to honor your suggested use. They are a 501c3 tax exempt organization. Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations of $250 plus, will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent upon request.
STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction). Your donations will be decreased by this amount. You may also send a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “McNeill 08444”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.
Lifesong has been blessed with partners who underwrite all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.
- In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong for Orphans. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
- Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent upon request.