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Saturday, September 29, 2012

You can help us put the pieces together.

You can help us put

 the pieces together.

As you know, Shannon and I are working to bring our daughter home as soon as possible. This week, our dossier was sent to China. This means that we can expect to travel to China  no later than April. We have been told that March is a strong possibility for travel. This means that all of our adoption expenses, including the cost of travel, must be met within that time frame. For this reason, we are asking for your help. 

All along, we have made an effort to document this adoption journey so that we can one day share it with Faith. This is her story and will be important to her one day. For this reason, we have purchased a jigsaw puzzle that reads"Jesus was adopted too". This puzzle will be mounted between two panes of glass so that both sides can be seen. 

Realizing that we are not in this journey alone, we would love for you to sponsor a piece (or pieces) of this puzzle. Each piece will cost $20. The back of each piece will have the name of its sponsor written on it, along with any message they have for Faith. When completed, the puzzle will hang in her room as a lasting reminder of the family and friends who supported us in this journey and helped make the pieces come together. It is yet another way we can show a child that has never known stability and security that she was loved long before she got here. 

Here's how you can help:

  • Use the PayPal link on the homepage of this blog to donate.
  • Mail donations to:  Shannon and Christy Ginn, 545 Hillstone Drive, Pell City,Al 35125
  • Let us know in person that you would like to donate
  • Share this posting via your social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to help us spread the word.
Thanks for your help!  We love you all.

Christy and Shannon

Saturday, September 22, 2012

China Travel Meeting

Our travel meeting yesterday was very exciting. It is such a blessing to be working with an agency that has thought through every step of this process. We were given so much information. They walked us through the entire trip and provided information and suggestions for each step of the way.
We were given a timeline yesterday. We were told that they hope that we have a log-in date in a month and that they hope we will travel  around five months from that date. That means that we could be meeting our daughter in six months.
We are focusing on all of the things that we need to accomplish during the next six months. We have plans to complete Connor's room downstairs during October. We will have to paint the downstairs and stairway. Anyone know any extremely tall friends that like to paint? The ceilings in the stairway are about 20 feet high. We are already discussing our options for getting that area painted. I am confident in my ability to paint the downstairs myself. Shannon is not so confident in my ability to manage the stairs. Surely he doesn't think that my painting the stairs could result in any type of orthopedic injury. Not the wife he took to dinner that first time partially out of sympathy that she fell down the steps while working for him and was now a single mom with a non-weight bearing injury. Between that first meeting, the shoulder reconstruction that I had done while we were dating and the 12 weeks in a cast last spring thanks to a rambunctious Riley, he is really having some stress about this painting. I am looking forward to the challenge. Shannon keeps reminding me that orthopedic surgery and rehab is not really in the budget and insisting that perhaps hiring someone to do it might be cheaper. The only thing that we agree on at this point is that it is time to paint downstairs.
We have a sweet friend that will be volunteering and the Kid's Market consignment sale in Homewood and is willing to shop for Faith's bedroom furniture with her pre-sale shopping pass. That is such a blessing to us. Hopefully she will find exactly what we have been looking for and we will be able to stretch our money a little bit farther.
We will have to get Connor moved into his new downstairs "suite" and get everyone adjusted to that change. We are looking forward to being able to say that we have a house with four completed, fully furnished bedrooms.
We plan to fill the rest of our time waiting with remodeling and continued grant writing. Please keep these grant opportunities in your prayers. We are in the process of completing several and are waiting on word from three that have already been submitted.
The six(ish) month countdown has begun and we are glad to get to the home improvement/grant writing time period.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Travel Meeting

We got some exciting news yesterday. We have been trying to be patient while we wait for our dossier to be authenticated (each item must be signed by the Secretary of State) so that it can be sent to the Chinese Consulate in Houston. We were told today that it is already in Houston. We expect it to be back in Birmingham next week. Once it arrives back at Lifeline, they will send it to China. We are so eager for it to reach China!
We have been told to expect it to take three to four weeks to receive a log-in date. Getting a log-in date is huge! From log-in date to travel should be no more than six months. However, that six month timeline is based on those families that have not already been matched with a child. It includes time for that family to be matched. It includes time for that family to complete a care plan and for China to process this plan and approve the placement of their child. We have already done these things. We hope that we are able to travel very soon after receiving our log-in date. We have talked to families that were already matched who have traveled in as little as one to two months after their log-in date. We are continuing to pray that this process goes very quickly.
We are also excited to be going to training tomorrow afternoon. Shannon and I will attend a workshop at Lifeline that will prepare us for our trip to China. Thus far, we have asked each other dozens of questions about what we would do if.... We have so many questions about what to expect when we get there. We are very glad to have been invited to attend tomorrow's meeting. We cannot wait to find the answers to our questions. We are also very thankful to be working with an agency that takes the time to spend an entire afternoon providing travel information and tips that will make our journey go more smoothly.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Over the past several months, Christy and I have been asking God to break our hearts for the things that break His and to challenge us to step away from the ordinary and to open our hearts, hands, and abundance to God’s calling for our family.  Through this process, our eyes were opened and our hearts broken for the millions (approximately 145 million) of orphans worldwide.  As we researched and prayed, we began to feel God lead us towards international adoption to rescue an orphan and make her our own.

We’re making progress on our journey to adopt Jiang Lanxin (Faith Lanxin Ginn).  As we continue on the adoption journey, I find myself experiencing something that I knew intellectually from the beginning of this journey but now know experientially:  Adoption is difficult!  It is difficult emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially.  So many of you have expressed your support, asked about our progress, told us that you are praying for us, and asked if there was anything that you could do to help.  We covet your continued prayers.  Our other great need is financial.  This adoption will cost approximately $30,000.  Our adoption expenses include everything from document preparation and translation, agency fees, travel expenses (air, hotel, etc.), government fees (U.S.A. and China), to medical and orphanage fees. 

Just as the Great Wall of China was built one stone at a time, we are relying on God for one dollar at a time.  We have cut our family expenses and are in the process of applying for as many adoption grants as possible.  I think we would be remiss if we didn’t also ask for help from families and friends who might be willing to make a financial contribution toward bringing our daughter into the permanent embrace of adoption.
Please consider supporting the cause of the fatherless and helping us bring home our daughter. 

Here are some ways that you might help:

  • Donate any amount by sending checks to:       

Shannon and Christy Ginn
545 Hillstone Drive
            Pell City, Alabama 35125
  • Visit and click the donate button to donate via PayPal.  We’re also using the blog to post updates to our journey.
  • Buy an adoption t-shirt from .  Not only are the shirts really cool, but the net proceeds from sales are donated to our family.
  • Donate frequent flyer miles to reduce travel costs.  Christy and I must travel to China to finalize the adoption.  Please email to help with miles.

While not everyone is called to adopt a child, we believe (and hope!) that many will join us on the journey to rescue an orphan and make an eternal impact on this child’s life.

Shannon and Christy Ginn

“But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless.” -Psalm 10:14 ESV

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I was very fortunate to have found an internet group for families that have adopted or are in the process of adopting from Xuzhou.  One of the families (Settle family) is currently in China finalizing the adoption of their son, Caden.  They graciously agreed to take photos for the families that are waiting.  We are so appreciative of them and the orphanage staff for these pictures.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


On Friday, August 24, 2012, we received notification from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Customs and Immigration) that we were to appear on September 5 to submit biometrics as part of our application process.  Christy and I fully realize that there are elements of this journey over which we have no control.  However, we have always said that it is unacceptable for our little girl to spend one day longer than necessary in an orphanage and that we would be expedient and pro-active about submitting anything requested of us for this journey.  Having said that, we had been informed that it might be possible to go earlier than our appointed time for biometrics.  We were cautioned that they were not required to accept us outside of our appointed time.  We decided that we would be at the immigration office at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 27 to try to submit biometrics.  Our prayer as we traveled to Birmingham was simple:  "God, You are the defender of the orphan and Father to the fatherless.  Please create in their hearts a compassion for the same things as You."  We arrived at the office and I explained that we did not have an appointment scheduled for that day but hoped to be worked in to submit biometrics.  The officer sternly explained to me that they absolutely did NOT accept walk-ins and he had no idea as to why I thought that I could come outside of my scheduled time.  My voice trembled as I explained to him that my daughter was sitting in an orphanage in China, she had special needs, and we were willing to wait all day if they would just accommodate us.  It was as if an angel whispered in his ear, because his demeanor totally changed and he told us to come back in an hour and he would take care of us.  The look on his face as he was telling us that he would work with us was that of a man that could not believe what he was hearing from his own lips.  Christy and I left that office as quickly as we could before he had a chance to change his mind.  We aimlessly rode around Birmingham for the next 45 minutes and returned at 9:00.  We thanked him profusely for showing grace and mercy to us and showed him a photo of the little girl whose life would be impacted by his actions.  We submitted our biometrics on Monday, August 27, 2012.  We had been told to expect to wait anywhere from one to three months for approval from Immigration.  We received our approval on Friday, August 31, 2012.  Four days from biometrics to approval.  Our God is SO good!

Our next step is to have the dossier authenticated.  Our documents must be authenticated at the local level and at the Alabama Office of the Secretary of State.  We are told that this process takes approximately three weeks.  We'll keep you posted.  Keep praying!

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory..." -Ephesians 3:19 ESV