Pain isn’t always bad…

This adoption journey is so hard! Each day my yearning is to see the little face that my heart already loves. Every thing I do is made with the thought, “How does this affect my child today, tomorrow or in the long run?” I just want to know her. I want you to know her. I want her to see that she has been chosen and that she has so many people fighting to bring her home.

The cost of international adoption is upwards of $45,000. That price tag is something that looms over me day in and day out. Every paycheck, from several jobs, is a nick in the “fees owed,” but it never seems to make that large of a dent. I have been working three plus jobs every week to bring in the extra money and it never seems to add up. I have been blessed in the gift of donors every time I start a fundraiser. Thank you. Thank  you for being that light in the midst of the tunnel of despair.

Over these past few months, I have spent countless hours online scouring for a new grant I am eligible to apply for. Let me tell ya, as a single person, sometimes its hard to not feel hurt by how few organizations allow singles to apply. The ones that do have been inundated with applications, because there are MANY, MANY singles in the adoption journey. We count too. We work just as hard to bring home our babies. We are equally qualified to give love to a child who lies there just longing to be loved.

So, I wait. I applied to seven grants thus far. I have heard back from two that they would like for me to be matched with a particular child before I will even be considered. My adoption agency has assured me that this is in no way a denial. It is simply a, “wait until you’re matched, and then reapply.” While this isn’t exactly what I had hoped to read in their email, I am encouraged to stay faithful.

In the next week or so, due to a gift from God, I will be able to have all of my papers mailed to India. It will officially begin the approximately 3-6 month wait to be registered with CARA. It is the central agency in India, that manages all available children for adoption. This is all simply put. There are so many details included in this step. But all exciting ones!!! I’ll be one HUGE step closer to my kiddo! 🙂

In the next few weeks, be praying with me that I would be able to come up with extra funds for all the next sets of fees coming up around the bend (from here on out they’re all pretty large sums). I struggle to be patient in hearing from grants. I could really use some assistance from them to get me ahead on the next step or two. But most grants are requiring you to be matched first…which is still SEVERAL thousands of dollars away from this point.

Pray for my girl’s heart, as she waits for her Mama to come to her. Pray for another single mama who is a little ahead of the point I am at, we have been holding each other up along this crazy ride. We’re even hoping we may be in India at the same time! We shall see what God has planned!

As the days ahead go by, forgive me if I am distant or too busy to be present. I am just cranking away at the things I can while we begin this time of waiting. This process is slow, but ever busy with things to do. The paperwork never ends. The appointments and lists never stop coming. But in the end, when I FINALLY embrace my baby it will all be so worth it!

Thank you to those who have donated funds, yard sale items, hearts and ears willing to listen and most of all prayers. I couldn’t go a day in this journey without the many people lifting me up in prayer. This has been the most stretching and purging experience in my life and I am so grateful to have so many stand behind me. This is God’s work. He constantly reminds me of this.

Recently I have been drawn to pray and weep to this song, by Lauren Daigle. It’s called, Rescue. These words give me hope and they inspire me to be this strong for my girl.

You are not hidden
There’s never been a moment
You were forgotten
You are not hopeless
Though you have been broken
Your innocence stolen
I hear you whisper underneath your breath
I hear your SOS, your SOS
I will send out an army to find you
In the middle of the darkest night
It’s true, I will rescue you
There is no distance
That cannot be covered
Over and over
You’re not defenseless
I’ll be your shelter
I’ll be your armor
I hear you whisper underneath your breath
I hear your SOS, your SOS
I will send out an army to find you
In the middle of the darkest night
It’s true, I will rescue you
I will never stop marching to reach you
In the middle of the hardest fight
It’s true, I will rescue you
I hear the whisper underneath your breath
I hear you whisper, you have nothing left
I will send out an army to find you
In the middle of the darkest night
It’s true, I will rescue you
I will never stop marching to reach you
In the middle of the hardest fight
It’s true, I will rescue you
Oh, I will rescue you

Just One.

Since I was young, when I am at my darkest or saddest moments, my heart aches to write out my feelings. I see them as love letters to the Lord. I have so many journals that they more than fill an entire book shelf! I have always found that I can speak my heart most clearly when I write. Tonight is one of those times, but instead of hiding it away behind a fancy leather cover, I wanted to be vulnerable and invite you to hear the words that rest in my heart this evening.

This adoption process is hard. I am worn so immeasurably thin… How many tears have I wept the past three days alone? Too many to count…but God knows! This journey has stretched my heart in ways I never knew a heart could stretch. The entire process is exhausting waves of excitement, fear, joy, anxiety, celebration and dreams, setbacks and fees. It’s a lot. I am often overcome by the weight of this, “yes.” But I push on and continue to be amazed at His providence and support. He pushes me when I am a “doubting Thomas,” and He shows up whenever I am at my weakest and most vulnerable spot.

At times, it feels as if all these appointments, doctors visits, papers that need notarized and signed for what seems like the ten millionth time…will never lead to my child. It feels like I am in one of those fancy doors at a hotel that just keep spinning and spinning, and if you don’t get out fast enough, the end never comes. Sometimes I sit here and stare at the list of “to do’s and Still Owe’s” and I want to give up. I doubt that I have the strength to do it all, after working several jobs to save funds (even though it feels like it’s all due before I can even make it!).

St. Teresa of Kolkata has always spoken to my heart…especially after my time spent at Kalighat (Mother’s Home for the Dying). This evening I was really struggling in my faith when it comes to this adoption journey. I started listening to a talk a beautiful friend once gave on Mother, and a few lines really struck a chord in my heart. These words re-centered me. They reminded me why I began this journey in the first place.

A little over two years ago I arrived back in America, after living in India for four months. It was then that I first felt and heard the calling to adopt. It was also then that I first let fear be my answer and said, “no way, man!” I came up with every excuse. I can’t afford it. I am single. People will judge me. The child could reject me. I’m not experienced enough. I don’t have enough to give them. etc. All lies that Satan spoke (and at times continues to speak) into my heart. But then I saw India. I saw poverty. I saw orphan hood. I saw love. I saw Christ!

“There are more people who have food, than there are people who are hungry. If we all fed just one person, there would be no more people who are hungry. It doesn’t require a Herculean effort.” ~ a friend ~

“Mother Teresa wrote to the Archbishop to ask for permission to found the Missionaries of Charity, … she said, ‘I know, Your Excellency, how inadequate I am. I know that I don’t have the skills to carry all of this out. I know that this is much greater than I am capable of, but . . . wouldn’t it be worth it, to make all of this sacrifice, if even just one of these little ones were brought back to the Heart of Jesus?”

The heart of the Missionaries is just that, going out and reaching ‘Just that one.'” I witnessed it first hand the day I spent hours bathing and changing 300+ women at Kalighat. I will forever remember the moment I walked around the corner and was overcome at the sights, smells and sounds around me. My humanity told me to run. To avoid the discomfort that was sure to be found in this place. Praise God I stayed! That day turned out to be one of the best and most beautiful days of my life.

The memories I have of the love I received from women who were in worse shape than the most horrific photo you could find on the web. Women who had maybe hours left of their life here on earth…living in the most horrific pain and a lot of them were abandoned and alone. Or so I thought. I quickly learned just how present Christ was in their hearts and in the heart of that home, itself! Love lived there. Love was breathing and intermingling as people from all over the world sat beside one another just listening, massaging and dressing the shells of a life that once was vibrant and fully alive. In those hours, “The Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us.”

I came home from that trip, changed. I still am learning just how much the Lord did in my heart during that experience (all four months, not just the one day at Kalighat). I knew that the Lord had called me to adopt. I stepped out into the deep, aware of the challenge it would bring…never comprehending just how demanding it would be. But I am so grateful! Because of that Yes, the Lord has worked wonders in my heart. Here are a few blessings that I have witnessed in the past year of this adoption journey.

  1. When I started out, I was scared of being alone. This journey takes everything out of you! Could I do it without a spouse to lean on? No one in my life really understood what the adoption experience was like and that terrified me. But He quickly provided a friend. Another single Mamma, who ironically (or not so ironically!) had adopted from the very foster home that I had spent four months serving at! How cool that a year after coming home, I would become close friends with not only another single mamma, but one of the little girls I had come to love during my time away! 🙂 Through this friend, I was introduced to many new friends who have all grown (and are continuing to grow) their families through adoption from India!
  2. Just a few weekends ago, I went to Cleveland for the day to celebrate an Indian festival called, Holi. It is the festival of colors! This is to celebrate the change of seasons from winter to spring. It celebrates the victory of good over evil and is meant to spread happiness and love. Let me tell you it did all of that and then some! We threw these bright colors at one another and celebrated the culture of our children, together as one family! Ah, it was glorious! (I also met the families of several more kiddos I had met, while in India!)

Because of my beautiful friend, I have now been blessed with so many friends and fellow India lovers 🙂 It has made this process so much easier to have people who “get it.”

Last week, I found out that I didn’t receive a grant I had applied for back in November (Yes, some grant cycles take months before any monies are awarded or denied). I was bummed because there are only a handful of grants that accept single applicants. So this was a huge disappointment.

I had also applied for another grant, that was supposed to be reviewed and decided upon today. I was so distracted all day at work because I knew that the grant committee had my application open on some table somewhere, and I was begging the Lord to provide some desperately needed funds! I came home to an email that they had decided not to review my application until June 25, because of the amount of applications they had received this round and other circumstances. Not going to lie, that was tough. I sobbed. All day I had been imploring our Lord to provide, and I was so sure it was going to happen…and then came home to find out that it hadn’t even been a possibility, yet.

I did mail another grant out yesterday, and I am continuing to pray for a positive response from both today’s grant (being reviewed at the end of June) and the one I just mailed. I have found one more grant that I can apply for and will hopefully be finishing that this week. Please join me in praying for peace, patience and surrender. Every, “No,” I get is one, “Yes,” for another family. It is still One More Child…a step closer to their forever family. That is cause for rejoicing!

In the next few months, I will owe a lot of agency and filing fees. I am excited that these next steps will include starting the registration process in India, so that I can finally match with my baby! It’s so hard to be working non-stop and hoping and pining for this little one that my heart already is in love with, and I don’t even know who they are or what they look like. I ACHE INTENSELY for that day to come!

I currently have a balance of $1450 to pay for the rest of the first set of agency fees (I’ve already paid a portion off). Almost immediately after that I will owe a nearly $5,000 (this is why grants would be an AMAZING gift and relief right about now!) fee to register with India. I anxiously await the moment when I can check off one more thing from my process countdown. Every heart drawn is one step closer to my little one never spending another moment without her Mamma’s love. (My Dossier is complete, I just need the fee to go along with the paperwork!!!!)

India Adoption Timeline

Pray with me, that the Father would provide (as He always does) the monies needed at the appropriate time. Pray for my heart to find peace in the time of waiting. We all know that our timing is imperfect and that the Father’s timing is nothing but perfection (if only my heart could remember it more often!).

If you or your friends would like to help in any way, please reach out to me! I would accept any help, even just a friendly phone call or hug! 🙂 There are so many ways you could help (as so many of you have) bring this little girl home!

I currently have been painting and selling some Mandala artwork, to help raise the needed funds. I will be hosting a paint party soon as well! I will have my artwork displayed for sale at Muggswigz coffee shoppes June, July and August! You can also commission specific art pieces if you have a particular theme, design or color scheme you like. Be sure to join my facebook group, Talitha Koum Adoption!, to see my latest creations and pieces for sale!

Thank you for reading and following our journey!


A hopeful Mamma


Are you willing to walk to Cana?

Lately life has been so busy, I have just worn myself out. Between working a pretty emotionally and physically demanding job, to some side jobs to bring in extra adoption funds, to painting my Mandala Art (which has been surprisingly popular), to the never ending paper work and fee schedule…it’s all been a lot. I understand why most people wouldn’t dream of adopting without their significant other, it’s a challenge to do it all alone. And honestly, sometimes this journey has made me feel more desolate than I would like to admit. 

Adoption is hard. Adoption is a sacrifice. Adoption is expensive. Adoption is work. Adoption is living without sometimes. But friends, we are all adopted sons and daughters. In one way or another, adoption is a calling the Lord has given to each and every one of us. No, not all of us are called to physically adopt. Some are called to pray for anyone in the process. Some are called to support financially. Some are called to do acts of service for those in need. But, we are all brothers and sisters through adoption. We are all called to LOVE. Love is lived out in separate ways for each person. 

Lately, as we journey through Lent,  I have been doing more reading and less social media. The time in the desert is so crucial because as it is written in Hosea 2:14,

“Therefore I will allure her to the desert, and there I shall speak tenderly to her heart.”  

Anytime we allow ourselves the opportunity to step back from the craziness and chaos of our world, it allows a door, otherwise blocked, to be opened for the voice of the Spirit to enter in. If you haven’t done so, I encourage you to try it. You never know what you will hear. 

So, I have been reading a book called, “The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible,” by Mark Batterson. I wanted to share some quotes and reflections that were placed upon my heart during my reading this evening. One section I have been reflecting upon a lot today is on “Coincidences.” I don’t believe in them, even when they seem to happen often for me…in the smallest of ways, but they do. Do they for you? 

Batterson quotes from a Dr. Halverston, 

“You go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you. Wherever you are, God has put you there; He has a purpose in your being there. Christ who indwells you has something He wants to do through you where you are. Believe this and go in His grace and love and power.” 

He goes on further to write, 

“You go nowhere by accident. You may not be right where you want to be, but God can use you right there. In fact, God may have you right where He wants you. Whether you’re taking a mission trip halfway around the world or a trip to the local grocery store, God is setting up divine appointments along the way. The challenge, of course, is that they are harder to recognize closer to home because we operate on autopilot. Don’t be in such a hurry to get where you’re going that you miss the miracles along the way—or the miracles that may be out of your way!” 

When I read this it was as if the Father Himself was saying, “Hello! Can you hear me speaking to you? These words are meant for you alone, Jacqui!” When had become so doubtful? When had I lost hope that this journey I have been on is going EXACTLY AS HE PLANNED? When did I suddenly decide my plans were the better ones…even though I am fully aware of the falseness of that lie. It got me thinking though, of the many times this past year that God has arranged a divine appointment at just the right moment. 

A few examples for you: 

Around Christmas time, I was on break from work (Work at a school for children with severe behavioral and developmental needs) for Christmas. I had planned to go visit some Monastic friends of mine during break. As I sat and waited for my flight to board, I was thinking about how much I missed my kiddos. I love my job and I also know how much some of our students rely on that daily routine of school and ABA therapy. I was excited to slip away for some time with friends and some quiet time with the Lord, but I missed my own routine too. As I boarded the plane, I found an open isle seat. There was a mother and her teenage son sitting by the window. I took my seat and settled in for my quick one hour trip. As the plane took off, I realized that her son had autism. When you work with children on the spectrum daily, it is very easy and almost second nature to pick up on it when you are out in public. 

Unlike some people, who may encounter a child or adult on the spectrum and become unsure how to respond/react, I was elated. God had arranged for me to randomly choose the last seat in that isle, next to a child who reminded me so much of my kiddos I  missed from school. His mom and I got to talking and I was just so overcome with the providence of the Father. To protect their identity and their privacy, I won’t share further details. But just that one hour flight made a huge impact on my heart. If you are that lovely Mamma who sat and talked with me this past Christmas, thank you. I think of and pray for you and your son all the time. You were an instrument of the Father that day!

Another “coincidence” would be when I started to pray about adoption. It was terrifying to announce it publicly. I knew I would have MANY naysayers and MANY people who would act as if they have a right to an opinion, and that’s OK we all do it, but it doesn’t make it right or easier on the person you are judging. But as I announced it, some of my strongest supporters have been strangers. People that I have only met because I said yes to His will. I said yes with fear, but also with faith. In that yes, He provided me with friends who I may have never connected with (some of them local!) and other adoptive families who I can turn to in days of joy and days of trial. This is a journey. With every journey, there are hills and valleys. But because I said yes, He gave me the right people, in the exact moment I need them. And those who have been my biggest objectors, just give me the drive to push on and follow only His voice. 

When I pray about the little girl I will be adopting, my heart flutters with anxious excitement. It’s hard to do all of this work and not have any idea what your child looks like, what their stories are, what their struggles and needs are, etc. You can’t really plan and prepare until you are further into the process and have “matched” with your child. To this point, I have been working hard (as well as many supporters) to get my home study completed. Once I have my home study approved, it will clarify the ages I have been accepted for and the sex, disabilities, etc. Another HUGE part is that once I have the report, I can begin applying for aide and opening a tax deductible account, which allows for those larger donations to come in. My home study from start to finish (including a $500 fee to my adoption agency for review of the home study) will be over $8,000! In total the entire adoption will end up costing about $40,000. It seems impossible, but every time fees are due, the Lord has had it there. Yes, it’s taken constant work and petition and prayer, but it’s been there. 

In Batterson’s book I read, 

“The last time I checked, the population clock ticked 7, 121, 929, 889. If you line everybody up in a single-file conga line, it would…circle the earth at the equator 59 times, which reminds me of something I’ve said to my daughter, Summer, … ‘If all the girls in the world were lined up, and I could only choose one, I’d choose you.’…I might have to circle the earth quite a few times to find her!” 

When I read that I couldn’t help but think of my baby girl. I know she is out there. She is one of the billions of girls in that “conga line,” that I am looking through. Around and around I am going, each signature signed, each paper notarized is one step closer to seeing her face in that line of girls. All of them belong. All of them need loved. Are you doing your part? Am I doing mine? 

The next part of the book was talking about how God’s miracles defy earthly limitations. The author discussed how it’s a twenty mile walk from Capernaum to Cana. Also being sure to point out the fact that Capernaum sits 700 ft. below sea level, making that climb to Cana all uphill. He asks, in reference to what we are willing to do to make way for God to do His work in us,

Are you willing to knock on 435 doors? Fill six stone jars? Hike 20Mi uphill? Most of us follow Jesus to the point of inconvenience, but no further. We’re more than willing to follow Jesus as long as it doesn’t detour our plans. But it was the willingness to be inconvenienced that defined the Good Samaritan. And that’s how he becomes someone else’s miracle. Most miracles don’t happen on Main Street. They happen off the beaten path, about twenty miles out of town.” 


So, again, I ask you, “Are you willing to walk to Cana?” 


How can you help? 

  1. PRAY! I am awaiting to finalized copy of my home study, then I will be applying for grants.
  2. I am going to be working on a HUGE project these next couple of months…keep your eyes peeled for news! 😉 
  3. I am painting and selling Mandala Dot art. If you or someone you know is looking for a unique and meaningful gift, please reach out to me to commission one for yourself! 100% goes into my adoption funds! 



The Lord is doing AMAZING things! Stay tuned!

May the Angels’ be your guardians and the Saints’ your friends +


Slide show of a few of the Mandala pieces I have painted recently.

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Emmanuel is coming….


Friends! Thank you! Due to lots and lots of hard work and generous donations from wonderful friends and family…we have worked so hard to get SOOOO close to the $3,000 home study fee that is due in January. Last I checked, we are only $800 (maybe a little less than that) away from being funded for the first big home study fee. I just paid a $1600 deposit yesterday, and had three medical tests done in the past week too (covered by my income and insurance). Praise God! And thank you for your willingness to help the needy. It is so appreciated. I don’t have enough words to convey my gratitude.

As the holiest of seasons rolls around, we Byzantine’s are in a fast period called the Nativity Fast. As I have been fasting and praying to prepare my heart for the birth of the Christ Child, I cannot help but ponder if this will be the last Christmas morning that my little one’s heart experiences, without a mothers love. Everything about the Christmas season screams “Family!,” yet millions of orphans languish and continue their hearts fast…waiting to be found. Waiting to know they are loved. They were chosen. They are home.

One of the books I like to read, throughout the liturgical year, is called, “The Year of the Grace of Our Lord.” How fitting is that! The title of my funds raised page is “God’s Graces.” Also, this is the year, God willing, that a little girl will be found and brought from great darkness into light. As I was reading the opening pages for advent, I was struck by the irony of the books title, but also this quote:

The East has seen Advent…as a time of awaiting the light which will shine forth. The Celebration of Jesus’ birth coincides with the victory of light over darkness in the physical world—from Christmas on, daylight lengthens. In the same way, our interior darkness will be dispelled by the coming of him who is the Light of the World.”

What hope fills my heart at reading these lines! Christ’s light; even as a wee babe, wrapped up in pieces of cloth lying in a manger in a barn/cave, shines ever brightly. In the same way, my mother’s heart is searching for my baby’s light. Where is she? What is she seeking this night? Does she know of the Father’s love…and that Christ is coming to be born in a mere manger…yet He is the Savior of the world?!

When I was a nun a priest friend once gave a homily, during the Advent season. He spoke of making our hearts a manger. How we needed to take the season of Advent to rid our “cave,” of dirty and unwanted things and prepare a resting place for the infant Christ Child to inhabit. I will always cherish that homily. It made Advent tangible for me. The image of my heart being a cave for a child to seek shelter and refuge in is one that resonates. What does your cave look like? Have you, “Cleaned house,” so to speak? Have you prepared your manger bed with fresh and soft hay for Him to rest His tiny head upon?

Please join me for the duration of this advent season, as we spend time with our families doing holiday traditions, in praying for the heart of my baby. Pray that she is filled with the light of the Christ Child on Christmas morning, and not the ache to be loved by a mother. My own heart will eternally feel that ache, but I at least have had the great gift of celebrating many Christmas mornings with mothers’ who have stepped into that role in my life. I am so blessed with love. I am so blessed with faith. Pray, with me, that my little one is about to spend her very last Christmas alone!

Thank you again for those who pray and those who donated towards this beautiful journey. Every penny gets me one step closer to embracing a little one with the arms of a mother…sometimes being the first time they’ve ever known that embrace. Can you imagine! You are helping to bring about and amazing thing!

May God bless you this season of preparation.

May the Angels’ be  your guardians,’ and the Saints’ your friends! +


I have a public adoption page on facebook where I update on funds raised and needed, advancements made, etc. :

Talitha Koum Adoption!


For those who wish to still help, you can donate to my personal paypal:

Jacqui’s Paypal

You can also send money via apple pay or snail mail (email for my phone number or address!)



Also, once my home study is completed, I will be opening a tax deductible donation page. This would be a great opportunity for those who own a business or wish to donate as an individual and receive a tax deduction too! (It won’t start until next tax year!)