The McNeel Family Love Story

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Jessie: I remember the day my heart first broke for a vulnerable child. She was an abandoned orphan in China. It hit me by surprise. I had stayed home from church to care for our 6 month old daughter but my husband was able to go. He came home and told me very briefly that there had been a guest speaker from China that ran an orphanage there. That was all it took. Something woke up deep inside of me and I knew that somehow, some way, my life would intersect with these children. For years I had prayed and cried because I knew that I WANTED adoption to be a part of our story. I also told myself that I was mistaken because God had not opened the door for us. Here I am 7 years later with 4 biological children and a lot of imagining in between. So much of what I thought along the way looks different now, but I am rejoicing. We are so close! I got sidetracked thinking I was wrong about this calling many times. Yet, God was only tempering me and I am thankful. What I can claim as truth is that the spirit of what is written on our hearts from the beginning, the desire from within, has never changed. 

“…you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, Abba, Father. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs-heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” 

-Romans 8:15-16 

Today I believe wholeheartedly that my deep “why” is simple and sure. God has planned this. He knit this into my being years ago and together we will write this new adventure story. 

"Life’s moments are so wonderful and it just became clearer to us that we had the home, the space, and a love to share. I knew that God could take what we had, who we are, our gifts for hard work, serving and sharing and togetherness, and put it all to a greater use. I knew that it was time to welcome a new child into the refuge that the Lord had built."