Jacqui Jackson is a former foster kid, an international adoptee from South America, and a grateful mommy to a tribe of heart babies and belly babies alike. Her passion for adoption and fostering stems from the legacy that God has given her to steward for His glory, and she is relentless about encouraging and equipping others to walk their own orphan care journeys. Her initial steps towards protecting vulnerable children began in college when she chose to champion at-risk kids as her platform issue while competing in the Miss America Organization. Jacqui used the scholarships earned during those years to attain a Masters in Education and to solidify her dedication to the cause of the Modern Orphan. Now a homeschooling momma, Jacqui has professional experience as a personal representative liaison for the Atlanta Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a grant writer for the Georgia Family Council, and a teacher who worked with students ranging from the pre-k to the college level. After becoming a first-time mommy through the gift of adoption, Jacqui knew she had found her heart’s desire, which was to be a mother to many along with being an orphan advocate. When she isn’t writing or promoting iHope, Jacqui spends her days chasing after the littles, Pinteresting fabulous domestic diva ideas to “try one day,” training for half marathons, and blogging about mommyhood at www.thegratefulmommy.com. She loves date nights with the Hubs because she can wear her seldom-used stilettos, the random game of sub-par tennis, and walking solo through the garden center at the Home Depot. When life has hit a new level of hot mess, you can find her doing “rapture practice” with her kids in the backyard or reaching for her hidden stash of Starburst jelly beans. Her favorite guilty pleasure is donning her amazing white jazz shoes and dancing alone in her living room with the stars on “So You Think You Can Dance.”
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My kids for sure. With four littles, there is no extra rest for the weary, but after praying so hard to become a mommy at all, I can always frame an early start with the truth that these sweet kiddos are my answered prayer. There are other mommies out there who need the hope of finding their own children too.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was called "Perry the Perch" (or "How I Learned to Dance Lambada"). I co-wrote it with a friend from youth group, and I honestly had no idea what the lambada was. (It is a dance.) It was the first multi-chapter book I wrote, being two chapters. It was in honor of the perch I was asked to dissect in school for a test grade.
With candor, humor, and grace, Jacqui Jackson steps in as your Big Sister, helping you create a support team to walk with you through the Christian parenting process. She provides practical tips for how to handle “The Wait.”